The Wall Mural

Brainstorming ways to decorate your living room, entryway or hallway? Instead of investing in pricey art works, home decorators on a budget may find it expedient to create a wall mural. Besides, if you're artistic, painting a wall mural is going to put your personal stamp on the décor of your home.

Begin by preparing the site as for any other paintjob. Mask-off woodwork with painter's tape. Remove all the furnishings from the room, or if that's not possible, place them in the center of the room and cover them with drop cloths. Cover the floor with drop cloths as well.

Clean the walls with a product specially formulated for this purpose. Allow the walls to thoroughly dry.

Best Sheen

Apply a base coat of latex paint choosing a satin or eggshell finish. These give the best sheen as a backdrop for your mural. An alternative is to paint a background for your masterpiece. Consider using a sponging technique to make a cloud background for your mural. Or, you can create a look of parchment as the backdrop for a Tuscan landscape.

Acrylic paints are a great choice for painting your own wall mural. They dry fast and are water soluble, which means they are washable in case you goof up. Also, acrylic paints can be purchased in small sizes in craft stores so you can buy a variety of the colors you'll need. A brand we can recommend is Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics. They cost a bit more than other acrylic craft paints but cover twice as well, and produce rich, intense colors.

Very Compatible

But if you have leftover latex wall paints you want to use up, feel free. Or use them in combination with purchased acrylic craft paints. The two are very compatible.

As for paintbrushes, you'll want to go with best-quality synthetic brushes since acrylic paints damage natural bristle brushes. Painting a wall mural generally requires more than one kind of paintbrush. For starters, buy a flat wide brush for the larger areas of the mural as well as a round paintbrush for small details and to delineate the outlines of the images you'll paint.

Finished Work

Once you've finished your mural, you'll want to protect your finished work. Seal your mural with a water-based varnish. Start by applying the varnish in one corner, using even, smooth cross-hatched brushstrokes. This involves painting a series of, "x's," with the paintbrush and ensures that the sealant is well-distributed.