How to paint a mini-mural in 15 minutes

I love painting things. Every stage thrills me, starting from leafing through paint cards, comparing shades and buying tester pots through to opening a 5 litre can of emulsion and marvelling (read ‘almost licking’) at the colour before I slap it on the wall.

However, there’s one thing I’m not great at: prepping.

I know prepping is the key to a great paint job but in all honesty I also think that prepping is the thing that prevents many of us painting at all (‘perfection is the enemy of the good’ and all that).

That’s why I am a big fan of the ‘fifteen minute makeover’: a teeny-tiny project that can make all the difference to a small area of your home. As it only takes a quarter-of-an-hour, even the biggest paint procrastinator is in with a chance of completing it.

Demonstrating how easy it is to fit this in to your busy schedule, I decided to paint a small striped mural above a door and shelf in my bathroom an hour before I was due to leave the house to catch the Eurostar to Paris.

I know this isn’t necessarily ideal but I reckon it’s pretty ‘normal’ – ‘normal’ in the sense that I bet I’m not the only one that gets an interiors bee in their bonnet at a less-than-ideal moment and just HAS to do something about it (yes, YOU!).

In my defence, the reason it happened was because just that morning, I’d received three paint testers from the Dulux Dream palette – Garden Grey (a soft greeny grey, or greyish-green, depending on your eyes and your point of view), Violet Dream (a wispy, winsome lilac) and Floating Petal (a gorgeous pale pink) – and just HAD to see them in action. A couple of years back, I redecorated the bathroom with pale pink bistro tiles and I love to put pale colours with them.


Luckily, each Dulux paint sample has an integral roller, making it really, really easy to use them – even if you’re in the middle of packing and don’t want to get paint everywhere.

Here’s what I did to turn this:


…into this:


Use masking tape to create lines

After clearing the shelf, I used Frog Tape Yellow Delicate Surface Masking Tape to make vertical lines on the wall. I didn’t use a ruler or a measure because I wanted them to be random rather than rigid and regimented.


Get your paint ready

I shook the samples in case the paint had settled then started painting.

I did the colours alternately but you could also do them randomly (I find not settling into a pattern really hard!).


Don’t forget a second coat

After you’ve finished them, go back and give them a second coat.

This paint dries really quickly, especially when you’re using the samples with the rollers, so a second or even a third coat (for a deeper pigmented finish) is entirely possible in your 15 minutes.

Peel and reveal

Make sure the paint is dry, then peel off the masking tape. If you do it before it’s fully dried, you may get some ‘bleeding’.

I did but I like that ‘wabi-sabi’ (perfectly imperfect) effect.


Admire your work – then run!

Put your things back on the shelf, stand back and admire your work, then catch the tube to St Pancras to go to Paris.





See, it’s really that simple! I’d love to see your Fifteen minute makeovers, especially if they’re quick and easy paint jobs.

  • Many thanks to the team at Dulux for sending me paint. I’m always a willing recipient :)))

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