All Treed Up

by Cait

Back in October I mentioned that I wanted to paint birch trees on one of the walls in our living room.  We thought it would help define the area where we have a second table (which is sort of a long story in it self) in our 20×20 living room, instead of just having a seemingly random table sort of “floating”.  The fact that there is a beam in the ceiling and down the wall (to the left of the frame in the picture below) helped convince us that it wouldn’t be too weird to paint this section.

Other Table

I found this image (below) by Google searching, and while I loved it I didn’t really want to spend what they were asking for the decals.

from Etsy

I debated about free-handing some trees using this as an inspiration picture, but we decided the best option was probably to project the image I had found and tweak it slightly.  Having used an opaque projector in high school, I began scouring eBay until I found something that would make the trees the size we wanted without being too bulky to store, and for $52 (with free shipping) I found this:


From there it wasn’t completely smooth sailing (isn’t that always the way things go?)  When the projector arrived it was filthy, the two 200watt bulbs were dead, and the cord looked like a fire hazard (apparently the rolls switch died, so they cut it our and duct taped the remaining wires together.  Yeah… about that.)  We cleaned it up, replaced the bulbs, and decided we’d try using it just this once without fixing the wire (do as we say, kids, not as we do!)  So  after painting the wall with a quart of Valspar Mountain Pass, I printed out inspiration image out 6×6 in preparation.

This photo was taken in complete darkness with no flash as we needed the room dark for the projection to show.

For one reason or another, life kept getting in the way of us actually getting this project done.  Possibly because we needed it to be dark for the projection to show, and partially from laziness holidays and family obligations getting in the way.  Eventually we sucked it up and got to tracing.



You may notice that we opted to omit the majority of the overlapping sections at the top of our inspiration picture, this was because we felt that with the width of our wall and the height our ceiling it was better to keep things a bit more simple and spaced out.  Also, we chose to keep our trees a bit more sketchy/wispy than they would have appeared if we had just gone with the decals from Etsy.  We are considering adding a pendant light over the table to further “anchor” the space (and also replacing the ceiling fan that our friend Jason keeps hitting his head on!), but that’s a post for another day.

Has anyone else ever used a projector or painted something large scale on their walls?

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22 Responses to “All Treed Up”

  1. Love, love, love!

  2. ahhhhhhhh! ob-sessed!!! I love the grey you chose and the trees look so whimsical! <3

  3. Cait, I absolutely love it! It looks amazing, such a huge difference from the before picture. Bravo!

  4. I really like that dark wall much better. Like Sara said, it is a huge difference. And to think that you traced it? Wow…DIY Queen to the rescue of the wallet!

  5. I think it looks awesome. It really adds character to the space!

  6. Looks great!!! I love the super light trees on the dark wall! Such a transformation!

    • Thanks Rebecca! We’re pretty smitten with it :)

      Hopefully everyone who has left us such nice comments can help us decide on lighting for that area, too!

  7. A definite 2 thumbs up transformation!

    I used to use the projector in my university’s library to project images on to large canvases for my painting studio. it was a quick step that allowed me to get all my proportions proper before painting – the true task!

  8. The trees look great! I like how it looks handpainted (because it is) rather than the decals. I’ve been thinking of doing a projector project for quite some time now… Stan the Man is a geologist, so we thought it would be fun to project a huge topo map on the wall of the dining room. Those things are super detailed though, so I’m scared.

    • Thanks Amanda! A map sounds really fun and would look awesome, but I’d be scared of all the detail in a topo one, too!! Would love to see whatever you decide as a projector project!

  9. This looks so great! I ended up using decals in my guest
    bedroom (I even did white on gray too!), but I definitely thought
    about how much cheaper it would’ve been to just paint. You did an
    awesome job!

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