Sharpie Paint Pen Arrow Nursery Wall
**See the finished room here.**
So the nursery was painted for about 30 seconds before I decided we needed a feature wall.
I had it in my head that the feature wall would NOT be on the biggest expanse of wall, the one right behind the crib. I was convinced it would make the room too busy, be too “in yo face” in such a tiny little room.
So I opened Indesign and started fooling around with the opposite door wall, imaging it would be something nice to gaze upon while rocking Peanut #2 to sleep in the big orange chair. Since arrows, triangles, and geometric shapes in general have become our theme, that’s what I worked with.
I’d pretty much scrapped a painted wall design option minutes after finishing the first three concepts.
Any time you paint stripes or, in the case of the triangles, sponge a design on the wall, you’re stuck with it. I knew this to be the case but was further convinced after reading Michelle’s “Truth About Striped Walls”—a hilarious/tear-inducing tale of one woman’s battle against painted wall stripes.
If you aren’t sure, DON’T DO IT!! And I wasn’t in love with anything.
I tossed around the idea of decals for a bit…surely I could whip up some vinyl arrows on my Silhouette machine? But I wasn’t thrilled.
Concept #4 happened about a week after the initial three. I remembered an awesome wall treatment from the fabulous Mandi at Vintage Revivals blog, something I’ve had on the back burner to try on a wall in our house for some time now. She used a Sharpie Paint Pen to create a geometric design on her living room wall and again on an office wall…
…looking at this picture got me thinking about the crib wall again.
The subtleness of the paint pen design would be a) more delicate b) would have that ‘hand drawn,’ imperfect look, and c) would not be hard to paint over if I get sick of it in a few months.
I picked up a couple paint pens at Michael’s (about $2.50/each) and decided to give them a try. I inadvertently got one water-based and one-oil based, it didn’t occur to me there’d be an option! I’d advise always sticking with water based whenever possible, but since I would only need the oil-based yellow one for a few little lines, I kept it.
One more quick photoshop on the wall…just to be totally sure…
…and it was time to
paint draw. I assembled my tools—they originally included a laser level dealy-bob I’d purchased ages ago but was quickly forgotten because I wanted to smash it into a million pieces after trying for 15 minutes to get it placed properly without success.
My good ole yard stick and a couple levels got me through just fine. No fancy contraptions needed.
Since I had everything measured out in InDeisgn, I started with drawing my floor to ceiling lines, eight inches apart. I started in the middle so I’d get the maximum arrows before running out of room. The angle of the arrows and their placement took a little trial and error. I wanted them to be random, but also wanted things to make sense…so not TOO random.
I also toted a piece of cardboard around to get my pen going when it dried out. Some shakes, a few taps on the cardboard, and I was back in business.
Here’s how it came together…
The progress photos were just begging to become an animated .gif! I couldn’t resist.
It took me about two days, sneaking in a hour here and there, to get everything the way I wanted. If I screwed up (which happened several times) the lines were super easy to paint right over or I could even wipe away mistakes if I caught ’em before they dried. I did everything in white, then went over a few random lines with yellow.
We are totally thrilled with the result.
And it cost a total of $5.
I added the chair to the corner and put the crib in place, just to get a feel for the space.
We also put down the amazingly lovely Urban Outfitters Herringbone rug, thinking it was perfect, but the size just wasn’t right. Finding the perfect rug for this space is going to be tough.
Oh well, at least we’ll have a pretty wall!
Every giant step forward makes all the other little steps seem that much harder. I’m rounding out (literally) at 29 weeks and we still have plenty of things on the nursery list:
- wall art
- diaper pail (needs to be SMALL)
- finish the dresser/changing table
- foot stool
- side table
- door hardware (thanks to the readers who’ve sent suggestions!!)
To urge my progress, the room is a mess. Bins of clothes, blankets, diapers, burp cloths piled on the floor. Shelf and lighting options leaning against the walls. A ladder. A crib full of more stuff. You make one wrong move in there and the place comes crashing down.
Small, but perfect.
Now can someone pick out a rug for us? Please?
See the finished room here.