If you paint on walls, sooner or later a friend or two will ask you to paint on their wall. And sooner or later you’ll be asked to paint two things – clouds and a tree.
I dunno why, but tree murals are my #1 request. Thank goodness, because clouds are a real pain in the neck.
By the way, the mural in this room will soon have clouds on the ceiling. Yep, they emailed me this morning.
I have a super easy way to paint trees. Here’s what I use:
I have two ‘secret weapons’. 1) a foam roller and 2) Floetrol.
But for wall murals? Especially on textured walls? I can’t do without it. It helps get the paint into the nooks and crannies, besides just helping the paint flow really smoothly.
Anyway, the first thing I do is load my foam roller in Floetrol, then pick up some brown paint. One or two shades, it really doesn’t matter.
Once you roll on the brown (and it’ll be kinda light), take a regular paint brush (like a trim brush or even a chip brush will work) and add some vertical lines to the tree trunk. Also use your brush to smooth out any roller marks or blotches.
It helps to have a friend at this point because you’ll have your roller, your paintbrush and your paint palette. If your friend holds one of the three, it’ll save your knees some wear and tear from going up and down the ladder.
I’m just sayin’ . . .
After I’ve rolled on the entire trunk and smoothed it out with a brush, I add a few branches. These are intentionally short branches for this tree, but you could make yours as long as you want.
I rolled as much as I could, but had to use the brush for a lot of the painting.
After I’ve rolled on the first coat I take my paintbrush and add some more of the brown paint here and there.
Next I roll on a couple of shades of green. I don’t even rinse the foam roller. Too hard to get all the water out and you’ll have drips everywhere. Let some of the residual brown mix with your green – works quite nicely.
You could actually leave your tree like this if you wanted to. But I wanted to lighten and brighten this tree up a bit.
I rolled on some lime green over my first coat of green.
Then with a really light green I started painting leaves.
But I knew this was gonna take a while and if I’m on a ladder, I don’t want anything to take a ‘while’.
So I started mush-pushing the lightest green. The vertical arrow shows my mushies. The horizontal arrow on the upper right shows the leaves.
Not much difference is there.
You can read how I do the mush-push here but basically it’s taking an edge of a flat brush and pushing the paint onto the wall.
Then just add a dinosaur and your tree’s all done!