One of the very first murals I ever painted was for an expectant mom who wanted a Frog Prince Nursery for her soon-to-be-born baby boy. He’s in 3rd grade now, but to this day, his nursery is still one of my favorite projects of all time. I think it’s because of the mother’s fabulous taste. She didn’t want some Winnie the Pooh mural in primary colors. She wanted something classic, yet understated. She even pointed to a book of nurseries done by designer Wendy Bellisimo. I was in awe. I knew I could paint it, I just wasn’t sure how to make the overall effect look airy and muted.
After her husband agreed to smooth out the heavily textured walls and install wainscoting on the lower half, I got to work. The castle came first. I sketched it out in pencil to make sure it would be level, then I painstakingly painted each stone, trying to vary the color.
Once the castle was painted, everything else sort of flowed out from there, until eventually all four walls were filled with grassy hills and valleys, ponds and waterfalls, and of course, plenty of frogs. Just for fun, I even worked in the family dog…who was such a key member of the family, he was the ring bearer when the parents got married!
With everything painted, the only thing I had to figure out was how to give the entire mural a muted look. So I took a slightly off-white paint and watered it down. Then, using a sponge, I lightly washed it over every inch of the walls. It was perfect. It made it look misty, and the colors were more understated, just like mom wanted. Can you see the difference from the brighter colors above?
The only thing left to do was add a peek-a-boo feature on one of the walls. Once again, Dad helped out, making a lightweight wooden door that we attached to a painted barn. And just look who was inside waiting to be kissed!
Sweet and interactive, this Frog Prince Nursery came out darling. Mom loved it so much, she confessed years later, that when her little boy outgrew it, she didn’t want to paint over it. So, she moved him into another room, and turned this nursery into her craft room. I love it! Of course, she can do whatever she wants. Her home is her castle!