Painting Flames on a Wall

This article describes how I painted flames on my son’s wall.

I love doing different paint techniques. I’ve done faux finishes, crackle, stripes and even projecting a fabric patern on the wall and hand painting it onto a base coat. Now I want to tackle something a bit more a challenging… flames. After researching this, I realized there were two ways to do flames… free hand painting, or masking. I decided that I was better at masking than freehand so here is my masking technique.

I found this picture of a Hot Wheel room at Sears a few years ago and I had to wait until my little boy was old enough and had his own room. Now’s the time.

Inspiration for decorating his room

I remember watching Trading Spaces from England and they did curvy lines by using some sort of crepe paper painting tape. After much searching, someone at told me to search for flex-mask paint tape. That did the trick and I found what I was looking for. I selected appropriate paint colors from Sherwin Williams and made up this technique.

1. Paint the base color on the wall which in this case was a royal blue.

2. Draw flames on the wall with chalk.

drawing the flame shape with chalk

2. Paint over the chalk with the dove grey color making sure the paint was at LEAST 1″ thick (the width of the tape).

painting over the chalk

3. Tape over the dove grey paint.

taping over the dove grey paint

4. Paint dove grey paint over the tape to “seal” the edges to prevent the other paint colors from bleeding under the tape.

seal the edges of the tape

5. Wait for the paint to dry then prime inside of the flame

prime the flame

6. Paint the inside of the flame red and the outside blue. Peel the tape off when the paint is still tacky so the paint does not peel or delaminate from the other paint. This prevents the need for touch ups. For the stripes on the other wall I used a similar technique, but with straight lines and a level.

paint the flame

7. This is the final product

finished room