Drawing Leafy Branches With Chalk On The Dining Room Walls

A few dozen people have discovered this old picture of our former dining room (now third bedroom) in our archives and just had to know what was on the walls. Well, we’re here to clear up the mystery. Did the title of this post give it away?


Yup, it’s chalk. Let’s have a closer look, shall we?


After we painstakingly removed all the wallpaper and painted the walls a bright and happy tone it still felt a bit bare in there, so I grabbed some chalk from the junk drawer and freehanded some leafy branches around the room right over the flat latex paint (which is Sea Spray by Glidden by the way). I fully intended to use a small brush to paint over them with white paint but I actually got lazy and found some spray-on chalk fixative (an old art-school trick of the trade) at a nearby craft store instead. With a few thin sprays it was “sealed” right on the wall. And the fixative didn’t leave any drips or wet spots when we applied it. Whew.

It was still a bit less secure than if I had painted over my chalk branches (if you applied some serious pressure like you were sanding the wall a bit of chalk could be found on your hand) so I would recommend using a small paint brush to trace some paint over your chalk art if you’ll be doing this project in a child’s room and need maximum durability. But for a casually trafficked area like a dining room, chalk + fixative = perfection.

Oh and because everyone loves a good before & after (and this room no longer exists in our house since we turned it into a third bedroom) we thought we’d remind you guys what it looked like when we purchased our house:


She’s a beauty, eh? And you might notice that the brass chandelier looks a bit sleeker in the photos above. Another quick and easy dining room project of yore was painting the ol’ brass chandy. And it’s really a super simple process. Just remove yours and bring it outside or into a garage and spray it with Kilz or some other spray primer and follow that with two thin coats of regular latex spray paint (in any color that you’d like- it would be just as fab in soft green or sultry red). Of course we removed the bulbs and taped off the bulb holders so they didn’t get coated with paint. And afterwards we even replaced the flame shaped bulbs with clear round Domino-esque ones when we rehung it). Simple, cheap and oh so effective. Happy chalking and spray painting everyone!


  1. says

    I’m always amazed at what a little spray paint can do. My husband makes fun of me for all my spray painting…until he sees the final result!
    I love that little mural you guys had going on. Wish I had known about chalk fixative when I was working on the stenciling in the guest room!

  2. Sarah says

    I have that exact same chandelier in my living room and have been meaning to paint it for a while now. I just got more motivated. I am thinking eggplant…

  3. says

    That is so clever! I just recently became a reader and am now OBSESSED! You two do a great job and serve as an amazing inspiration :)

  4. Jen Z. says

    What a great idea for a wall. Too bad I don’t know how to draw as well as you do. What a great job you did free hand. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jill Stigs says

    You are so talented. I tried to do something like this with a silver marker on black paper and the results were totally laughable!!

    And I cannot live w/o spray paint!

    It actually looked good as YOUR dining room!!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Sandra,

      We just used spray primer (Kilz) followed by white glossy spray paint from Lowe’s for a few bucks. It did the trick in an afternoon!


  6. says

    You are so stinking creative! Thank your for your wonderful inspiration. I think I am going to use this idea in our extra bedroom! Yippee!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Devin,

      That’s actually the same pedestal base that we used to make the white table that now lives in the corner of our sunroom (we snagged it at a thrift store and at first topped it with a large wooden square piece of wood from Lowe’s and painted everything black – later we purchased a rectangular wood table that fit into the new dining area better and topped the pedestal base with a round piece of wood from Lowe’s and painted it white for a totally new look). Hope it helps!


  7. says

    I agree with Kristin @ Domestic Ease that this idea would be so incredibly cute in a playroom or nursery! What better oppurtunity to take advantage of cool design ideas with chalk then with a kids room.

  8. says

    What a cute idea. It looks amazing in the room. And thanks for the chandelier paint tip. I might have to use this in the near future.

  9. says

    I had been wondering about that! I noticed this pic because the look I am going for in my kitchen is black and white damask with pops of teal. I even have that platter that you have in the middle of the table! I love the chalk idea, but I don’t think I could free-hand anything that fabulous.

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