To me, it just screamed “Train Station.” As I toured the church building for the first time, still under construction, I knew immediately what I could do. They had already asked me to paint a train in the Kid’s Ministry area and call it “The Grace Express,” but the thing that first struck me was the wall of brick…and the fact it was leading up to a wall with a hole for a window. Knowing this is where parents would be checking in their kids on Sunday mornings, it was the ideal location for a train station. Named after the church, we’re calling it “New Foundation Station.”
I started by giving the white brick a little more character. Using four shades of paint all in the same brown/beige family, and a moist sponge, I rubbed color onto each brick, mixing it up as I went along. I never cleaned the sponge as I dipped between the dark and light paints, this way no two bricks would look exactly alike.
Once I was happy with the brick, I painted a few faux bricks onto the wall with the window. I made sure they were not only the exact same size and colors, I painted them in line with the real bricks to make it look more believable. From that point forward, everything else on that wall sort of fell into place.
The wall to the right was painted sky blue, to make it look as if you are approaching the train station from the outside. A railroad crossing sign and a park bench were added to give it the outdoor feel. Because I didn’t have the right shade of green paint for grass, I worked with what I did have, and that was more of a mustard yellow. So, just like that, all my outdoor scenes were painted to look as if it is autumn.
My husband, who always seems to get roped into my projects, built a wooden frame for me, so that I could put an awning above the window. I upholstered it with a table cloth I found at the thrift store. It was the perfect shade of green, and it was just a few dollars. (Only the side panels are sewn, the rest I just stapled into place.)
I then hung a lantern that I found in the clearance section of Ross. It wasn’t the right color, and I had to scrape off some really cute decals of chandeliers that were on the glass, but by golly, I was determined to have the type of red lantern I picture a train engineer holding. After spray painting it red, I even rubbed on a little black so it wouldn’t look so shiny and new.
A poster of a train and a hand-painted sign showing all The Grace Express Destinations were placed in some cool, matching, industrial-looking frames that were made by a crafty church member out of scrap wood he found in Ikea’s bargain section. Then we hung them right where people can see them when they walk up to the train station.
At this point, the only thing missing is the sound track of trains, giving young visitors the full Train Station experience. Of course, we’ve only just begun to pick up steam. I’ll show you what I painted down the hallways and into each classroom in my coming blogs.
Now, check out I Think I Can, I Think I Can (Train Murals Part-3) .