I was recently commissioned to create a nursery mural for a baby boy’s room. I would love to give you a step-by-step guide on creating this, but it’s unlikely you will want this EXACT thing. Besides, creating something from scratch out of just a vague idea in your head is a lot of fun (also a lot of work, time, energy and second guessing.) But if you do decide to venture down the path of painting (as opposed to decals) then here are some hints to help along the way.
10 Mural Tips
1. Expect the process to take 60% longer than the time you have allotted for it. Straight lines are thoughtless and cruel time wasters.
2. Don’t be afraid to mark-up the wall while planning. Sketch with pencil or even tape an outline to help you visualize before your brush hits the wall.
3. Have a huge array of brushes on hand, even if you use just one. Options are the best and you never know when the oddball brush you NEVER USE will be just the thing you need.
4. Prioritize. Figure out your order of operations. I mix most of my colors so I know I have to finish those areas before my paint supply dries up (I do not have nearly good enough luck to mix that same color again.)
5. Mix craft paint with a little bit of white wall paint to get the smooth benefits of wall paint and the color of craft paint. When you are using several colors, paint can get expensive. Craft paint alone (even when it’s made for plaster or drywall) can be hard to apply and take several coats.
6. Use paper plates, newspaper or cardboard as your paint palettes when you need small amounts of several colors— it saves a lot of time at clean-up.
7. Start by painting items smaller/thinner than what you would like. It’s easy to make something bigger, but it’s a real pain to scale down.
8. For large areas of a solid color, don’t be afraid to use a roller.
9. Fill all of the color in on every part and then straighten the edges for the whole mural last. Granted it will take 5 hours to straighten them, but doing it last ensures that you’ve had an up-close look at every detail before you call it quits.
10. Don’t get discouraged when it’s not fun. There is a lot of leg work (and arm work, and back work) to get through before the creative details get added. Just soldier through the boring basics; the fun parts are worth a good foundation.
You can check out more photos of the mural progression on the Space-Lift Facebook page.