Steps for Painting a Forest or Tree Wall Mural

Written by nina makofsky
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Steps for Painting a Forest or Tree Wall Mural
Draw inspiration from nature for your mural. (Crooked Tree, Straight Tree at Sunset image by loongirl from

The do-it-yourself decorating movement has inspired many people to customise their walls with murals. Nature scenes, trees, branches and forests, either in silhouette or in full colour, are popular options for wall murals. Rather than use a prepackaged wallpaper mural or decals, try your hand at sketching and painting your own mural in a tree or forest theme.

Get Inspired

Gather inspiration for your tree-theme mural. Photograph images of forests and trees for realistic nature imagery. If you prefer stylised trees and forests, which are often easier to represent in a mural, look through images by artists such as Rene Magritte, Henri Rousseau and Paul Cezanne. Primitive and folk art often contain simpler tree images. For bright, cartoon-inspired forest imagery, look through illustrations in children's books.

Select a Process

People with artistic skills may opt to sketch images of trees or forests on graph paper and transfer the image, scaled square by square, to the wall. You may also choose to sketch or copy images of trees onto poster board and cut out the tree shapes with an Exacto knife to create your own stencil of trees in the forest. An easy and fun method for copying images directly onto the wall begins with an overhead projector. Photocopy your tree image onto transparency paper and project it onto the wall. Use pencil or chalk to sketch in the design directly. Use black, navy blue, dark brown or grey to create the effect of trees in silhouette, or saturated, candy-coloured hues for a cartoon-inspired tree mural.

Embellishing the Mural

Make your tree mural stand out with three-dimensional objects. Attach silk leaves, vines or flowers to the branches for a fanciful look. Nail a birdhouse to one of the painted branches for a surreal element. Framed photographs of family members transform the mural into a family tree. Frame a forest mural in gauzy fabric for the tropical look of mosquito netting. Party lights or paper lanterns around the mural design give your mural decoration an ambient glow.

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