Adding a mural to your bedroom is an excellent way to make a huge impact and create a focal point without breaking the bank. But, if you're not an experienced artist -- or even if you are -- how can you create oversize wall art of your very own? Here is a step-by-step guide to painting your first wall mural.
Prep the Wall. Before you dip a brush into a single bit of paint, start by ensuring that the wall is ready to go. It should be free of old wallpaper and cleaned with a soft cloth to get rid of dirt or debris. Fix any imperfections (such as small holes and cracks) before beginning, or they may warp your painted images. And certainly, if you detect any signs of mold or dampness, have the wall professionally assessed to make sure it's safe.
Make an Image Base. There are basically three ways to get the image you want to paint onto your wall. These are:
- Draw Freehand. If you have some artistic skill, you may be able to draw freehand with a pencil straight onto the wall. This works well if you want naturalistic designs, such as a landscape, geometric shapes or a free form. Use a pencil with lead dark enough that you can see it from a distance so that you can regularly check your work from across the room.
- Project an Image. The easiest way for non-artists to draw on a wall is probably to use a projector to project an image onto the wall. A small digital projector is usually easily to find, but you can also make your own DIY projector using cardboard and an inexpensive lens. Once the image is projected in a large format, simply trace the lines to make your outline.
- Make a Grid. Drawing a grid and "scaling-up" the picture you want to transfer to the wall is a compromise between drawing by hand and using a projected image. It involves drawing a grid on your base picture (with squares about 1 inch square, for example). Then, you draw the same grid on the wall, but make the squares proportionally larger (6 inches equaling 1 inch on paper, for example). You can use this grid to draw in the same picture much easier than trying to "eye it up."
Paint! Once you're happy with the drawn image, it's time to start painting. You will need:
- several sizes of brushes, including fine brushes for edging and detail
- colored emulsion if using light paint colors in the mural
- acrylic paints and an acrylic matte medium (which is mixed in to help the mural last longer)
- marker pens if you want to draw lines or add detail touches to things like faces or designs
- final varnish
You should work with an experienced local paint store to determine the best types of these supplies to buy and how much of each you will need. Bring them your base image and images of the wall when deciding on materials so they can better understand your mural. You may also be able to purchase smaller amounts of less-used colors to save money.
While it may take a little extra time to create your own wall mural, adding such a personalized artistic touch to your bedroom is sure to be something you will love to wake up to each and every morning.