DIY Fun Challenge - Birch Log Painting

Holly Grace
by Holly Grace
It occurred to me the other day that I have over a thousand projects pinned on my DIY to-do list Pinterest board, and do you know what? I haven’t done near as many as I should have! So in an effort to try out all the projects I have pinned, I am going to do a DIY challenge every Friday. I will pick a fun project that I pinned and do it myself. I will let you know how easy it was to do, and share with you my pictures! I encourage you all to get out there and test out all the DIYs that you have pinned and saved to your Hometalk boards!
If you have ever done a project that I have posted, send me your pics! I would love to see them!
Let’s get started with today’s project. This one has been on the to-do list for a while! I am so glad I finally did it! It is a beautiful DIY and very fun to do. I hit some bumps on the road, but I am pleased with the end result.
This is a fun little project that I found over at Alexis’ blog, Persia Lou. If you have a minute you should check out her blog. She has tons of great DIY tutorials that are easy to follow, and this is one her projects that I have been just itchin’ to try out.

image credit - Persia Lou
So I started out with a canvas (mine was 16×20), some painter’s tape, and an old credit card just like Alexis instructed.
Next, as Alexis instructed, I taped off the canvas where I wanted the birch trees to be… so far so good.

To get tree trunks of different sizes, Alexis mentioned to double up the tape. She also showed in her tutorial to cross over the tape so that you would have a tree in the background. This is such a cool effect.
Next, I chose the color that I wanted to be the background. I chose Robins Egg Blue in just a simple acrylic craft paint. I really liked the colors in Alexis’ tutorial, so I wanted something similar to hers.
I painted over the canvas with my paint. Still on track…
Next, I removed the tape and this is what I had. Great! Looks very similar to the one in Alexis’ tutorial.
Next, came the “fun” part, and I only say it like that because I should have listened to Alexis suggestion and I didn’t! You see, she said in her tutorial that for the “credit card technique” you should practice first on a piece of scrap paper before applying to the canvas. Me, being the smarty pants that I am, decided that I didn’t need to do this — big mistake!

My black lines ended up being waaaay too thick, and not natural looking at all! But I carried on and thought I would get better.

(** I didn’t take any pictures of me doing the “credit card technique” cause at this point I was totally distraught** So word to the wise, when someone tells you to do something in a tutorial… just do it! You can see how to do the technique over at Alexis’ blog -
There were a couple trees that were alright, but look at the second one in from the left…eeek. It looks like a cow or something.
Yah, this just wasn’t going to do. So, I sat there for a minute, stared at it and seriously thought about painting over it and starting from there very beginning, but I really didn’t want to do that.

I knew there had to be some way to get rid of the black without wrecking the entire painting. I just went with my gut and grabbed some rubbing alcohol and some cotton eye pads.
I rubbed out the areas where the black paint looked like, well for lack of a better word, crap.

I was a little sad when I realized I would be very hard pressed to get the canvas back to white again.
But the more I looked at it, I realized that I kind on liked the grey look instead of the white. So I just went with it.

I have to say that I am pretty glad I turned this around. Now I just had to re-do the black lines again… and this time I practiced first!
Not to bad, right?
You just never know what you can do until you try!! So again, I encourage you all to get off Pinterest and start making your pins!!! :D

Head over to Persia Lou and show her some love as she is the original creator behind this gorgeous idea!

To see the full post check out my blog, too!
Holly Grace
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Jackie Peck Jackie Peck on Sep 06, 2017

    I think it looks great, I so want to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Oct 01, 2017

    I love Birch trees too. As a matter of fact, the first thing we did when we moved into this house in 1972 was to plant a Birch tree. I love the look of the bark. I was going to try to paint something like this on the wall behind my bed as a 'headboard', but I didn't know how. I ended up with a beautiful 4' painted metal piece of art that I truly love. I will be pinning this though and I WILL find a place to put it. I have a white desk in my office that I'm going to trim with gray. I have black and white canvas pictures of my grand kids on the wall, but I think the birch bark painted in the background would be perfect. BTW, I think your 'mistake' made the bark look SO MUCH better. It gives it more depth and I just think it's beautiful! I can hardly wait to finish up my project that are in progress so that I can start this. Thank you so much for sharing 'mistakes' and all!

    • Anita L. Allee Anita L. Allee on Mar 20, 2020

      Many of the birch are a cream or beige color. The bark that is turned back on mine is tan and it still has the black markings, which I read are it's way of exchanging gases, rather than through the leaves, like most trees. Good painting.