Not long ago I decided I really needed to up the cool factor to my son's bedroom. It had always just been a plain old blue. He has always loved Mario so we decided that would be a good theme to go on. I had seen the wall clings but they just didn't quite fit what I was looking for. We needed something bigger that tied in more of the room. I finally stumbled on the idea of just painting it right on the walls. I decided if all else failed, I could just paint back over it again. He started playing SNES Super Mario World when he was 5 and loved it even though he quickly beat it several times. So I thought that would be a really cool retro theme for his room. Plus its totally unique and cool as well as being simpler to do than the new high-res Mario. I tried to take some pictures through the process that I will use throught this Instructable. Hopefully this Instructable will give you some ideas and tips to help you along. I didn't track it but I spent probably $30 - $50 on this project and probably spent a good 15 - 20 hours working on it off and on for a couple months. Pretty much the only cost was on the Home Depot sample paints, they were perfect for this project. I used the Behr and Gliden 8oz sample paints that are tintable to any color you can find for about $3 or $4 each. I did opt for the quart size for the green because there was so much of it and I didn't want to run out.
Optional but VERY helpful:
Step 1: Step 1: Pick your theme
Step 2: Step 2: Plan your layout
This step is also important for later steps. You will want to take some decent quality images of the area you are going to paint. Try to take them as straight on as possible. Also, you may want to clean the room first, as you can see in my photos, I didn't do this! Now, find a good image of what it is you want to turn the room into. Personally I used a SNES emulator on my PC and took screenshots of the features that I wanted in the room.
Now in photoshop or gimp or something similar, open both images. Using your room image as the base, remove the features that you want to add to your room from the other image and paste them into the room. Photoshop layers are wonderful for this. I created a layer for each item (Mario, Yoshi, coins, mushrooms....) and placed them around the room in a layout that flowed nicely. You can easily duplicate layers and move things around as you work in Photoshop. You may need to do some scale adjustments, be careful with this as you don't want to warp the dimensions of the item and make it look out of place. Take your time here and get what you want while you can change it easy. Be careful though, the more you get caried away, the more work you will have later on.
Once you are done here you should have a nice image of your room that you can print. Print this out the best you can. The larger the better. Also, be sure that your colors look right, this is your cheatsheet for the rest the project. Be sure to save this image for the next step as well.
Step 3: Step 3: Painting Prep
Step 4: Step 4: Begin the Painting
While you are painting, keep a printed copy of your final layout handy as a reference. You can see mine in several of these images. This will help you decifer your previous chicken scratch on the wall and keep you on track. This is your map from now on. Work from it for everything from selecting paint colors to brushing in the fine details. Its like paint by numbers without the numbers.
Step 5: Step 5: Clean up
Depending on how much time you spent earlier on, this may not be needed. However I was a bit sloppy in my initial template so I had some cleanup to do. Try using a soft towel with a little soap and warm water to rub out all the pencil marks that you didn't paint over. If you have extra paint marks, you may need to get the original wall color out and go over this. I was very careful not to get paint where I didn't want it and luckily this wasn't an issue for me. Be gentle as you don't want to ruin your masterpiece or mark up the walls any. If you used normal interior paint you really shouldn't have any future issues with it.