Mural Techniques

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Mural Techniques

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Mural Techniques

How to prepare a wall before painting a muralBefore you begin painting, you need to check the wall and prepare your workspace.Clean the wallFirst, make sure that the wall is clean and not suffering from any moisture damage or structural problems, such as cracks. If you notice cracks, spackle them, but be aware that there may be an underlying structural issue that could eventually cause cracks across your mural. Examine the wall closely for signs of mold, dirt, wax, oil or grease. If you find any, clean it off thoroughly, and be aware that mold or mildew may return unless the underlying cause has been rectified. Even if the wall looks clean, it's a good idea to wash it anyway with a mild soapy solution, such asT.S.P. Cleaner(trisodium phosphate), to ensure that you are starting with as clean a slate as possible.Next Step: Priming the Wall

Priming the wallis an important step in creating a mural, because theprimerwill help the paint stick to the wall more easily.In some cases you can apply the primer directly over the pre-existing paint on the wall, and the mural will be fine. It depends on how much elbow work you want to put into it and also on how long you want the mural to last. If you are really concerned about the longevity of the mural, then you should take some additional preparatory measures before you start painting.To get the most permanence and best adherence of acrylic paints onto the wall, strip the existing paint off the wall by sanding it with a sanding block. To reduce the amount of dust caused by dry sanding, prepare a mild soapy solution by mixingTSPor dishwashing liquid with in a bucket of water. Dip the sanding block in the bucket of cleaning solution, squeeze out the excess water and sand the wall thoroughly. Allow the wall to dry.After the wall has thoroughly dried, apply a coat of acrylic primer over the entire wall. You don't want to buy regular acrylic primer (such as gesso) that you would use for a painting because it's expensive when used in large quantities. Instead, buy something likeRonan Prime-Allor get acrylic primer from a home improvement / DIY store in a gallon can, which will get you better bang for your buck.Now, you have three choices: You can start painting directly onto the wall. This is what most people will want to do at this point. If you're ready to paint, skip ahead to the next section. You can add texture to the wall (for example, by applying plaster). This can create an interesting surface, but be aware of how it will affect the final painting. Will it add to the look or would it be an unnecessary distraction? If you prefer to paint on canvas, you can adherea large piece of pre-primed unstretched canvasto the wall, similar to the way you would hang wallpaper, using an adhesive like Jade glue, Unibond, or wallpaper paste. However, don't attempt to glue up a finished painting on unstretched canvas, because it will be really difficult to get it to adhere correctly.Okay now...Ready to paint?Mural TechniquesTo get started, you'll need to transfer your image onto the wall. By now you should have a sketch of what your mural will look like, so you'll need to enlarge the image into the wall using either one of these mural techniques: thegrid methodor anart projector. Use a pencil to trace the image onto your wall.Now that you have your pencil outline, you can start the underpainting. The underpainting consists of large blocks of color, over which you will paint more detail later. Depending on the colors in your image, you can use interior household paint for large areas of color (blue skies, green fields, etc), or you can mix your artist-quality acrylic paints with aLiquitex Ultra Matte GelorMatte Gel Mediumby using a 1:1 ratio.From here on out, most mural techniques are similar to thepainting techniquesthat you would use when painting with acrylics on canvas. Here are some of the many different mural techniques at your disposal:SpongingSponging is a good way to create the sense of texture in a mural, such as clouds in the sky or leaves on a tree. You can also sponge a color on top of another color to create more of a sense of depth and interest, rather than leaving an area as a flat, single block of color.Sponging is also one of the handy mural techniques for quickly filling in large areas with color.To sponge, first wet your spongeand squeeze out the excess water. Dip your damp sponge lightly into your paint, then lightly blot the sponge on some paper towels. You dont want your sponge to be too loaded with paint, or it will ruin the effect.StipplingStippling is one of the popular mural techniques for creating detail without worrying about smooth blending. For instance, if you're painting a green field, you can bring it to life by stippling other colors into the green. Here's how to do it:Apply a green underpainting, then after it is dry, paint a thin coat of a different color over top of it (for example, a yellow-green or a darker green).While the paint is still wet, dab the wet paint with a drystippling brushand dab the new color around until the new layer is all stippled. If done correctly, the new color will no longer looked "brushed on" and some of the underpainting will show through. You can repeat this mural technique as many times as you need (with as many colors as you want) until your desired area is covered.This is a nice mural technique for creating the illusion of a field alive with shades of green, dappled in yellow sunlight.StencilingStenciling is a popular mural technique because it is fairly simple and anyone can do it you don't need any special art skills. You can buy stencilsin a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from alphabet letters to farm animals to wildlife, trees, planets, you name it!To stencil, use a painter's tapeto adhere the stencil to the wall. With one hand, hold the stencil in place and with your other hand, paint in the color. You need to be cautious around the edges, because you don't want too much paint build-up on the edges when you lift the stencil away. Use a sweeping, circular motion when applying paint near the edges to avoid build up.You can also use a stencil as an outline, and paint in details later. For example, you can follow the mural technique described above to stencil the image of an alligator in a solid shade of green. Then remove the stencil and paint in details, such as eyes, teeth, and bumpy skin.AntiquingDo you want to make your mural look old, emanating a sense of history into the room? You can achieve this by antiquing, which is one of the easiest mural techniques. To antique a wall, mix your desired color (usually siena or umber to create an aged look) with an acrylic glazing medium, using the ratio of 4 to 5 parts glaze to 1 part paint. Brush the mixture onto your wall and quickly - while the paint is still wet - run a clean rag or cheesecloth over the paint to spread it around. For an added effect, you can use this technique to add even darker color to the corners and edges of the wall.GlazingTo create acrylic glazes on a wall, mix the acrylic paint with an acrylic mediumGolden Glazing Liquid. This will thin and "stretch" the paint, making it more translucent. When you paint a glaze on the wall, the color underneath will show through. This is a handy mural technique for adding dimension and shading to your mural.How to finish and seal a painted wall muralCongratulations! You've gotten this far your mural is finished. Now you need to protect it to ensure that it stays vibrant and beautiful for a long time to come.The final step to finishing your painted wall mural is to seal it. This means applying a varnish. Use a clear,non-yellowing archival varnishin a matte or satin sheen. (Glossy varnish would be too reflective for a wall mural, and probably look weird under interior lighting conditions.) Choose a varnish that is removable, in case you need to get underneath the varnish for conservation purposes. (Who knows, they might take out your wall and put it in a museum someday!)To apply the varnish, refer to the back of the bottle for the correct ratio of varnish to water. Start in a corner, using a wide paintbrush to brush on the varnish, going in a cross-hatching manner (little x's) across the wall. This varnish mural technique will help the varnish look more even. Voila! Your fabulous wall mural is complete!

Materials to Make a Wall Muralby Paige Turner, Demand MediaPreparationPreparing the wall for a mural is an important part of the process; otherwise your hard work may not stick to the wall properly, resulting in a waste of time and supplies. The tools need for this are a duster or rags to remove dirt and cobwebs, as well as painter's tape to cover baseboards and the corner of the ceiling along the top edge of the wall. A drop cloth or sheets of newspaper cover the floor beneath the project area.Priming and Background ColorA quality all-in-one primer and paint in the shade of the dominant background color saves both time and paint when creating your mural. For instance, if painting an underwater scene or a farm scene, light blue is a viable choice for the primer/paint color, as you won't have to paint over it on much of the wall scene. A paint roller with an extension handle comes in handy for the priming process, taking far less time than painting the entire wall with a paintbrush.Plotting the ImageryAn opaque projector makes simple work of even a detailed image to recreate as a mural. To create via the projection method, aim the projector at the wall once you've placed the image you're copying on or in the projector, depending on the model. Graph paper that has a larger grid pattern, such as 1-inch squares, offers another way to re-create a complex scene; you'll have to decide the scale based on the available wall space and the size of your drawing. Plot out squares on the wall using chalk lines, then re-create what's in each square on the paper with chalk on the wa