I think it goes without saying, that i really love what I do. To be able to bring someone else’s vision to life, with my very hands, is beyond fulfilling to me. As a child, I would see murals on buildings, in amazement, secretly promising myself that I would be doing that one day. Fast forward to now, and I am beyond thankful that I kept that promise to myself.
When I first started painting murals, about 6 years ago, I was young, and stubborn, and hated asking for tips or advice. I remember my first mural like it was yesterday. I painted it for a friend of mine, who’s dad was opening a taco restaurant called Johnny Chongas. I agreed to paint it for a very low amount of money…I honestly just wanted the opportunity and the experience.
One thing I have learned over my many years of experience painting murals, is that it is very important to prepare your wall before applying your new paint. Here are a few things you can do to properly prepare your wall for a fresh coat of paint, or full mural.
Wipe wall down with a wet cloth and light soap
Wiping the wall with a soap and water, before you begin painting, is a very important preparation step. Doing this, eliminates and oils or dirt that may be on the wall from hands or objects touching the surface. This also ensures the wall is smooth, without any thick dirt or specs stuck under your freshly applied paint coat. I would recommend wiping the wall down twice, to remove any excess soap from the wall.
Fill in any nail holes or cracks
Filling in any nail holes or dents will help you to produce a sleek and professional finished and freshly painted wall. If this step is skipped, paint can get stuck in those nail holes, and begin to drip down the wall as the paint dries, leaving ugly paint drips and sloppy and unprofessional finished look. Take your time to do the job right…people will definitely notice the difference!
You can purchase nail hole filler at just about any home improvement store.
I buy this one, from Home Depot for about $4.
Sand/Buff any needed areas
Once you fill in any holes or cracks in the wall, you should use some sanding paper, or a sanding block, to sand down any excess hole filler. You can also use this time to sand down any dents or rises in the wall, to create a nice smooth surface to work with. I use this sanding block to buff any needed spots. It works great for many purposes, because of the angled edge.
Be sure to wipe your wall with a damp rag once you buff/sand it.
Tape off edges/trim/molding
Taping off all the edges or trim on a wall may seem like such a tedious task, and a lot of people skip this step when painting a wall or mural. Taking the time to tape off these areas will give your wall a continuous straight and clean line near the trim of the wall. The good ‘ol blue painters tape works great for me, especially if you clean your wall first!
You can also attempt to use a brush designed for cutting edges (an angled brush, like this one.) or you can also try a tool like this. Whichever choice you make, be sure that you keep an eye on those edges!
Prime your wall
Using a primer on your wall is not always necessary. Some colors cover very well (darker colors) and some paints already have primer in them as well. Be sure to pay attention to that detail when purchasing your paint. Having a primer already mixed in will help you get the job done quicker by needing less coats of paint to cover your wall. Also, pay attention to the difference of indoor and outdoor paint and choose whichever one suits your needs.
Paint more than one coat
Painting 2-3 coats gives your paint a brighter, richer colors and hue, and covers your wall completely. Textured walls benefit greatly from applying 2-3 coats of paint, to ensure the paint is getting into all cracks and creases of that texture. Speaking of textured walls, you may want to check out the next tip.
Check for drips
Drips happen for a number of reasons. Here are a few that contribute to drips most frequently.
- Textured walls
- Excessive paint on the brush/roller
- Using the paintbrush/roller on edges
Now that you know a things that cause drips, and can keep an eye on those pesky drips during these circumstances. If you happen to notice and drips while your wall is starting to dry a little, my advice would be to let it completely dry, and the lightly sand the drip way, and paint a light layer of paint over the area once more. What drip?
Over the years, i have learned a lot about not only painting, but patience. It really is worth it to take your time, and do it right. It actually saves you time in the long run, because you don’t have to go back to fix any mistakes. If you want some more tips like these, be sure to subscribe to my blog, and follow me on social media!