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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Clark

How To DIY $600 Watercolor Rainbow Mural for $17 [video]

There is a very popular – and very expensive – watercolor rainbow wall mural that I loved and when asking the girls what they wanted in their new room, they chose rainbows. Here’s how I show you to do it yourself.

When we first got the keys to the new house, my priorities were as follows:

  • Paint & set up the girl’s bedroom

  • Organize the kitchen

  • Shower curtains (because we didn’t have them the first couple nights lol

One of our favorite features, and I am still having a hard time nailing down which are the favs, but having high ceilings in a house is just so satisfying. Every house we lived in has had incredibly low ceilings, and john being tall it just felt like a cloud was hanging over us all the time, lol. Okay, maybe not that dramatically low, but it felt like it.

Here is the AneWall Wall mural I found and knew our girls would love – for the size we needed it would have been $600 (gulp) and I cannot justify spending that amount of money for something that can be done by hand.

What you’ll need:

  • Paint sample colors ( I used: Valspar Indulgent Peach, Cooled Blue, Powdered Peach, Mango Cooler, & Barrier Reef)

  • Sponge

  • Small/shallow tray (I used a Tupperware lid) for dabbing water on the sponge

  • Old towel to use in case you add too much water to the sponge

  • Either a box, or piece of cardboard, to dab the sponge onto for paint

So, I went to Lowes, selected 5 colors for them to shade sample paints (the sample pots were $3.95) grabbed a paint sponge, and went home to make it happen.

On the first color closest to the ground I wanted to see which method was going to work best to create a watercolor effect seeing as I had to use water, without letting it run down the wall. Nobody wants a raining rainbow lol.

Sponges before use are very stiff, so once you wet it, it’ll become very pliant and malleable. I used a towel to squeeze excess water from it to be safe the first attempt and patted the shape of the arch very lightly with a minimal amount of paint.

When I say minimal, I mean like a smidge, a dab, a little spot the size of a dime on the sponge. If you make it too opaque (bold and less transparent) it will not have a watercolor look.

*Something to keep in mind: this is not meant to be perfect, the lines aren’t sharp, and you can allow for some asymmetrical arches. So as you progress, they may be off slightly, but get your general arch shape done first. Read below for the how-to on that!

After I had the general shape of the arch, I then dabbed a little water onto the sponge, and sort of swished the existing paint on the wall in circles to spread it out a little wider. You will notice as you progress that your technique will improve and you will find the style and look that works best for you! So use this method as your starting point and just have fun learning – I know I sure did! Here is a video showing how I did it:

After you finish swishing in circles, add a very slight amount of paint back onto the sponge and dab it on your cardboard piece before touching the wall and just pat the sponge here and there to create texture on your arches.

Wash your sponge after each color and be sure to squeeze it in the towel so its not overly wet. I made the mistake on my third arch and it was too saturated and I had some water lines running. But don’t worry! That is why we have the old towel. You can dab with that if needed, or if your shape is off, leaning too far to one side, just swipe it some before it dries. And if worse comes to worst: simply let it dry and paint over it, to try again!

Once I finished all 5 arches, I let the dry and came back with just a damp sponge, and dabbed/swished/rubbed some of the harsher edges and lines to make sure it was a watercolor look for each line.

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