How to Paint an Underwater Background

Simulate the deep blue sea on a wall with a combination of paint and glaze.
Related To:


Give new meaning to the term watercolors with this project, which is perfect for a kids' room.

Materials and Tools:

satin latex paints (white base coat, upper aqua color, blue, two shades of beige)
roller and covers
paint pails
paint tray and liner
blue painter's tape
natural sea sponge


1. Apply the base coat and let dry.

2. Mark where the sandy bottom will be, using painter's tape to create gentle mounds of sand all the way around the room. Tape off the baseboards as well.

3. For the water, put clear glaze into one pail and some of the aqua paint into another. Starting at the top of the wall and working your way down, brush on a lot of the clear glaze in a workable area. Lightly dip another brush into the aqua paint and brush it over the glaze in sweeping horizontal motions. Use the aqua sparingly at the top to simulate the way the sunlight makes that part of the sea quite clear.

4. As you move lower on the wall, add more and more paint to the glaze to make the lower areas of the wall darker. Along with the gentle rolling wave motion for the brush strokes, add darker strokes here and there for dimension.

5. About midway down the wall, start adding some of the blue to make the color transition. In the deepest areas of the aqua, start as always with the glaze first, and then add some of the blue paint and work down the rest of the wall. End with pure blue paint and no glaze to get the desired depth.

6. When the water is complete, remove the tape while the paint is still wet so as not to pull off any of the film.

7. Roll the lighter beige paint on the lower wall area, up to the water line. Add the darker beige for shading mostly at the bottom along the baseboards while the light base coat is still wet, using a natural sea sponge to simulate the ocean floor.

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