So when we first moved into the house our backyard was a dust pile w very little character and even less on the style scale. Like negative 10 on the style scale.
Does it look slightly better like this? Perhaps…
For the whole rigamarole, go here (if you’re new). If you’re lazy and can’t be bothered w the process (and was one of those people who just knew the answer and hated showing your work in math class *eye roll*… Like I did) this is the finished product from last summer…
And this is the even more finished-er product with some plants and furniture from the spring of this year…
This is breaking the space/time continuum as that wall is already white (mind blown), but now you see the lighting and the plants!
So first step: paint the wall white. At this point I wasn’t too sure what the final design was going to look like, but I had a pretty good idea that a blank canvas would help much more than the sky blue yuck we were dealing with already.
Pre paint, this is gross
Slightly less gross
Just plain old semi gloss in Eggshell does the trick
But having a roller in place is also a big help
You will need paintbrushes too to fill in the small spots a roller can’t get to
Once the wall was fresh again, I decided to paint some freehand doodles with some basic black paint (Behr Semi Gloss in Carbon to be exact, available at HomeDepot.ca) based on some projects I’ve seen done by Kelly Wearstler. She’s developed a drool worthy wallpaper line that is not so much affordable, but totally fabulous, based in the same aesthetic. Given how much doodling I did in highschool, and continue to do on notebooks in meetings… We figured I had a pretty good shot at doing a halfway decent job, sans $1,000 wallpaper. Also cause wallpaper + rain is not a good idea. Especially on a shed that will most likely blow away if a wicked witch even looks at it.
West Side Lofts Sales Centre Inspo (From Queen & Abell)
Also have to give an inspirational shout out to the old West Side Lofts condo sales centre. This is a sentence I never thought I would write. Right up there with ‘I told you if you kept on doing that that would happen, now stop it or we are going home.’
When the above building first went up in the Queen and Dovercourt area over 10 years ago, we admit to being on the ‘what an ugly POS’ bandwagon, with most of the other pre condo residents of the area. It was an unwelcome signal of progress that meant the underground cool of the neighbourhood was living on borrowed time. We could all hear the bell ringing, signalling the beginning of the end of West Queen West as the edgy, arty and affordable area it was… But that white blob sculpture grew on me, development be damned.
And so I found myself, in my highscool basketball team gym shorts, no less, painting on the side of my garage… my condo art influenced doodles. The black and white was chosen because black and white go with everything, and we wanted something that would contrast with the green of the grass without competing with the colour. All of the doodles were done freehand with a 1″ wide paint brush.. Which is recommended. This project will take WAY too long if you pencil in and plan out how this is going to look. Though if that’s your jam, then go for it (but it’ll add on at least a few more days worth of work, and *might* make you wish you had just picked a solid colour and not bothered. Just saying)
It was 30+ in the shade on this day, and I actually ended up wearing a napkin on my head as a sweatband. So fetch.
Doodles 1 and 2 after 2 rounds of black filling in.
It took 3 week(end)s total, because although I thought I could handle the casual, not filled in brushstroke look of Ms Wearstler… Turns out I couldn’t. So the doodles ended up having to be filled in and refined over 3 stages to make sure the brush width and colour was consistent. Another fun element that was not originally considered was the fact that this was on ridged siding. And making sure that the POV of the brush strokes from piece to piece was consistent was a bit of a pain in the a$&. So patience and a steady hand is key. If you have neither of these things, maybe try a paint splatter motif instead.
Final Backyard Doodle Wall
But in the end it was worth it. And we are quite pleased with the finished product. The neighbours kids did ask if we were going to colour it in… Which is a fair question.
But we think we will leave that work till next summer and enjoy the monochrome for now.