Thursday, October 13, 2011

The King's Speech walls were calling my name...

The first time I saw "The King's Speech" I didn't even notice the plot or the actors.

I was too busy looking at the walls.

What glorious walls they are! I wanted to come home to those walls.

This week when Mr. Wonderful decided to paint the living room and accidentally left the pumpkin peeking through the ochre color I couldn't resist trying my own version.

Want to try it at your house? Here's how I did it:

At first it looked like someone had just grabbed the leftover paint and dashed it all over the walls.
Guilty as charged.

That's how you start. Just splodge on whatever you've got.
 Use an old brush or two, or ripped up towels... just make sure the edges are all soft. 

Rub it hard with a rag. 
Keep on rubbing with the same ratty old rag.
The colors will run together and look a tad muddy.

Hooray! Don't give up... you're getting there.

And as Mr. Wonderful told me, "Don't worry, it's just paint!"

The key to this look is layer over layer over layer. 
Once you get two or three layers everywhere, switch to the colors you're really going to want to show.

Next, add patches of dramatic color- I used barn red and forest green. On the same rag!

A little hint if you do this project... it's counterintuitive, but using the same rag for multiple colors lends a really nice blending. Rub until almost all the color is used up before dipping into the paint pot again.

Build up layer upon layer. 

It all blends together in the end, layer after layer taking on a rich patina.

I used only leftover paints from the garage, then I added pigments brought home from the ochre mines in France.

When I pulled out decorative elements, the background colors shone through.

When you're finished painting, mix up some flour and water paste and glue on random bits of paper. I distressed mine with walnut ink and added vintage papers from the 1920s. 

You might want to add a piece of molding on top- ours is carved & detailed.

Don't you love the muted, weathered look?

My wall isn't exactly like the one in the movie, but I love the result. 

If you decide to go for it and make your own version of the King's Speech walls I'd love to see what you did. 


Sherrie Spangler said...

This is FABULOUS! I'm going to send your link to all of my friends. Unfortunately, I'm renting and don't think my landlord would appreciate the artistic touch to his walls.

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

HA...I thought I was the only one who noticed Lionel's wall...I noticed what a wonderful background for a photography studio it would make.

And what inspiration it gave you.

We need to love the environment that we live in.


Sandy said...


Anonymous said...

So nice Sharyn!! Well done!

Susan Ernst said...

An entire wall as canvas for an abstract painting. Wonderful!

Sharyn Sowell said...

Ellen said...

Your walls look much better than the King's. Artists have unique eyes that see what our plain ole eyes don't see. I would have looked at the King's wall and said yuck. I would have painted it over with a plain simple color. But you did one up on the king. Congratulations--you win the wall contest.

lisa forkas said...

Nice work, thanks for the inspiration and advice!

Eu said...

Like you I was hypnotized by that wall. I wish I had your courage to do it! Did you know they used paper scraps as well?
Your wall is just staggering! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

I recorded the movie, ran it back a million times and froze on the wall. I photographed it and dreamed of it. I began collecting mismixed paint and test paints. I researched like crazy and found a lot of conflicting comments about this wall. I am mad for it. I am starting my wall soon, having collected all of the paint. Can't wait to get going. How many days did you spend on this wall, and were you letting coats dry in between? I plan on working it until it pleases me. Excited! wanna help?