What materials are needed for mural painting?
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Thread: What materials are needed for mural painting?

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    What materials are needed for mural painting?

    I want to try painting a mural on some walls in my house.

    What materials do I need, and how do I go about doing this?

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    Basic acrylic paints and brushes will work. I do murals with any variety of artistic acrylic paints; liquitex, craft paints, etc. A good variety of brushes are helpful, too. The biggest thing is paint quantity: if you're painting whole walls you may want to pick up some house paint or large tubs of basic colors like white and the primaries just so you're not going through tubes and tubes of paint.

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    Thank you very much!

    I'm assuming that I would use fixative on a mural once it's completed.
    Is that actually a good idea?

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    When considering fixative it depends on where the mural is. If you're doing work outside then it is a good idea to get some, though you can use out doors house paint which usually will last irregardless. If you're working indoors you more than likely won't have to use any, but is a good idea if you're did one at a elementary school or something where you know people will touch the walls.

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    Exterior house paint blends badly, fades inconsistantly and is hard to work with if you are trying paint anything subtle. It is the cheapest of all the alternatives but use it as a last resort. For most projects, the extra time you spend trying to get a good job done with house paint will far outweigh the savings.

    For simple designs that do not require blending colors, professional quality sign paint will do well and will last a long time. Sign paint does not play well with others – if you start using sign paint, use it for the whole mural, don't try to mix it with something else and don't expect it to blend with another brand. It usually costs about $75 per gallon.

    Spray paint – If you are accustomed to using an airbrush, you will find that spray paint works very well. The big problem is that of color fastness – most spray paints (especially the cheap stuff that Wal-Mart sells) fade quickly and unevenly. The advantages are that spray paint can be very quick and cheap to use – if you have a mural that is low budget, temporary by nature and not expected to last for many years, spray paint might be your best bet. You can add years of life to it by applying a UV protectant clear coat after you are finished but, be aware that the UV clear coat will yellow with age – if you subtract a little of the yellow end of the spectrum from your original painting it works well. You must reapply the clear coat every year. Always use a gas mask when working with spray paint and be nice to the environment by using only paint that has non ozone depleting propellant.

    Multi surface paints: There are some paints on the market that are fairly decent for general mural use called multi surface paints – they are better than house paint but still do not have the pigment concentration for extreme sun exposure. They usually cost less than $100 per gallon.

    Acrylic Mural paint – There are now paints designed exclusively for exterior murals and they are wonderful, easy to use and smooth blending – some have up to 50 times the amount of pigment that regular paints have, making them very colorfast. They are also very expensive – hundreds of dollars per gallon. Well worth it in my opinion but customers often balk at the cost. Some of the cost is absorbable - they are easier to work with than most other paint and therefore faster.
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    I've painted a few murals for interior spaces and I've always used high quality house paint if it is applied directly to the wall. I have the paints premixed to match my palette in quart cans. I do a smaller version, like a color study, only for murals it can be quite large compared to a normal study and use this as my guide. If you want to remove the mural at some point, best to paint on wood panels that are cut to fit the space; you can attach canvas to the panels and then paint them the way you would a normal sized canvas panel with oil or acrylic paints. The panels can be screwed into the wall around the edge.

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    I used to work in a giant puppets/parade floats/festival attraction design company and we used latex house paint for almost everything. Some of the puppets were 25+ years old, they needed touch ups but they had held quite good for things that get in the rain and under the sun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig D View Post
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