SK on Elderberry
SK on Elderberry
  • Hometalker
  • Bonners Ferry, ID

An Almost There Family Tree


This wonderful house had some "uneasy" areas. This was a walk-way to nowhere and was very difficult to decorate. The amazing rod iron handrail made it almost impossible. The client wanted a painted family tree for all her family portraits and family collections.
I was set to paint a very large branched tree trying to figure in all her collections. Which were cool. But I didn't want the wall to complete or take away from the incredible iron work. We also had to contend with a stove pipe right through the center of the wall.
I drew and cut out a tree stencil from many taped pieces of brown rolled paper. As I started to draw the tree on the wall, it just didn't feel right so I stopped, took a seat and watched the wall as the sun changed angles.This is what I came up with.
I taped the paper tree into place and started using a sponge technique to color around the tree lightly. When I took the paper down the entire tree was in relief. Going back I accentuated darker and lighter areas of the wall behind the painting.
We discovered this was the way to go. My client was thrilled and started to hang and arrange things as the paint was drying. It was fun to help her with size, shape and texture as she added her precious things.
The walls were textured with a heavy trowel finish, painted cream and then antique washed with umber. A paper template for the tree was taped to the wall,
The walls were textured with a heavy trowel finish, painted cream and then antique washed with umber. A paper template for the tree was taped to the wall,
Sponging an outline of the tree.
Sponging an outline of the tree.
The view from up above.
The view from up above.
Almost done. Just a few highlights and lowlights to finish.
Almost done. Just a few highlights and lowlights to finish.
I couldn't stop her from envisioning where her extensive family pictures were going to go.
I couldn't stop her from envisioning where her extensive family pictures were going to go.
Our day was gone and a few of the items were placed. She is anxious to get all her picture frames painted the same color. Placing textural interest was a future project.
Our day was gone and a few of the items were placed. She is anxious to get all her picture frames painted the same color. Placing textural interest was a future project.

Top Hometalk Projects

14 Cool Ways To Upholster Chairs That You Can DIY
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
Gardeners: Copy These 28 Stunning Ways To Display Your Plants
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
31 American Flag Ideas That Will Fill You With Pride
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Jessie
    on Jun 26, 2017

    Other than ensuring your sponging tool remains ON TOP of the stencil.. how else do you ensure that the lines stay sharp and don't get under the edges? Thanks!

Join the conversation

3 of 5 comments
  • Jessie
    on Jun 22, 2017

    Beautifully done! It's almost a mysterious looking tree.. So just so I understand you sponged on the OUTSIDE of the from?
    • SK on Elderberry
      on Jun 22, 2017

      Hi Jessie and thanks for the question. Yes, the painting was done around the outside of the form. I call it negative stenciling. I took way more time to cut and tape the paper tree together than painting the actual wall tree. We had such fun. Thanks for joining. SK on Elderberry sksartell.blogspot.com

  • SK on Elderberry
    on Jun 27, 2017

    Hi Jessie.

    Thanks for your question.

    I previously used a stencil spray glue, but found the slight residue irritating.

    I double back tape often. Specifically at branches and detail. When I paint, I use a dry brush technique. My brush is dry with very little paint on it. As I brush, I always brush towards the outside edge of my stencil. This keeps the paint from being pushed under the edges.

    After I have finished, I might need to touch up the edges for a sharper and cleaner edge.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Thanks for joining in.

    SK on Elderberry
    sksartell.blogspot.com
Your comment...