Creating a large mural is a rewarding labor of love! It takes teamwork to make something this BIG.
I’m honored to be a part of the Community Murals Sacramento inaugural program. Our task is to create a mural in each council district, with community input and help, within a year’s time.
I was assigned to District 8 at Meadowview’s Pannell Community Center along with Leonardo Moleiro and Noelle Tavares, with lot’s of help from Jeff Musser. The initial plan was to paint an outdoor basketball court, but there were many complexities that led to a change of location – an electric outbuilding nearby.
Our Lead Artist Leonardo Moleiro created a design spanning all 4 sides of the building. We painted two 40-inch-high strips on all four 34 foot wide spans. Many ladders and step stools were involved.
This was the sixth mural I’ve been involved with and one of the largest. If you are thinking of painting a mural here are some tips:
- Choose a wall that’s flat and near the ground.
- Plan out your design (or don’t- my first murals were invented on the spot).
- Transfer your line drawing to the wall using the grid method or using a projector. We drew the design with sharpie black marker but a lighter color might be easier to conceal with paint. Don’t use something that will wash off with water.
- You can use a graphics program to posterize your design image which reduces the number of colors in the image according to your settings. Then purchase the paint you need in those colors or mix them yourself.
- A paint by numbers approach works well for large murals and groups of helpers.
- We used Nova Color for the outdoor murals, but I’ve used leftover house paint, latex, acrylic, and spray paint with good results.
- You’ll need to do some math to figure out how much paint you’ll need based on the coverage indicated on the label… best to buy more than you think you’ll need, right?
- It helps to have a bunch of brushes on hand in different sizes so you don’t spend all day cleaning brushes, just store them in water and clean at the end of the day.
- Remember to tape off and cover areas that aren’t in the mural.
- You may want to seal outdoor murals with a clear coat of some kind.
- If it fails. don’t worry, you can paint over it.
Need Some Help?
I would love to make another mural with the help of people like you in the conception, design, and painting. Get in touch if you want to explore some options.
To answer most people’s first question the mural will cost between $20-$50 per square foot depending on the complexity of the design, the size and location of the wall, and how ready the wall is to paint. For example, an exterior wall that is 8 feet high by 10 feet long would be calculated at 8×10 = 80 x $20 (depending on the design) for a total of $1600.
I’ve also had the pleasure of printing large format banners that pretty up a wall in no time which may be a more affordable option for a smaller space.