Your finished product!
Warning: there's a lot of free hand in this project, and I completed this over about a month while working full time as well. It's a labour of love, but I feel it was worth it.
Step 1: Clean That Wall!
Some people would recommend sugar scrub, I personally preferred a little elbow grease.
I used luke warm water and washing up liquid. Sure, it took some of the paint off but I wasn't too bothered about it.
The wall in question is old and not flat, but that's ok - we all have imperfections.
Step 2: Sketch Out Your Design
I googled for my favourite pattern - Paisley and considered all sorts of options.
In the end I freehanded the whole design. I drew it onto the wall with a normal pencil - quite a light one (2H) for me - but any pencil will do. Be aware that some lighter colours won't cover the pencil marks, so you may want to rub them out (erase, for those Americans here) before you paint over them. You won't be able to get rid of them once you've painted over them.
Step 3: Mask Out Your Edges
If you're going to the edge of another wall and you don't want paint on it, make sure to mask out that area. I've had all sorts of trouble with masking tape over the years, none seem to work for me so it must be my skill level with it.
In the end I always settle for the cheapest tape I can find.
Step 4: Get Your Tools
I used a mixture of emulsion paint tester pots, which are really cheap and go a long way with such fine detail work, and acrylic paint.
Acrylics are my favourite paints to work with. They cover everything, dry quickly and waterproof, come in a wide range of colours and are easy to manoeuvre on all sorts of surfaces.
I used a selection of artists brushes for my wall, hard wearing rougher brushes are fine for this type of work because the wall is quite an unforgiving surface on brushes.
Once I'd done filling in the bulk of the bright colours I went in and did fine details with my metallic golds and copper paints. These have poor coverage and you'll likely want to put a sympathetic base colour under them.
Step 5: Outlines
I outlined my work with a black marker pen.
Tisk tisk, not using paint I hear you say! I have very poor motor control of my hands and find a pen much easier to control, my local town didn't have any paint pens so I went with the next best thing.
When it comes to painting over this wall I'd recommend getting the paint thinners out on it anyway, to smudge it down to a single colour.
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Please be positive and constructive.