Last week I shared that we built a privacy fence in our backyard. We ended up doing a 48′ section and LOVE having it up! But I was craving doing something fun with it! Because who says you have to have a boring fence?! I came up with an inexpensive idea to create a DIY fence mural with flowers and a quote. I’m so excited to show you how this comes together!
how to paint a diy fence mural
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. I’d be over the moon happy if you subscribed to my YouTube channel! Videos are actually released on YouTube first (usually the night before they’re published on the blog). Thank you!
Paint- Coral Fountain and Cascade Green (peonies). Watery and Carbon (banners). Corn Stalk, Lamplit and Back to Nature (yellow flowers). Frittata (small yellow flowers). Shy Smile (cone flowers). Beloved Pink and Ballet Rose (small pink flowers). Ultra Pure White (fence posts).
Pencil or Colored Chalk
Wet Rag (to keep paint brushes fresh while painting)
step 1- make a design on paper
Start by sketching out a design on paper. I looked at a bunch of mural ideas on Pinterest and ended up combining my three favorites with my own ideas to make my plan. I started with pencil and then colored it in with marker. Colored pencil or paint would work too for adding in the color to the plan.
Having it drawn in front of me helped me feel like I could recreate the drawing bigger on the fence. If you’re an artist, you could probably skip this step. But for me (and most people), having a plan was key to making this project happen. The fact is, painting a fence mural is intimidating because of the size (my mural ended up being 10.5’x6′) so doing this helps make the project feel doable.
If I was to do this again, I would have created my sketch on a piece of graph paper. I knew I was dealing with a 6′ high fence so I would have marked off 6 squares for the height (so each square equaled a foot). This would have made creating the design on the fence much easier.
step 2- sketch out the design
If you aren’t curating a mural on a freshly painted fence like I am, make sure to pressure wash the fence or hose it down well before beginning this step. If needed, paint or stain the fence before beginning.
Next, use colored chalk to draw the design onto the fence. The chalk will wipe off to easily change the design. I didn’t do this, but wish I had. I used a pencil and erased the design I did MANY times before getting it right.
What ended up working for me was drawing a grid on the art with 1′ squares. That way I could start in the middle and get the correct proportions as I drew out the banners. On the paper, I marked the middle and on the fence I did the same. I also marked the left and right side and made sure to line it up with my patio. After those were drawn on, I was able to sketch on my first banner in the middle of the fence.
Once I had the first one on correctly, I could move on to the top and bottom banner. Getting the first section drawn correctly was the hardest part of this project. After that, I could draw on the other elements much easier since I could work off the first banner.
Note, a good tip I learned from my readers is to use a projector if you have one to magnify the drawing on the fence. I don’t have a projector, but it would have saved a bunch of time if you have one or can borrow one!
step 3- paint base colors
And now, start painting. I choose to draw on the banners and then paint them. I painted the top and bottom one first and then used the pencil drawn on words to line up the words on the banners I’d painted. Once those were finished, I did the middle banner by painting it and then drawing on the quote again.
I watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials on how to paint murals and lots of people sketched out the WHOLE mural and then painted. For me, it worked better to go from element to element- first the banner, than the peonies, than the yellow flowers. That’s how I sketched out the draft so working that way was successful to me. Do what makes most sense to you though!
Note, painting a fence mural is a little tricky with the gaps in the fence. I did my best to work with them, but it makes a tad more difficult than painting a plain wall. Just something to consider before starting.
Second note, I used latex paint that I bought in a satin finish in sample bottles. I had most of them on hand from when I did my rainbow stairs.
Also, can you see that I got smart and started using painter’s tape to put my drawing on the fence? That helped so I could easily reference it while painting.
step 4- add details
Finally, go back with the paint and add in details. Paint the smaller flowers, the leaves, the highlights on the flowers. This layering of paint is what gives the mural depth and keeps it from looking too amateurish (hopefully).
To add the details, what I did was mixed a small bit of paint with black and the color I was working on. So the peonies are painted with Coral Fountain so I added a few drops of black paint in a second container and I had with more Coral Fountain paint to create a slightly deeper color. This is what I used to outline the orange flowers.
Mixing colors takes time, but saves you from buying more paint. On the pink and yellow flowers, I used another color (the next one on the paint swatch) to add the details. So there’s two options for adding in deeper colors.
This mural took me two full days of painting. It was at least 10 hours of painting. I wish I was kidding! By the end, Don was ready to help and painted a few leaves for me! It’s so fun he put his own stamp on the mural! Ready to see how this labor of love turned out?!
Here she is! The finished mural! I choose this saying because I love the message. So many times in life I’m trying to speed ahead when there’s so much joy in the moment I’m currently in. And also, I thought it would be perfect for when we rent it out as an Air BNB. Won’t this be perfect for people to take their pictures by? Or at least a nice message for travelers.
Here’s some detailed shots so you can see the elements. Most of what I painted are basic shapes, just bigger. I know it might seem overwhelming because I shared exactly how it went for me, but it is doable! Once you have the basic outline on the fence, it’s easy going. If this is something you want to do, it isn’t that tricky. Just slow 😉
Ok, I took way too many pictures, but I’m just SO proud that this major project is done! The fence was a full week’s worth of work just to install. Then this I worked on over 3 days. I’m so glad it’s all wrapped up and that I can enjoy it as we spend the rest of the summer outside. What do you think about it?
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I love this idea! You have created such a cheerful mood where there was nothing cheerful before.
Ashley Wilson says
Thanks Jennifer, I just couldn’t let it stay white😂🙈
Anita Holland says
What a great way to decorate your fence I love it.
Ashley Wilson says
April J Harris (@apriljharris) says
Ashley, you are so talented! This is amazing. Pinning. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful fence mural with the Hearth and Soul Link party.
Ashley Wilson says
Thanks April, I really appreciate it😘
I ADORE this! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm–I’ll be featuring you at tomorrow’s party! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction
Ashley Wilson says
Thanks so much Cecilia!