Mario-themed Rock Climbing Wall #2: Painting the scene

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Blog entry by jamsomito posted 09-06-2020 05:59 PM 312 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Planning and Construction Part 2 of Mario-themed Rock Climbing Wall series Part 3: Accessories, bringing it to life »

Next up was finalizing the scene and finding the right colors. I drew up a more scaled version of what I was looking for – found out later I messed up the hole locations I was basing everything off of, but at least having major objects to scale was really helpful for laying it out on the wall.

Then I had to figure out colors. I found a couple great references. First, I found actual sprite info from the games that I then took into photoshop to get an RGB code for each color I was looking for.

SMW sprites I found here:

Then I found another great resource that will tell you which color name to order for a specific color in any particular brand of paint. Check it out!

RGB paint color looker-upper:

Sadly I couldn’t find exact matches for nearly any of these. Also, I figured I’d probably need a quart of each, and the cost was adding up fast. So I got as close as I could and eliminated a couple. In the end, I wish I would have gone with a little less contrast between the two dirt colors. But here’s where I ended up. I decided to go with Behr Ultra interior eggshell because Home Depot is right around the corner from me. Turns out they had to ship everything but white anyway… ugh, oh well. Here’s where I landed:

Color name: R, G, B – closest Behr Ultra color name
Light green (bush): 0, 248, 0 – Lawn Party
Medium green (grass): 0, 200, 0 – took this one out to save cost
Dark green (dark border on bush): 0, 128, 0 – Luck of the Irish
Dark dirt: 200, 152, 88 – Burnt Pumpkin
Light dirt: 224, 192, 80 – Little Sun Dress

So with that all out of the way, it was time to get it on the wall! Started with some drawing on the wall, which the boys loved, obviously. I took some of the sprites from the first link and edited them down in photoshop to make them perfect 8” x 8” tiles. Some of them I just referenced and others I actually cut out for texture patterns and shapes.

This is where I realized I goofed my hole locations on my scale drawing. I had to re-draw the grass platforms.

Then it was time to paint. I knew this going in, but never trust a comment on the paint can like “covers in 1 coat!” It’s a lie. A whopper even. Each color needed 2 coats. The dark green needed 3.

For the clouds, we decided to try tape to make the details square like the pixels in the game. It was definitely time consuming, but the result was pretty good.

Lastly I finished up with a black outline over everything. It was also pretty time consuming and difficult. It’s not like drawing a straight line with pencil and paper. You need to keep lifting the brush and refilling, and bristles don’t always cooperate. The lines ended up a bit imperfect, we’ll say, but I actually kind of like it! It adds to the cartoon-like look of everything.

Lastly, I added a little mole hole from the game for some giggles.

In all, it took probably 20 hours of painting. This was a huge task, particularly because this is in my middle-son’s bedroom and he still naps. So I had the time right after he woke up before he got too wild for open paint cans in the room, lunch time when he was out, or on the weekends, right after nap time, again before he got too wild for open paint cans. I couldn’t do it before he went to bed because I guarantee he would have smeared anything wet all over the room. So… it took quite some time. But I’m thrilled we got there! Next steps are some decals of mario figures, blocks, and a couple other special extras to top it off. We’re getting so close!

3 comments so far

View PlumberMike's profile


19 posts in 44 days

#1 posted 09-06-2020 07:04 PM

My two sons wanted me to ask if you’re currently accepting applications for more children. In the event of only one opening being left available, they’ve resolved to fight to the death for it. On the surface it may seem extreme, but I can’t blame the effort they’re willing to go to here. Hell, for a climbing wall of that caliber I’d likely toss my hat in the ring as well XD

All jokes aside, it’s incredible to see so many amazing fathers and mothers here working so hard to keep life normal for their families. Excellent craftsmanship and creativity on display here. I can literally see all of the love you’ve poured into this.

Any kid would be lucky to have a dad like you, sir. No doubt your grandchildren will have similarly amazing upbringings due to the time and effort you’re willing to put into the ones you’re raising. Words don’t do justice to the level at which you rock!

-- "The cut worm forgives the plow." - William Blake

View jamsomito's profile


577 posts in 1277 days

#2 posted 09-07-2020 12:11 AM

Thanks for the incredibly kind words, PlumberMike! Unfortunately our vacancies were filled when we were done at 2 kids and #3 came along! I am the least perfect of the bunch, but all the reasons you listed were motivators for this project. The boys are so excited to be climbing on this thing. At this point I’m not sure I even care if they use it. The number of smiles and pure joy on their faces watching this get put together has all been worth it already!

View clieb91's profile


4006 posts in 4786 days

#3 posted 09-07-2020 02:38 PM

What a cool theme! VEry nice work.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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