Hand Painted Flowers Look Like Wallpaper

I know it looks tedious but this painted floral design was done in layers and the finished product will amaze you! 

One of the keys to successful decorating is flexibility.  Matt would agree whole heartedly, especially since he’s the one who can frequently be found climbing ladders, moving furniture, and hanging light fixtures.  While physical flexibility is certainly a help, flexible thinking is a must!  Oftentimes, we start out with one idea, but the plan seems to evolve and change so that the final project bears little resemblance to the original plan. 


This was certainly the case in a bathroom we decorated. This small bathroom was located directly off the master bedroom.  The bathroom had been made handicap accessible with the addition of wide double doors, which when opened, made the entire bathroom visible from the bedroom. Since it was necessary for the bathroom to closely coordinate with the bedroom, we choose the bedroom wallpaper as our inspiration.  Our first idea was to create a sage green faux linen
finish, since we felt this color would complement the bedroom wallpaper.   It would also provide a nice contrast to the bathroom tiles, making them stand out a bit.  After presenting this idea to the homeowners, we discovered that they were not thrilled with the tiles, and were hoping to minimize their appearance.
It was time for Plan B.

We decided to proceed with the faux linen technique, but to change the color palette to a soft yellow with a light golden glaze.  We felt this color combination would coordinate well with both the bedroom wallpaper, and the bathroom tiles, making the tiles less objectionable. We completed the painting technique, and although it looked very nice, the room seemed a bit drab.  Time for Plan C.


After a bit of discussion, Matt and I decided to combine several painting techniques to create a warmer, more interesting space.  We added soft cream colored stripes accented with a green hand painted vine.  The stripes totally changed the look of the room, and the vines were a perfect accent to the bedroom wallpaper.  The bathroom went from blah to beautiful, just by building on our original plan.  If you’d like to try this technique, here’s what you’ll need:

Materials List:

  • Painter’s blue tape
  • Latex satin paint – color of choice for the basecoat
    - color of choice for stripe
  • Glaze in a color complementary to the basecoat
  • Paint roller and paint tray
  • Weaver’s brush
  • Paper towels
  • Long level
  • Pencil
  • Small artist’s brush
  • Acrylic craft paints for vine and bud

1. Begin this process by masking off the ceiling and baseboards, then applying a base coat of latex satin paint to the walls.

2. After the base coat is thoroughly dry, use blue tape to divide the room into 27” to 36” wide panels.  The room must be divided into panels because, although the
glaze does give you working time, you couldn’t possibly complete an entire wall before the glaze began to set.   To create the linen look, you will work on every other panel, and then go back around the room again to finish.

3. Start by rolling the glaze onto a panel.  After the panel is glazed, use a weaver’s brush and pull the brush vertically from ceiling to floor, repeating until the entire panel has been brushed vertically.  Wipe the excess glaze off the brush as necessary. To complete the panel, begin at the ceiling and use the weaver’s brush to pull through the glaze in a horizontal direction.  Press lightly so you don’t completely erase your vertical lines.  Repeat this movement until the entire panel is finished.

4. Skip the next panel and move on to repeat step 3. Continue in this fashion until the room is complete.

5. Add to the effect by evenly taping off stripes spaced every six inches.  Brush on the stripes and remove the painter’s tape.


6. Next, using the acrylic paint, add a small wavy vine along one side of the stripe to bring in additional color, and some tiny buds here and there to add more detail to your design.  Don’t worry about getting the vines perfect – subtle differences will make the finished product even more interesting.

Stand back and admire the beautiful effect created by combining multiple painting techniques.  Time for Plan D – dinner out at your favorite restaurant as a reward for all this hard work.  Now that’s what I call flexible thinking!


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