11.14.2011

How I Created My Living Room Accent Wall~

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for your very enthusiastic and sweet comments about my living room.  I couldn't be more thrilled that you like it so much!


Now about that accent wall.  That back wall is our entrance wall.  And it is large.  And it was BORING.  So I wanted to do something special that would set it apart from the rest of the room, and give it visual appeal.
 
I liked the idea of wallpaper, but of course, that wasn't in the budget.


So I decided to do something else.  Something different.  And no, I  DIDN'T stencil the wall.  I DREW on it.  Yep, DREW on it.  With a magic marker.  My husband may have had a slight heart attack when I told him my plan.  And I'm not sure he entirely trusted me even after I started the process...but thankfully, he LOVES the finished product. (whew!)

Here's how I did it...

The pattern I used was based on a fabric that I had seen while the Princess and I were out shopping for fabrics for her bedroom.  I just sketched the pattern on a receipt, and filed it away for this very purpose.

1. The first thing I did was create a template.  I wanted the design to be large scale, so I took a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 inch cardstock, and sketched it out using a bowl to make the curved sections.  Once I had the design looking the way I wanted, I cut it out.

2. Then began the fun (or the lunacy depending on how you look at it.)



I traced that template on the wall with a pencil 231 times.  Yes really... I counted.  The pattern fit precisely 21 times across the width of the wall and 11 times down the length.  And that was really due more to good luck than to good planning (but we'll pretend it was good planning, shall we?)


3. I have had people ask me how I kept the pattern level.  Well, the trick there was to trace the top row first.  I kept it level with the ceiling and then I left about 1/2 inch between the first row and the second and so on.  That's it.  My trick.  But since, I realized not all walls are completely level, I was able to compensate a bit if I needed to by simply moving the pattern up a tiny bit or down a tiny bit as I went.


4. Once I had the entire wall done in pencil, I went back over the whole thing - freehand- using paint pens. 

I had originally hoped to find plain gray paint pens, and perhaps they exist, but I couldn't find any.  So I finally settled on using metallic silver.  And I'm so glad that I did!  The whole wall came alive this way.  Depending on the time of day, and the angle at which the wall is viewed, the pattern goes from silver, to white, to charcoal gray. It's mesmerizing.


The whole project took me about 8 hours from start to finish.  But I did it over a couple of days, and I quite enjoyed it actually.  (Once I got that top row done, that is.  I'm not very tall, and even standing on that bar stool, it was a stretch to get it done.) But it wall worth it, because I couldn't be happier with the end result!!


So what do you think? 

Are you brave enough to draw on your walls??

Have a great day~

60 comments:

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

You did an amazing job -- it looks awesome.

Jenny
www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

Janel@hatingmartha said...

This is great! I used a Sharpie on my wall but this is wayyyy cooler and far more work! It looks great!

Gail said...

Wowee! Are you kidding me?! I'm waaaaayyyyy to afraid to draw on my walls, your a brave girl and now you get to reap the beautiful rewards....it's just awesome!

Meredith said...

I was planning to do a stencil treatment in my daughter's new room...but I think I will do this instead!!! Lovely!

Meredith said...

Question though - was it it just the regular width of the marker or did you go over it a time or two to get the width you want? Did it take more than 1 paint pen?

Latoya @ The Scott's Crib said...

You are mad brave! Well done!

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

looks great! and wow what a lot of work! but so worth it, the end result is gorgeous!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hi Meredith, I used the regular Medium Width paint marker (they do have fine tips - but this was just the regular size of say a Sharpie or dry erase marker) and it took about 4 markers to do the whole wall.

Pam from Over the Big Moon said...

WOW is all I can say! I wish I was brave enough... maybe someday I'll get the guts!

Pam
www.overthebigmoon.com

adventuresindinner said...

Wendy! I can't believe (no I can after being a regular reader of your blog) how amazing this is. Brilliant-I too have been lusting after this wallpaper for awhile but at well over a $100 a roll, who buys this stuff?

Carol@HouseandHomeDefined.com said...

I am TOTALLY inspired!! That is incredibly gorgeous. I love it and that is so in my future!! I am a wallpaper freak although I have very little of it. What a great way to get the look for less. Brilliant job.

Bama Girl said...

I love outcomes like yours! I think it was well worth the time and effort you put into it!

McKelle said...

That's awesome! It looks amazing! :)

Lesley said...

Gutsy move with awesome results!

Something Gorgeous said...

That looks amazing, I can't believe you drew it yourself. So very very clever, Well done! x

Katie said...

It looks amazing!!!

gigi said...

Absolutley wonderful!!!!

Pamma said...

Wow! You are amazing! Fabulous job...seriously.
~Pam
pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

EvA. . . said...

that came out beautiful!!!! very nice:)

Renewed Upon a Dream said...

First, it looks absolutely amazing! I would have thought it took you longer than 8 hours to get that done freehand! That was quite some guts you had to take that on (and quite some trust on your husband's part!)

Vanessa said...

Hi, Wendy

The wall looks AWESOME! Great job and love the color you pick as well.

Vanessa

Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Wow! That wall looks amazing!! :)

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Wow, that was a lot of work. It sure paid off, fab outcome.

Susan @ homeroad.net said...

I think it looks fantastic and I'm really glad you didn't find the gray paint sticks because the silver couldn't be better! Love the look and the shine from the silver.
I think I might just try this!
Thanks for the tute!
Susan

modern jane said...

awesome awesome awesome! I can't believe you did that with a magic marker! I also love the grey sideboard!

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

Wendy I love your guts for having the guts to draw on your wall. It is FABULOUS.

Man I wish I could do that. My hand is honestly just not steady enough.

Gwen @ The Bold Abode said...

Lawdy, I am so glad I'm not the only one! I did my breakfast room wall with a Crayola White Board crayon...haven't posted about it yet, though...you beat me to it...hahaha

7 Treasured Acorns said...

What an amazing wall and an ambitious project. I would love to have something like that on my wall but I'm still working on getting the trim right. Great job!

Cyndi

Paige said...

Wow! A-mazing! I don't think I am brave enough, but I have a long, big wall that is driving me nuts, soooo this could be a great idea. Hmmmm....!!!!!

Jos @ Organized Chaos said...

Ca-ute and classy. Love it.

Shirley said...

I am not brave enough to draw on my wall BUT yours looks amazing!

Sandy said...

All I can say is "Wow!" It looks fantastic. Well done my dear.

Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life said...

Amazing! What a great job. I would have never thought of drawing a pattern like that and then using paint pens. I love the metallic pen you chose!

A Vintage Vine said...

231 times...you amaze me! Love this wall and all your wonderful inspiration!

Chessa @ Antsi-Pants said...

It looks amazing! Wow-well done! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

JBH or Mom said...

I used a similar pattern on my wall a few months back. Because I was planning on using an off-white paint, I used chalk to make my design and then I painted over it, that way I wouldn't have to worry about covering/erasing the pencil/marker marks when I painted. Worked like a charm! Beautiful job!!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

You must have the steadiest hand on the PLANET! It looks terrific.

janet said...

WOW...It's hard to believe that the look you got came from a marker..It's AWESOME...

Laura/Hayestone/Design Share said...

I could not live without my silver metallic paint pens!! I have every color they make and use them all the time...including to draw on my walls! But I'm bummed stores have stopped carrying the best ones: Marvy Uchida Paint Pens. Can't find them anymore :-(
Your wall looks great!

Bethanie said...

You did an amazing job!!! Mine would have surely ended up all catty-wompus!! Im so impressed!!

Kat said...

Wow! I am way too anal to even consider attempting something like this (I know I'd stress myself out too much), but I absolutely love it!

Marianne@Songbird said...

Oh wow, that is amazing. The wall of course but also how you did it. I love these walls everytime I see them but the thought of stencilling freaked me out. But this I might be able to do....
Thank you for this wonderful inspiration.

Becky said...

No way I'd do that. I wouldn't be able to keep the template straight. And to spend 8 hours on it...it would have to save me at LEAST $100-120, but since it's hard labor (sore arms, it'd be more), but I know my husband would never think it worth it. Kudos to you though, it looks good!

Jaimee in AK said...

This is so inspiring! Is the wall textured? If not, do you think it would work on a textured wall? Thanks so much for sharing your technique!

Nan said...

I'M ON IT! could i ask you what colour wall paint you used and what the paint pen brand is?? thanks so much for the inspiration !

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Brilliant and beautiful! Props to you for thinking of this then doing it. I would do this for sure, so now I'm checking out my walls....thanks!

Esme said...

looks amazing! Would you please share the paint color you used on the wall. Please!

Design_Fluff said...

The walls look amazing and you're really brave to go through all that;)
I'm not sure I'd have the patience!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hi Everyone who has asked about the paint color on the wall...it was the color that our house was painted when we moved in . I don't know the name, but it is from Sherwin Williams. I will post the formula for you soon. THANKS!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Wow! that is amazing! I just love it and it looks so very nice with the mirror on it! Using four pens isn't bad at all, I thought you had to use about ten! Love the color choice of the pen too!

Bethany said...

It looks absolutely amazing! Definitely the right decision to use silver! What luck! :)

Drama Mama Lori said...

You are so brave! I must try this! Visiting from tatertots and jello, new follower!

Bethany said...

What a beautiful wall! Would you consider posting the template of the pattern you used/made? I'd love to do this in my home. Thanks for inspiring!

Malou said...

Whoa! what an amazing job ~ you can see the creative dedicated home lover behind it all. You had the vision and went for it. Beautiful effect.

Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Your wall looks beautiful! I love it!

Sara said...

This is amazing. I think it was fate that they didn't have the grey pen, because the silver gives it a really nice, sophisticated touch.

Do you have any tips for a steady hand? I fear I would mess up and wouldn't be able to erase.

Great job!!

cathhasablog@gmail.com said...

This looks absolutely amazing, I love how you saw the pattern, copied it and just drew it on! You Rock! :) I love the pattern...actually it's almost identical to the background on my blog!

Cath from Home is Where my Heart is
http://cathhasablog.blogspot.com/

Amy Fountain said...

Wow, really lovely living room!

Celebrating Moments by Marcie said...

i am about to attempt this! thx for the inspiration. Couple questions. Do you have a downloadable template? and what was the brand of paint pen you used. I'm also doing an upolstered headboard.Just saw you did that for your daughters room too! Great minds ;) Anyway will def "site" you when I post it all on my blog.
Thx for all the inspiration!!!! <3

decoguy said...

wow what a great idea, i would have guessed that it was hand drawn. good for you for putting so much effort and time to do this. it turned out beautiful. did you purposely created each pattern to be 8 1/2 " to fit it 21 times across and 11 downwards?