A mural painting can be a very attractive feature, indoors or outdoors – and not just for experienced artists. The possibilities are nearly endless, whether you are looking for something to brighten up a child’s room or to create a visual focus in an elegant living room. With a little planning and practice, and with the help of various tools on the market, painting attractive murals is within reach of most of us.
Ideas for Murals
Anything you want to see can be a mural! Landscapes are a popular choice for covering large areas of walls. It can be a magical forest for a child’s room or a peaceful view in the living room. Trompe l’oeil paintings (paintings that trick the eye into thinking they are real) are also popular – for example, fake picture windows that appear to open onto a rural scene, a seascape, or even an urban landscape.
A mural can also be an image painting on a wall that has the same purpose as a framed image. A motif that complements your decor and architecture is another idea. The Tuscan mural, with a grape and foliage motif, gives a room an eye-catching finish and is popular for its old world charm.
Floral designs always look decorative. Geometric or abstract murals can add charm and style to a contemporary room. For workplaces, including offices and schools, a suitable image can take away that institutional look, adding color and warmth.
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Before you start
Prepare your surface well. It must be clean and oil free. Fill the holes and cracks with putty. It doesn’t matter if the surface is a little rough, depending on the effect you want to achieve. Use a good quality undercoat or primer.
Water-based acrylic paints are a great choice for interior murals. You may need an emulsion paint for the exterior. Options for outdoor murals include waterproof and water-resistant paint with a built-in ‘sunscreen’ to prevent fading. A good quality clear sealant gets the job done.
Implementing Your Design
If you are creating a landscape like a landscape, you will usually start by covering your surface with the background color and building up your image in layers. Your final layer will be fine detail. Once you have the background layer, you can sketch your design. Some of us can do this with free hands! Work from an image, which can then be enlarged, marking the contours of the design onto your wall. (There is computer software that can help you do this.)
For the less experienced, stencils are the perfect solution. You’ll find a variety of incredible designs that even a novice decorator can use to achieve effective results (or you can make a stencil yourself). You can also purchase kits that will allow you to transfer designs to the wall. All you have to do is apply paint – it’s not like painting by numbers.
As a touch of style indoors or outdoors, or even as a community project, using paint and creating faux finishes can both be fun and enhance your living environment.