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Paint the town

DIY projects from Your Home and Garden

Walls looking a bit bare? Take a leaf out of Nikki Kettle’s colourful book and paint a show-stopping mural.

Paint a show-stopping mural

Meet and greet

Our resident DIY expert, Nikki Kettle, will be sharing her latest projects and DIY tips with us from her Greytown home. But first, get to know this wonder mum.

Where does your background in building/DIY come from?  When I left school, I didn’t want to go to university. I didn’t want to go somewhere similar to school and I didn’t want to be in debt, so I did a building apprenticeship. My mum was a race-car driver, so going into a male-heavy industry never worried my parents. The DIY side of things (not just building) came when I was 21 and bought my first home. Basically, it needed everything fixed, but because I was broke, I started doing what I could.

What’s the favourite project you’ve done so far?  Rearranging the kitchen and adding a walk-in pantry to our home. I feel like we have made such an impact without having to spend a lot of money. You can see it online at Your home and garden.

What tools would you recommend to people who are starting their DIY journey?  You will need basic hand tools like a pencil, measuring tape and hammer. Also a good drill and something to cut with, like a small skill saw.

You will need

The older living room mural

A new graphic mural

Out with the old: The wall in Nikki’s living room has been an ever-evolving project, originally with just the one palm tree painted in the corner. She was inspired by the retro patterns she found on Pinterest to give it a completely new look.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Start your mural by measuring and marking the straight lines on the wall. Measure down from the ceiling to get them as straight as you can. Or, use a level or laser. Mark the lines with a pencil.

  2. When you’re satisfied with your first line, run washi or low-tack tape along it. To achieve a really clean, straight line, make sure your surface is nice and dry, press down hard and check that there are no gaps or bubbles.

  3. From your first line of tape, use a ruler to measure and mark the bottom line of your mural. When you’re sure it’s straight, mark this line with tape.

  4. Repeat this process for the other stripes.

  1. To the right-hand side of the mural, you’ll have two curves. To achieve a perfect curve, attach a piece of string to the wall with a pin roughly where the middle of your curve will be, then wrap the string around a pencil (keeping tension on the end). Start sweeping your string and pencil around the pin to form a curve. You may have to play around with the pin position and the length of your string. Once you’ve got your first curve marked out, simply adjust the position of the pencil within the string and repeat the process to form an outer or inner curve.

  2. Before painting the mural, first paint along the tape edge with the background colour (I used Resene Double Foundry). This helps to seal the tape and will give a cleaner line.

  3. Use a mini roller to paint the first stripe of colour of the mural.

  4. When it comes to painting the curve, switch to a paint brush and do it freehand. A good curve requires a reasonably thick brush, I used a 50mm. Have the brush well dampened with paint, but not dripping, then apply it to the wall with reasonable momentum. The slower you go, the harder it will be to keep a perfect arch.

  1. Allow to dry, then repeat this process for every second stripe.

  2. Peel the tape off when the paint isn’t completely dry so it doesn’t flake everywhere. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  3. When the paint is dry, tape over the painted stripes to allow you to paint the alternate lines.

  4. Repeat this process with all the stripes in the mural until it is complete.

Top tips

Resene colour palette

Berry reds, soft pinks and tangy oranges pack a punch against a a statement black wall

Project: Nikki Kettle. Photography: Anna Briggs. June 2021.

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Projects from Your Home and Garden
Our resident DIY expert, Nikki Kettle, shares the latest tips and DIY projects.

Nikki's projects | Weekend DIY projects


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