Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Starry Night Wall

In the 11 yr old's small bedroom, when it was the room she slept in, I painted the end wall and she wanted me to do the same in the larger room, now that her bed is in there.  It's the Starry Night wall, complete with glow in the dark stars and it's a lovely and simple paint effect, which uses three paints all from Craig & Rose: the 1829 Clove Brown, in Acrylic Eggshell, for a muted sheen; the Opulence Metallic Shimmer in Ivory and the Glitter Glaze in Gold Sparkle.  

It takes 2-3 coats of Clove Brown to cover the wallpaper; thin coats to minimise the possibility of it bubbling.  The second coat is the metallic shimmer, which I put on with a scrunched up rag.  I'm trying to create an image of deep space, where the stars are massed so tightly that they look like broad bands of light against the dark sky.  Depth is created with heavier layers on top of lighter ones, and the brightest nebula's painted on with my finger.  The trick is to keep changing the direction of your hand, rescrunching the rag to change the surface texture and to work quickly and lightly. Lighter areas are smeared on in a circular motion before being softened by blotting; thicker areas are blotted on directly. 

Whilst the shimmer is still damp, I applied the glitter glaze.  I use the same rag and repeated the same technique of patting on the glaze.  The glitter is set in a clear glaze which can also be used to start softening the shimmer.  Both paints dry quite quickly, so you need to move around the wall, working with areas before they dry, adding extra layers of glitter on top of the dry ones to increase it's density. 

Glitter is extraordinarily hard to photograph!
Finally, you stick on the stars.  I mix up random groupings with the odd constellation; in particular the Big Dipper which has always watched over me.  The whole wall took not much more than an hour to paint; plus the eggshell layers, which took 20 minutes each over three days to allow them to dry fully.

And we have one wall.  I have always had glowy stars in the 11 yr old's room as I find them very calming.  This same set started off above her cot and I still love to turn off her bedroom light and see them suddenly catch light.  I have to repaint the rest of the blue walls and rehang her pictures, but we're getting there; at least she also now has a mattress and duvet that fit, thanks to an hour in Ikea and a very patient boyf!
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