Faux Finish How To: Paint a Faded Floral Design Mural

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Questions about Faux Painting - Faded Flowershow to paint a mural come up often. It’s kind of a difficult question to answer when it’s such a vague question like “How do I Paint a Mural”.   Lol!  ;)  Right?   Reminds me of my teaching days.

But when you ask a question about a specific portion or painting technique for murals…well, I can answer – most – with some ease and clarity.  Keep in mind I said “most”.  :)  I do get stumped now and then.  Shocking…I know…  Lol!! ;)

Anyway…thought I’d share a recent letter with my answers in case anyone else wants to paint a faded mural.  I’ve got three of them in my house!  :)  So here’s the email I got:

Hi Tawn -

I have really enjoyed your tips and expertise.  Thank you very much for sharing so much with me.

I recently did some faux painting in our living room.  I dragged  5″ wide vertical stripes just a few shades darker than the base.  This goes around the entire room about 3/4 of the way down and stops at a chair rail.  I just love the soft effect!  It is barely noticeable but there.  Love it because of it’s subtlety.

Now I would like to paint a soft floral design around the top of the walls.  How do I do this?  I’d like it to be soft and muted.  Look sort of worn and faded.  Barely there.  You know, subtle.  Do you have any tips?

Thanks so much ~

So…have you done this before?  Painted a “faded” mural?  If you have – make sure you leave any tips you have in the comments for the rest of us!  ;)  I’ve got something similar to this in my kitchen, but I’ve also done this sort of thing in many homes and some businesses.  Piece o’ cake!!  Here’s what I told Cheryl.

Hi Cheryl:

Your faux finish sounds WONDERFUL!  Love it!  Now for the mural – FUN!

If you are using stencils to paint a mural:

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For a faded look – I use the oil based stencil paints and with a stencil brush.  Then apply a tiny haze of color.  Like blush or a light powdering on your face.  Some openings will have color on one side and none on the other.  Like half a leaf or petal blended and faded to nothing.

Use less color than you think you need.

The other way to do it is to – again – use less color than you think you need – then leave it alone for a little bit.  Before it dries take a soft cloth or even a paper towel and wipe away some of the color.

If the mural painting is tooo bright when you finish:

Use original wall color (your base color) with glaze to “haze over” the painting.  Thin your paint with glaze and lightly apply to your mural.  You can do this with a sponge or a dry brush.

If you are painting on the mural with brushes:

Here is a tip I use – Draw the art on with water color pencils (this tip will only work on lighter colored walls).  Use the different colors – like greens for leaves.

Then with an artist brush – I use an oil painting brush because the bristle is stiff (like a filbert style) and brush over the top of the drawing with water only.  Just dampen the brush.  It will blend the colors like a water color.  It is really beautiful and so easy.  Very soft.  If you need more color in a flower or ??  Just draw again and blend with more water.

Flowers A to Z With Donna Dewberry: More Than 50 Beautiful Blooms You Can PaintIf you use straight paint – Don’t go too heavy.  Very thin.  Like watercolor.  Donna Dewberry style flowers are hard to have look faded.   If you get too heavy use the same idea as above and “haze over” them to “fade” them out.

I’ve stenciled faux painted walls with heavy color and had the stencil fade in and out around the walls.  It is tricky to paint a mural to look old and faded with bright heavy color.  That’s not to say it can’t be done…it can.  But it is a pain.  :)

I like to paint a mural that is EASY and fun!  No one likes a “painful” mural.  Lol!

Hope this helps.  Now get out there and splash some paint around!

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