"How To" Guide

Beforehand:

    1. Look through books (or whatever) and find pictures you want to put on the walls. If you are not artistic, try to find pictures that don't have any color shading, shadows, or color blending.
    2. Scan the pictures in on a scanner.
    3. Print the pictures onto overhead projector sheets
    4. Borrow an overhead projector from work/school/church. If you can't borrow one, you can rent them from any office type store (OfficeMax, Staples, etc). I bought one at a yard sale for $1. 
    An alternate to #3 and 4 above are to just use a laptop and an LCD projector - they seem to be pretty cheap these days, and you can often borrow/rent one from various places.

    Tip: If you can't do 2 and 3, take the books to Kinko's and get some color copies on transparency paper. It won't be cheap, but then again, the inkjet transparency paper runs about a $1 per page.

    Tip: if you want copies of copyrighted material, go there late at night, be friendly and courteous, and explain exactly what you are doing and why you need the copies. Usually you'll find someone who will help you. If they won't, try again another day, or at another location. You can also rent "scanner time" at Kinko's - put the pictures on a USB flash drive
    then go to the "print your digital pictures" desk and have them printed on overheads - simple.
How to paint the wall images:

(if you want to see how to paint the wall stripes, scroll down

 Step 1
 
 Beam the picture onto the wall where you think you want it. Sometimes you may need something to raise up the projector. I used a step ladder with a platform. You could use a chair, an end table, whatever - as long as it is sturdy.

Once you find the perfect spot for the picture - tape the transparency sheet to the overhead projector to make sure it doesn't accidentally shift mid-paint. Also, once you have committed yourself to paint, make sure not to move the projector until the image is comple
tely done.
 Step 2
 
 Using a pencil, lightly outline a single paint color (for example, all the areas to paint in white)
 Step 3
 
  Shut off the projector (BUT DON'T MOVE IT), and paint the regions that you outlined. 
 Step 4
 
Repeat for all the colors
 Step 5
 
With the projector on, use a paint pen to trace the black lines (or whatever color they are) in the picture.
 Step 6
 
 Once the picture is complete you may want to spray it with some project sealer to protect it from little hands. You can also use a brush on clear coat  - but make sure get a matte finish, and that the product is specifically for use over latex paint.

Alternate to Painting on the Walls:

The last time we re-did the room, instead of painting directly on the walls, I painted some of the characters onto foam-backed poster board. Then I cut them out with an exacto knife. To make the edges look nice, I colored them with a paint pen and a sharpie marker.

I attached the cutouts to the wall with some mounting tabs (little double-sided sticky pads).

Some of the Seuss characters have spindly legs that are just a single line (like the bees from Mr. Brown Can Moo), and I used pipe cleaners instead of painting them.
 


A few words on materials:


We used the little bottles of craft paint. The nice thing about them is they cost about $1 each, and they have many colors (so you don't have to mix colors if you don't want to, or are not so inclined).

The problem with the craft paint is that they don't cover very well, and you may have to put on 2 or 3 (or more) coats before it really starts to look good. The red covering the blue was especially bad.

If you decide to use regular wall paint (which would cover much better), they do have the little "sample" pots at Home Depot for around $3 each - and they will match them to whatever color you want. I'd say they might get a little annoyed if you went in and had them color match 10 little paints at one time.

Regarding brushes, we bought a few packs of inexpensive artist's brushes ($5 a pack), and we found that each of us tended to find a couple brushes that we liked.

Get a little container of the "brush cleaner" while you are there, it helps keep the brushes cleaner.

I found that my favorite brushes were:
- skinny outlining brush
- fat angled brush for fill ins around the edges
- big flat brush for the middle parts

Another tip: ALWAYS USE A DROP CLOTH. Seriously, you are likely to be painting for hours and hours and the likelihood of a mishap is high. Thank me later.

Here are some step by step pictures from another wall image

 
 
 
 
 
 

How to paint the wall stripes:

 Step 1
 
 Tape off a line, about 6" from the ceiling. We used a chalk line to mark where we wanted to put the tape. Paint the white stripe all around the top of the room. Or, you can do like we did - we started with white walls, and painted the blue up to where we wanted the white stripe.
 Step 2
 

 Using 2" tape, put two strips side by side, as straight up and down as possible - but don't worry too much about getting it perfect - this is a Dr. Seuss room after all! These sections that you are taping off will be the "white" stripes. We found that one piece of tape on each side of a corner looked best (i.e. the corner will be a "white" stripe, with the middle of the stripe being exactly in the corner). You need to plan ahead a little to get the last few stripes closest to the corner to look right.

We used cheap masking tape, but using the better painting tape would help stop the bleeding. The green "frog" tape is amazing, but also priced accordingly.

The regular blue tape works better than plain masking tape, but you will still see some bleeding.
 Step 3
 

 Mask off the blue part of the wall. After you get this tape on - spray the edges (inside the taped area) with a can of matte finish project sealer (you can buy this at any craft store). This is to prevent paint from bleeding under the tape.

If your walls are textured (e.g. "knock down"), you will see more bleeding.

Make sure when you put the tape on, you get the edge really smooth.

We didn't bother masking the ceiling, we just (carefully) used an angled "cut in" brush.
 Step 4
 
 Paint red (or whatever). This may take several coats - be patient. Try to paint using strokes that start on the tape and move to the middle of the area, this will minimize the amount of bleeding.
 Step 5
 
 After the paint dries, carefully and slowly remove the tape. You may need a razor blade to cut the paint away from the tape (if you had to use a few coats) to prevent any of the paint from coming off with the tape.
 Step 6
 
 Take a little bit of each color paint and fix up all the mistakes. :)