On bright summer days, children love to lie on their backs
and look for pictures in the fluffy white clouds. You can
help to recreate this carefree summer feeling for your
children by learning how to paint clouds on their bedroom
blue, satin finish paint
white, semi-gloss paint
full-size paint roller
4-inch paint roller
2-inch paint brush
glass measuring cup
pieces of sea sponge, big enough to be held between your
thumb and fingers
a piece of cheesecloth, about 18 x 24 inches
a piece of board or wallboard, approximately 36 x 24"
pictures of clouds, if possible
The first step in the cloud-painting process is to prepare
the walls for paint. Just like an artist prepares his
canvas for painting, so must you prepare the walls to
accept the paint. Use the 2-inch brush to paint the
crevice between the ceiling and the walls and between each
wall. Then use the paint roller to paint the rest of the
walls. You may find it easier to go over the wall next to
the crevices with the small paint roller. Give the walls
two coats of primer, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.
After the primer, apply two coats of the blue and again,
allow to dry thoroughly. At the same time, paint the piece
of board or wallboard; this will be used to practice your
cloud-painting technique. The last coat of paint should be
allowed to dry for 24 hours before applying the clouds.
You will use the measuring cup to mix the glaze and the
white paint, using a 4 to 1 ratio. For example, you could
add 1 cup of glaze and 1/4 cup of white paint. Mix
thoroughly and pour into paint tray. Continue to mix this
several times as you are painting as the mixture has a
tendency to separate.
Assemble any pictures of clouds you were able to collect
and spread them out in a location that you can check
frequently for ideas. Choose a piece of sponge, wet it
under the tap, and wring it out completely. Next, dab it
into the white paint, then dab on the ridges of the paint
tray to remove excess paint.
Now the fun begins! Before actually painting, take a
moment to wet your piece of cheesecloth under the tap and
wring out thoroughly. Keep this near at hand while you
paint your clouds. Use your previously prepared board or
wallboard to practice forming clouds.
With your sponge, start dabbing on the board in a fairly
straight line for the bottom of the cloud. Then start
dabbing paint above this line, twisting and turning the
sponge as you dab, to build your cloud. When you are
satisfied with the general shape of the cloud, take your
cheesecloth and dab gently over the entire cloud,
softening the paint and giving it a more cloud-like
appearance. You may then dab a few more bits of paint on
the cloud, towards the center, to add some texture. You
will create each cloud in the same way, twisting and
turning and dabbing the sponge, softening with the
cheesecloth, and then adding texture with a few more dabs
Choose your largest wall and find the middle of the wall,
both vertically and horizontally - just eyeball it. Then,
move to either your left or right about one foot. Go up or
down about one foot from the vertical center that you
found. This is where you will begin painting. This is an
important step because it will eliminate the effect of a
bulls eye - a cloud painted right in the middle of a wall!
Make your largest cloud about 20-24 inches in length,
medium clouds 10-15 inches, small 5-10 inches, and wisps
can be as small as 2 inches. (These sizes are based on a
room of about 8 x 10'; if your room is larger or smaller,
adjust your sizes appropriately.)
To make the clouds seem natural, try to get away from
painting the clouds all the same size or in some sort of
pattern. When starting a wall, I like to try and place the
largest clouds first, off-center and at different places
to the ones on the other four walls. Then I fill in with
medium sized clouds, small clouds, and then "wisps" -
those clouds that are hardly there.
Wrap some of your clouds around the corners of the walls
and start some right from the baseboards or window trim.
Don't forget to paint small wisps of clouds around light
switches, electrical outlets, cool air vents, and
wall-mounted lights. These details really pay off!
Some decorating ideas that complement this paint technique
could include the following:
Kites - Make kites out of colorful fabric or purchase
assorted styles and hang from the ceiling. Be sure to
include tails for your kites!
Hot Air Balloon - Make a balloon out of fabric and suspend
it from the ceiling, in one corner of the room. Attach
ropes to a basket that sits underneath; this becomes a toy
box for the room.
Rainforest - Use bed linens and drapes that follow this
theme and then hang a paper mache parrot and assorted
artificial butterflies from the ceiling. Add leafy plants
and silk ivy garlands. Assorted stuffed animals finish the
Flight - Airplane beds are available or could be made by a
handy woodworker. Accessorize the room with model
airplanes of all shapes and sizes.
Nature - Accessorize the room with flowering plants, real
or silk, butterflies, and birds. Furniture could be
painted green with brightly colored flowers.
A sky-colored room filled with clouds will delight any
child. Let your imagination run free and bring a bit of
the outdoors into your home!