Abstract Wall Mural

2 Materials
1 Day

There is a large open landing at the top of the stairs in my house. It’s about 8’ wide, it overlooks the great room and it separates the bedrooms of my older girls from those of the younger children. The wall of the landing is visible from the great room and it was, like ALL of the other walls in this house, just grey.

This is the wall in question – above on the left. To my mind, a large, blank canvas. Sig wasn’t so convinced.

I love color. I hate monochromicity (is that even a word?). I had nothing specific in mind when I started, but murals seem to be a good idea for this house, so I grabbed the painter’s tape and started making lines.

This was my “inspiration” – not these colors, specifically, but the overall idea – abstract, geometric, colorful, and easy-peasy.

Since the landing is part of the kids’ play space, I wanted them to have some input on the decor. When I bought this house, the former owners had left 2 massive bookshelves in it – one downstairs in what was originally the formal living room (now my office) and the other at the top of the stairs. The one upstairs sits against this focus wall and holds all of my kids’ books and board games. So, to get this party started, I took the whole lot of them to Lowe’s and let each child choose any color they wanted. And then I bought “samples” in each of those colors.

These are absolutely amazing; cost about $3 each and have enough paint for my purpose; keeps me from having half empty quarts cluttering up the garage.

So, this is what we came home with. I had to remind myself more than once that these didn’t need to be MY favorite colors…

To further involve the kids, I let them determine color placement themselves. I had each child hold the lid of their paint jar (with the small amount of wet paint on the inside) and gave each of them a Q-tip. One by one, from oldest to youngest, they chose a space and “marked” it with a dot, or a line, or sometimes a bunch of “grafitti” in their paint color. After each of them had chosen their first space, we started over and did it again. And again. Until all the spaces were marked.

I’m not brave enough – or crazy enough – to have them more involved than that… especially on my brand new carpet. So, I did the painting.

One color…

After another…

Until the wall was completely covered.

And there was nothing left to do but carefully remove the painter’s tape.

We even painted the outlet covers and switch plates to match (I let the kids help with this; on top of a drop cloth, of course).

I love it. The kids love it. Even Sig, who gave me the whale eye and a “you’re doing WHAT?” when I first started, he loves it too. Since you can see the wall from downstairs, he says it really makes it “pop”. Yup. That was what I was going for. Mission accomplished.

From the family room (and a big ladder) –

The colors used were Valspar -

Turquoise Porcelain - light greenish tint, color 5002-5C

Berries Galore - bright pinky purple, color 4001-10B

Sea Swell - dark greenish tint, color 5008-10C

Wishing Well - medium blue, color 5002-10C

Savvy Pink - light pink, color 1006-4B

Suggested materials:

  • Paint  (Lowe’s)
  • Painter’s tape  (Lowe’s)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Miriam W.
    Miriam W.
    on Apr 12, 2021

    Nice job!! What is the color of the first paint used?

    • Stef
      on Apr 12, 2021

      I posted the colors above - but that first one was Turquoise Porcelain :)

Join the conversation

3 of 5 comments
  • Diana Runs with Scissors
    Diana Runs with Scissors
    on Apr 11, 2021

    Love, love, love this. You know what I remember and I miss? When we were kids in school, we used to display our papers on the windows of the school. People walking by could see what we made and whose name was on each project. Now, they build schools with teeny tiny windows and have to display artwork down the halls instead of windows for outsiders to see. (I hate it when a minority of grumpy people take away things that make us happy, and now we have to keep children safe with fewer windows and access points. But that's a topic for another discussion.) But I was thinking if you did not have furniture over all of the geometric spaces that each child chose, you could attach a very tiny bulletin board or piece of cork where they could tack their school paper of the week or something they made to display it. Or one of the geometric portions could be painted in the color the child chose and use paint that chalk could draw on. You could write their chores of that week, or important numbers for their coaches, or any reminders. Just a thought. The lovely creativity I see here brings so many ideas to my mind. Each child could remember the color they chose and look for special messages on it. Just another thought.

    • Stef
      on Apr 12, 2021

      I love it! I may add shapes in different spaces on the landing for that purpose! Great idea!!!

  • Miriam Illions
    Miriam Illions
    on Apr 20, 2021

    That is one cool accent wall!

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