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How to Paint a Grape Vine

By F.R.R. Mallory ; Updated September 21, 2017

Decorating garden spaces involves everything from the arrangement of pots and containers, the choice of outdoor furniture and lighting to the selection of plants. Often indoor garden rooms, planters, fences or walls may feel stark or plain. One favored way of dressing up such environments is to create the faux decoration of a living grape vine. These are particularly nice climbing posts or spanning an empty wall or fence space.

Purchase a grapevine stencil that has a good selection of leaves, berries and vine. Collect a few magazine images of grapevines or of painted grapevines used in the garden. These will help you stay on track with the placement of vine, leaf and berry.

Position your grapevine so that it rises from a floor or container and climbs up an existing feature of the room or space such as a column, post, fence or wall. The base of the actual grape plant can be several inches wide and it narrows as it grows higher until you have windy vines and stems.

Sketch the base of the faux plant just above the floor or as if it is coming out of a container. Draw vertical lines that narrow when they are a foot or two off the floor. Look at your magazine images for ideas on how to bend your grape trunk and where to place leaves.

Trace the stencil where you want to place leaves, clumps of grapes and the twisting tiny vines that help the plant climb. Draw your entire grapevine.

Paint your trunk, base, stems, and vines using two or three variations of brown acrylic paint. Use a round brush for a more flowing look. Add water to thin the paint. Allow your paint 15 minutes to dry. Usually your stems will be dry in the area where you started by the time you finish at the other end.

Mix three to five colors of green and paint your leaves using a flat brush. Grape leaves have distinct shapes. Compare your leaves to those in the photographs for ideas on color, shading and shadows. Don't be afraid to add leaf shapes behind or in front of those you stenciled if you need more leaf mass.

Paint your berries nestled in and among your leaves or behind leaves. Use several colors to show varying degrees of ripeness in the berries. Mix a lighter brown and add vines wrapping around the main grapevine trunk. This will allow you to cross over some leaves and berries for a more dimensional look.

Load a very long, thin, round brush with thinned green or brown paint and draw the fine curly fingers that climb and attach the vine to what it clings to. Finish by adding details such as leaf veins, shadows along vine edges or other colors to make your painting as rich as you want.


Things You Will Need

  • Grapevine stencil
  • Photos of grapevines
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paints
  • 1/4-inch round and flat artist brushes
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Long thin rounded brush


  • The grapevine should appear as natural as you can make it without trying to do too much. The addition of the painting should enhance the room, area, pot, planter, wall or fence.

About the Author


F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.