How to paint your own abstract mural on your walls to jazz up your interiorsApril 20, 2022
Presented with a plain white wall, it can feel a little daunting to paint on that first splash of colour.
But once you get past that anxiety, you can create something seriously magical – especially if you go bigger than just a few coats of one bright shade.
Yep, we’re talking murals – abstract designs in whatever pattern, colour, or theme, painted directly on your walls.
Sounds scary, we know, but the end results can be stunning. You just have to have some confidence.
To help you get started on your own abstract wall project, we chatted with Tobie Lewis, senior brand manager at Valspar Paint, for his step-by-step guide.
‘A large, colourful mural is an excellent way to create a unique and impactful space in your home, and this doesn’t need to be limited to kids’ bedrooms,’ Tobie tells Metro.co.uk. You don’t need to be a skilled artist either – simply plan ahead and get ready to create your bespoke work of art!’
What you’ll need:
- Dust sheets/paper towels
- Paint brushes of various sizes
- Paint roller and paint trays
- Water to clean your brushes
- A palette
- Sugar soap
How to paint an abstract mural
Decide on your design
Have a browse on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, but feel free to chuck out other people’s ideas and go wild with your own vision.
The possibilities here are genuinely endless. You can go for bold geometric designs, use arches and blocks, go for statement brushstrokes, do a detailed illustration – whatever you fancy.
Plan it out
‘Depending on how detailed your design is, it’s a good idea to initially sketch it on a piece of paper,’ Tobie recommends. ‘This is also a good time to plan what colours will be used on what parts. You can almost think of this like a giant paint by numbers. You can order colour chips online for inspiration too!’
As with any DIY painting projects, mask the edges of your skirting, and ceiling etc, ensuring you only get paint on the wall.
‘The next step to creating a mural is priming and prepping your wall,’ Tobie says. ‘You want the wall as smooth as possible, making it a good canvas.
‘Sanding helps to smooth your walls out and means your paint will stick much better. It also will reduce the chance of any imperfections showing through your paint.
‘Wrap 80 grit sandpaper around a block and work your way around the wall to remove and smooth blemishes. Sand in circular motions so you don’t miss a patch.
‘You’ll also need to sand your walls if they are glossy and shiny to remove the coating – otherwise your paint won’t adhere well.
‘Use sugar soap to remove dirt, grease and dust. Grab a large sponge and wipe down the walls to get them completely clean, and wait for the wall to dry.’
To make sure your chosen colours show up as expected, it’s worth priming your walls with a base coat. Make sure it’s totally dry before you begin painting your mural.
Sketch it on the wall
Tobie recommends: ‘Once you’ve chosen the image or design you want on your wall – sketch it lightly onto the wall with a pencil.
‘If this is your first mural you can use the grid method by drawing a set of 1″ or 5cm squares across your original design and then transferring it to the wall by using the same number of squares on your original design but larger
‘From here, you can use the squares to guide you as you redraw the design onto the wall. If you have a projector, use that to trace your image, but if not, don’t worry.
‘The great thing about abstract murals, is that there is a lot of room for error, and it doesn’t need to be perfect!’
Now’s the fun bit. Start with your outlines, using your smallest paint brushes to get a clean finish, then use your bigger brushes to fill in.
‘Depending on your design, you might need to wait for some areas to dry properly, before moving on to different areas, to avoid colours bleeding into each othe,’ Tobie notes.
‘Once the second coat of each ‘base’ area is totally dry, you can use a steady hand to paint sharp, neat borders between the different colours, therefore creating clean curves – and that’s it!’
Oh, and a top tip: ‘Keep your paint brushes and rollers in ziplock bags until your mural is complete, just in case you need to go back and do final touch-ups later.’
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