This is not your typical rainbow wall mural! It’s a reinvented rainbow! I have been working on a rainbow themed room for my client’s 2 year old toddler girl. We started with a blank space. From the beginning, we knew we were going to do an accent wall. When we first started, my client wanted to add decals to the wall. Simple, and easy, but not very impactful. Plus, her daughter would grow out of it after a few years. After many discussions, I somehow convinced her to go a bit bolder (or maybe she decided on her own?!). Let’s walk through how to paint a rainbow mural!
I wanted to keep within the rainbow look and feel, but decided to turn a rainbow on it’s head (almost literally!) Enter: the reinvented rainbow. This geometric rainbow design is SO impactful. It’s fun. It’s exactly what a little girl needs in her bedroom!
Step 1: How to pick rainbow colours
- I struggled for a long time on how to pick the colours. I knew I would integrate a few greens and pink from the ombre watermelon dresser, but I didn’t know how to pick the rest of the colours. This article by At home with Ashley helped a lot.
- At first, I tried to pick muted colours. While at the paint department of Home Depot, I sent my client a snap and said “I am going to go bold instead” and her response to the muted colours? “Those remind me of a hospital waiting room”.. and I couldn’t disagree.
- I picked a bunch of samples. Have you ever noticed that paint colours are arranged in a rainbow? Well, that makes it much easier. I then picked colours that were in the same vibrancy (ie they were all 2nd or 3rd in the sample). I went with a jewel tone. At Home Depot, you can get Behr samples for $5. Well, I bought 11 and was on my way! For this design, you need an odd number of colours.
Step 2: How to tape your vertical stripes on the wall
- Make sure you use frog tape. Spend the extra $5 because it will make the cleanest lines.
Find the centre of your room.
- Using tape, mark how wide you think you want the design to go on the wall. Our wall was 135″, and we decided to leave 29″ on each side. So each stripe was 7″ (77″ wide divided by 11 colours). Adjust your measurements until the width of the stripe is a whole number (at first each stripe was going to be 6.8″ wide. Do you know how hard that would be to measure over and over!!!!??)
- Use a yellow pencil crayon and level and draw the vertical lines. All of them.
- Start taping. Your middle stripe should be 7″ wide without the tape. You can paint the entire stripe. Every other stripe should be a full 7″ from each inside edge of the tape. That means the 2 adjacent stripes will be <7″. We will fix those later.
- Tape up the baseboards
Step 3: How to determine the height of each stripe
- See if there are any vertical markers in the room. Int his room, the top of the window aligned with the top of the doors 7ft. To carry consistency through the room, I used that as my tallest stripe. Each strip was 3″ shorter from that
- I measured the middle strip. I marked it and taped it. Then each subsequent stripe was 3″ shorter.
Step 4: How to paint a rainbow wall mural
- Start by painting the stripes that are 7″ measured properly. You can use any good quality brush. Some more pigmented colours will require 2-3 coats.
- This is where I would do things a bit differently next time. I would then peel off all tape off the 7″ stripes (give it 3-4 hours to dry) and re-tape the stripes that were smaller
- Do any touch ups and WOW isn’t that a beauty
Most common questions
What colours did you use?
All the colours were from the Behr Marquee line in Satin from Home Depot. They are $5, so that’s a score! From right to left, they are:
Custom colour mix: DL 9, TL 47, YL 46
I Heart Potion
How did you pick a design?
I looked around for a lot of inspiration. Then, when my kids were asleep, I got every single colour open and painted a bunch of designs and patterns on paper. I did a 3 before I decided on this colour pattern.
How long did this take you? (I mean, tape you haha)
I think you mean, how long did it tape me. Taping was the most time consuming:
– Pick out colours: 1 hour
– Measure and tape the wall: 2 hours
– Paint, touch ups, etc: 5 hours
I will honestly say that I am a perfectionist. So you may be able to do it faster than me.
What is the base colour of the wall?
I had to paint this room a bright white (Sherwin Williams Extra White in eggshell) so that the rainbow would pop.