1. Choose the right paint for your needs. Standard wall emulsion is perfect and the two main finishes are vinyl or matt. Vinyl will leave the surface with a slightly reflective finish when lights are on, but it will make it easier to wipe off any grubby little fingers marks. There is such a great range of colours to chose from these days in your local DIY store so I recommend you get your paints from there.
Because emulsion paints are water based it means you can mix them with acrylic paint to get even stronger colours for areas of detail. You can also buy Non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and low toxic paints. These don’t create a strong odor when painting, which is great if you or your child suffer from asthma or have breathing difficulties, plus they are better for the environment. The downside is that the colours tend to be not as strong and vibrant as standard emulsion paint.
2. Before painting, make sure you cover the floor and furniture with waterproof dust sheets. Masking tape the edges of the dust sheets to the top of the skirting board so that any drips will be caught before they hit the skirting board as well as the floor.
3. If you are mixing colours before painting, make sure you mix them thoroughly!! Any unmixed paint will leave streaks of non-blended paint on the wall.
4. Make sure you thoroughly plan out the composition. Before you start sketching you can tape pieces of paper to the wall first for a rough guide to where you want the main elements of your design to go.
5. Bear in mind the age of the child that your painting the mural for. If it’s for a baby/nursery then use lighter pastel colours. Strong, bolder colours are more suitable for older children & teenagers. Also, try to use colours that will suit the room and go with the furniture. Small rooms with dark colours on the walls will look more confined.
6. Lightly sketch out the design on the wall with a pencil. You can rub out any mistakes simply and easily. If your design is quite complicated then take a step back every now and again to make sure your proportions are correct.
7. Be creative!! If it’s your wall then you can paint what you like, so use your imagination. Search online for other murals to give you some ideas and inspiration.
8. Think about the order you’re going to paint your mural in. Paint the background first, then the midground and lastly the foreground. If you paint something in the foreground first, then you ‘ll have to paint the background around it, which is fiddly and time consuming.
9. For any straight lines you can use masking tape or specialist painters tape (such as Frogtape).
10. One coat of paint is never enough. Most walls need two to three coats to stop the paint from looking patchy.
11. Use a selection of paint brushes. Small tipped brushes are great for detail & fine lettering. Flat brushes are useful for straight lines and corners. Fat tipped brushes are great for filling in larger areas and for techniques such as paint dabbing. Large brushes are great for filling in large areas and for techniques such as dry brushing.