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Painting a Mural for a Church

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Preparations and Painting Supplies
Painting a mural

A grid was used to transfer my sketch to the wall.

© Julie Lamons.

Scaffolds were put up so I could get to the wall where the mural would be, then my husband put down a "floor" with a border on it so I wouldn’t forget where I was while painting and slip.

I had looked at the condition of the surface to be painted and the environmental exposure the mural would have in order to select the right type of paint. The church said they wanted me to use quality paint, not house paint, as they wanted the mural to last. I decided I would need to prime the wall first before painting as it needed to be free of any grease, wax, or oil as well as structurally sound and free of loose particles.

Although it looked very clean, I washed the wall before priming it using Liquitex Acrylic Gesso, which dries white. When it had dried, I sanded it smooth. That took me two days but I wanted the surface on which I painted the mural to be decently prepared.

Next I outlined the complete surface with masking tape, making a mark every 12 inches (one foot) to give me a guide for the grid I would use to transfer my sketch to the wall. (You can see part of the grid in the lower photo.)

I used artist’s quality acrylic paint for the mural, mostly Golden Artist Colors. When the paints I'd ordered to do the mural arrived, a large box of over 40 Golden paints, it felt like Christmas!

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