A few weeks ago, I shared my plan to paint a soft landscape mural in my dining room. The dining room is one of the smallest non-bathroom rooms in the house and it’s square with a large window and two large doorways, making it a little awkward. I feel like it needs something that is a show-stopper in order to make it a special room and I think a mural can be that show-stopper.
When I shared my idea, I also shared my inspiration – Susan Harter Mural Papers. Every mural that I found on Pinterest and Google image searches seemed to be by her. I just love the soft colors and traditional style of her murals, so that was the direction I wanted to go.
Well, one of her clients alerted her to my post and she reached out to me directly. We got along like two peas in a pod. I admire her so much as an artist, an entrepreneur, and how passionate she is about what she does. She also cares about making a custom product accessible on a wide variety of budgets. She sent me samples and we costed out my plan to see if it would work for me to use her mural papers in my room.
I was excited at the idea, since I would be getting “the real thing” instead of my copy. In the end, though, I decided I wanted to paint it myself. I will share all of the details of the process of working with Susan, though, for those who would want to use her mural papers to get this look.
If your interest is already piqued, Susan does offer free samples and you can order them HERE.
Once I made the decision to DIY the mural, I had to figure out my approach. I thought it might be a crazy idea, but I kept coming back to the notion of using MMS Milk Paint for the project. I’ve used it on walls before and I’ve used it for painting landscapes before, but I was still a bit skeptical about it. Did I just want to use it, because it was my paint or would it really give me the look I wanted?
What finally convinced me to try it was the color palette. When I laid them out next to my favorite sample from Susan, the colors were perfect.
From top to bottom, it’s Shutter Gray, Boxwood, Lucketts Green, and Kitchen Scale. Aren’t they perfect? Of course, I’ll need to supplement the palette with some acrylics, but I’ll be able to use milk paint for the bulk of the mural.
On a whim, I decided to test it out this morning to see if it would work. There I was, mixing milk paint and brushing it on my walls while still in my pajamas. I was going to just test it out, but it looked perfect, so I painted the Lucketts Green base on all four walls.
I only used about two tablespoons of powder and mixed it with about a cup of water, so the mixture was very thin. I love how it ended up looking almost like watercolor and it was so simple to brush it on. I did all four walls in about 20 minutes.
I allowed the paint to be a little drippy in some places, so it will give some interesting texture. And remember this is just the foundation, so there will be trees and tufts of grass over it.
I applied the paint with a double-thick 3″ chip brush (similar to this one) in order create lots of texture with the bristles and cover a lot of area quickly.
I just loaded the brush with paint and applied it quickly in slightly crisscrossed, but mostly horizontal strokes.
As I got closer to the “horizon line”, I wanted the color to fade away, so it gave an illusion of depth. In order to achieve that, I dipped my brush in water…
And applied it to the wall, blending it down into the paint that was a little more opaque. I just let color from the brush carry through the water.
The overall result was great! I’m so excited about how it’s looking and I plan to work on it more tomorrow. I am going to raise the horizon line a bit more, so it’s a little higher than the level of the table and buffet. I’ll then start working on adding a hint of sky and some distant foliage and hills.
I’ll be refinishing the dining room table soon as well and I’m excited to see this room come together…