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Painted Patio Wall Transformation - Our New "Secret Garden"

Michael and I have discovered a Secret Garden every where we have lived since getting married in 2010.  Whether it was the creek that ran behind our first apartment in Sacramento or the tiny little space of our 520 square foot, 1962 single-wide, mobile home in Rancho Cordova, California, we were always able to discover and create a unique sanctuary to call home.  Even though, in years past, we did what we could to make our surroundings uniquely wonderful, we never had the room to go really crazy until now.

Since moving to our new home in North Carolina in May, we have not only discovered a world of exotic creatures and plants outdoors, but we have also started taking full advantage of the additional space we now have available to add our own touch of whimsy to the new "Wood's Secret Garden".

Our first major project was the Patio which joins the in-law quarters (where mom lives) to the kitchen entrance into the main house.  We have received so many questions about "how we did this project" that I thought the best way to reach as many people as possible was to provide a step-by-step description of how the whole thing came together.

It all started when we found two chartreuse chenille moon chairs at Habitat Restore for only $20 dollars each.  Those chairs pretty much established the color scheme.  We then found a round glass coffee table at Samaritans thrift store for $20.  Following that, a church has donated 100 vintage hardwood pew chairs to Habitat Restore and they were selling them for only $5 a piece, so we purchased 10 of them.  They were upholstered in a really durable olive green which tied in nicely with the moon chairs.  I found a few throw pillows at a local discount store for only $2 a piece which brought in the poppy red as an accent color.

I had originally hung colorful bamboo runners from ceiling to floor on the vinyl siding wall (which looked very nice) however, the high humidity caused mold to start growing on them.  Not something I had ever had to deal with in California.  So, the bamboo runners had to go.  The question was what would we do to add some color to the wall?  A friend of mine had giant poppies painted on her wooden fence which I thought looked stunning.  I initially was going to attempt to recreate those on the patio wall.  But, after looking at the space and realizing that the design would not work well in our space, I decided to create my own "Giant Blossom" design and went with oriental poppies and peonies.

I had purchased black caulk for a wall project I was going to attempt on the inside of the house and decided to experiment with it outside first.  So that is how it all started.  For those interested in attempting this on the inside or outside of their own home, the following are step-by-step instructions.


The first step is to decide on a design. You really can't go wrong with giant botanical images because flowers are all shapes, sizes and colors and much easier for those who may not be as artistically inclined. If you can color in a coloring book, you can create lovely art on any wall in your house. Inside or Out.

Once you have your design determined, sketch in onto your wall. I used Pastel chalks so that you can wipe them off easier once your caulk has dried.

If you have a way of projecting an image onto your wall space, you can simply trace the outlines onto the wall. Remember those old over head projectors back in the 1970's. Those would work wonderfully for a project like this.

Using a caulk gun, apply the black caulk simply follow the lines you sketched. NOTE: It is good to keep a wet terry cloth rag handy to wipe off any mistakes and to clean the tip of the caulk tube from time to time.

Let the finished caulk dry for a few hours . Using your finger, push down any little tips that might be sticking up. The caulk should still be flexible enough to gently push in any caulk lines that might be sticking out. I also went over the lines and gentle push on them to make sure they were adhering to the siding.

Once the base coat has dried, you can start adding additional coats of paint and more colors.  I decided to go with a vibrant poppy red and then mixed that with yellow to get the highlight colors. The cool thing is that if you are not happy with a color choice, you can simply paint right over it once it dries.

Once the colors are determined and you are happy with them, you can add your lighter highlights and darker contrasting colors to bring the images to life.

This was the patio before!

and here is the full patio after both walls were completed with the furniture in place:

I hope you experiment with this idea in your own space.  It is really quite wonderful!  Put on those thinking caps and get busy! You could do a field of daisies or even just broad leaf grasses in different colors of green. Oh, that would be subtle, yet beautiful. Hey, I might do that on the garage doors. The most important thing to remember is--Have Fun!


Dianna Wood said…
Hope you all enjoy this. It was great fun and when we sit out on the patio we feel like we are little birds sitting among the giant blossoms.
Anonymous said…
How wonderful is that!
Jessica Mang said…
This is so spectacular! I love the watercolor tecnique of layering the colors in from lightest to darkest to give the richest color. The sheer size makes this truly remarkable and eye popping! I just love these red poppies and how the contrast so well with the avocado patio furniture. The whole patio invites your guests in and allows them to discover each of the nuances of the painting over time. I just LOVE this!!
Dianna Wood said…
Thanks Jessica! Such encouraging words from my favorite artist friend. Love you!
Cindy D said…
Are the paint colors latex, oil or other?
This really is very pretty!
Dianna Wood said…
Hi Cindy D, - Thanks for popping in. The paint is exterior latex semi-gloss.
I just found your blog Dianna. Your patio transformation is gorgeous! It really makes me want to give it a try. I have a screen room with very similar siding on one wall, so that would be a perfect opportunity for me to give it a go. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Dianna Wood said…
How wonderful Sharon. Let me know if you do! A,ways thrilled to inspire others.
Unknown said…
Great Job Sis! Just figured out you don't do these projects because you want to you do them because you have to! Amazing how God put so mouch creativity in you. Keep being you Sister.
gail scaramuzzo said…
I want to thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.
Your vision is amazing and the result is absolutely stunning!
Do you have a studio or sell any of your artwork?
I would love a small version to hang in my home.

Dianna Wood said…
Hi Gail - Thank you so much for popping in and for your encouraging words. I do not have a studio, nor any artwork. We just moved from California (where I worked full time in law enforcement) to North Carolina 5 months ago. Perhaps now that I am retired, I can start painting and creating. Thanks again for you sweet comment.
Hattie Hayes said…
Simply beautiful, whet can I buy the same poppy flowers image?
Dianna Wood said…
Hi Hattie - It is a design I created from several different photos of flowers. If you send me the dimensions of the space you will be doing I would be happy to design something similar to fit your space.

Anonymous said…
just spectacular!

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