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Painting a mural in my daughter's room?

15 years ago

Hi all,

This is my first post.

I've taken on the rather ambitious project of painting a mural in my daughter's room and I'm looking for tips and how-tos.

I'm planning to use an overhead projector. I'm wondering what sort of paints to use since I anticipate I will need small amounts of many different colors. Is there some sort of pen or tool that I can use for drawing black outlines? (Maybe I could use a Sharpie hahaha).

Any good websites/videos/books for doing this?

Any other help would be much appreciated. If you would care to share pics that would be great too.


Comments (22)

  • 15 years ago

    The artist who did my son's room used a regular pencil to draw the shapes and general placement, then used an oil based paint to do the background, then painted the balance of the animals and plants with acrylics (from michaels that come in small sizes). The animals are all done on canvas which gives it more life. They were applied with wall paper paste after wards, then finishing touches were painted in.

    The room is not quite finished. The closet still needs more paint work and the tent has to be finished as well. The window will have a roman shade in the same fabric as the tent walls.

  • 15 years ago

    igloo, your son's room is so precious. Oh my goodness, he must love it. That ceiling is phenominal.

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  • 15 years ago

    and he only has 9 of these rooms to pick from each night? LOL
    Love that chest too, beautiful wood.
    Seeing again, wonder if the canvas can be soft sculped and use "doll making supply" realistic eyes?
    Is the canvas stiff, or will it hold a shape? My imagination wakes up when I see his room.
    I was going to use samples of full spectrum paint for a hall mural to see if all the colors would be noticably changeable for extended effect.
    Oh, a little girls room with soft sculpture friends in the wall and clothes that can be changed to learn how to tie, button and zip, a little tea party, or farm or ocean swimming. Wish my Hubby had a housekeeper so I could just have fun!
    How were you picturing her room?

  • 15 years ago

    Thanks for sharing pics of that stunning room. I love the ceiling.
    I will be doing something much simpler :) I was hoping to paint some of her favorite characters from books.

  • 15 years ago

    Our canvas is sculpted. The eyes are life like (have shape and texture) and the mane of the lion and giraffe's hair is cut to flow freely and be played with.

    Mulberry believe me, had I done this room it would have been a lot simpler, but I wanted to share to give you some ideas. Much of what they did can be done by anyone with an artistic bend. And the materials they used for the main paint are easy to purchase in very small quantities at Michaels (they're about 2.99 each).

    It is our fondest wish that he will someday actually sleep in this room...he is still sleeping in a crib in our master suite closet :OP

    Bodacia you're getting my houses mixed up (I now sound like McCain LOL) 9 bedrooms are in the victorian in Wa we're offering on. This house (on the lake in alaska) has two bedrooms and our other one has three :oP (it's in alaska too). I'm going to have to start saying "House a" etc to keep everyone straight as I begin those decorating challenges LOL

  • 15 years ago

    ooops, that's what I get for trying to be funny. I'd take notes but probably misplace them too.
    The sculpting sound like such fun!
    mulberryst, enjoy the projector, great way to get what you want! Looking forward to your project. Just an idea, heavy laundry starch is a simple and clean way to decorate, just cutout fabric and stick it on the wall, peel off to change with no mess. 3D Examples, flowers, leaves, grass, bark, kitty ears and whiskers, etc.

  • 15 years ago

    Acrylic craft paints from Michael's. Also paint pens.

  • 15 years ago

    Years ago, I helped two very talented friends paint animals and plants in the elementary school Science Lab. We used paint from Michael's. To accent things, they used Sharpie's, which are not easy to paint over when child is older and wants to redo their room.

    I had one of them paint a tree, birds, clouds, etc in DD2's room. The tree was near a corner and the limbs/leaves went up onto the ceiling, over her bed. I never took pictures of the room. >:( She used Michael's paint, but no Sharpie's.

    Good luck with your project.

  • 15 years ago

    I did a entire room for my daughter in our last house.I lost the pics. in a computer crash. I used regular inter. house paint to paint the ceiling and walls a very light blue then rag painted in clouds. I used a painters tape for my straight lines and made a castle with a dec. pic of her in a princess costume waving out one of the windows. I used coloring books to look at for ideas on simple animals and charators to draw. I used folk art paint from wal-mart and a fine paint brush for the lines. There are tons of really cute stamps ,you paint the back with any desighn you like then usually can stamp it at least three times with each paint load. They are great for repeat themes like butterflys and flowers. I used a small seasponge for the castle walls because it looks like rock.

    here is a dresser I did using the same ideas just in a much smaller scale. The paint has held up great and its just the little two oz.bottles of folk art.

  • 15 years ago

    I LOVE to do kids' rooms. In fact I was so addicted at one time that I was redoing each of our boys' rooms every 6 months or so. They're older now and when I asked what they wanted done in their rooms at the new house they all said blue walls with brown bedding. No more dinos, no more Mickey, no more rubber duckies. *sigh*

    When our middle son was 7 or 8 I did murals of dinosaurs to match his PB bedding. We painted the walls sky blue and with a pencil I free handed the dinosaurs running around the room. The triceratops (with a dragonfly on his nose) was about 3' tall and they went up in size from there. I used acrylic paints from Michael's and cheapie brushes for the dinos. The grass around the bottom of the room was done by DS with 3 different shades of green paint and foam brushes turned on the side. Then I just ragged on clouds. It was adorable!

    We made prehistoric trees out of the cardboard tubes that deco fabrics come on. I nailed 2X4s to the wall, split the tubes up the back and wrapped them around the 2X4. DS painted the trees and we stuck great big plastic plants in the top. We even added wooden knobs (on extenders) so that DS could hang his stuffed monkey collection from the trees. Best of all it was a project that we did together. :o)

    Almost forgot...for outlining I've had the best luck using a medium length artist's brush.

  • 15 years ago

    Since I have not an ounce of artistic talent, I used stencils to create our rainforest room. It doesn't sound as though you are going in that direction, but if you do, I highly recommend Jan Dressler stencils -- they were the best by far. I bought the paint and brushes from them too.

    We've since moved from the house, and I can't find my album of completed pictures, but here are some I took along the way.

  • 15 years ago

    This is a link to a wall I did in my Mother's spare bedroom a couple of years ago. Because it covers the whole wall from side to side, floor to ceiling, we went to Wal~mart and had quarts of their cheapest eggshell paint mixed in some of the main colors; white, green, blue, yellow. The rest was done with Apple Barrel acrylic paints in the large squeeze bottles. The picture shows the wall about 70% done; the unfinished corners in the foreground down toward the floor eventually became a garden with a rock wall, ferns, potted plants, hollyhocks and such, but she ended up putting so much furniture in front of it you can't see most of that stuff anyway. (It's a small room, but that's what she wanted for her birthday that year.) The weird round white spots are on the camera lens, and the "middle" layer caught the flash and looks lighter than it really is, but this gives you a decent idea how it looks. I wish I would made the sky more prominent, but she kept saying she didn't have anything blue to match the sky, so it is what it is. I'll be the first to say it ain't fine art, but it ain't a bare wall either. ;^)

    Anyway, if you've got a mind to paint something big, remember, drop cloths and masking tape are your friends. If you can't empty it out, cover everything in the room, even places on the opposite wall where you would never think you'd manage to splatter paint, because you will. (Sorry about that Mom)

    I just used a #2 pencil to lightly sketch the general areas; then start at the top, as far back "in" to the landscape as you can. I started out painting the sky, then the clouds, then I worked my way down "out" of the scene, making sure whatever detail I planned on putting in was finished before I moved down toward the floor. (again, that splatter thing) Because I used artist's acrylic (AKA craft paint) and acrylic latex it was fast drying with a fan, even in February. I had the whole thing done in 7, maybe 8 hours total spread out over three days. I spent as much time driving back and forth to her house as I did actually painting...LOL

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • 15 years ago

    Wow, these are great! We have a bunch of artists on this forum! Great post!

  • 15 years ago

    madeyna, the dresser is wonderful. Oceana has a thread in the gallery specifically for painted furniture; it's an "archives" of sorts. You should post it there too.

    Igloo and aunttomichael, those pictures make me want a jungle too! (wonders what DD and DH would think about a Jaguar in the unused middle bedroom...) Answers a question I had; when you come to a non-wall object (phone jack, vent, etc.) do you paint around it or just paint over it? There were no "fixtures" on the wall I did, so I wasn't sure what you'd do. Now I know, you'd just paint over it.

  • 15 years ago

    I wish I had digital pics of the room I did for my daugher 10 years ago...but I dont. I used stencils to paint a picket fence and then hand drew animals and flower. Some of the flowers were these press on pads you painted with acrylic paint. Years ago I bought them at Home Depot, Michaels and Walmart. I also traced or sketched little animals out of childrens books onto paper, then cut out the paper as my stencil to transfer it onto the wall. So back to your question....acrylic paint was the answer...and good paint brushes!

  • 15 years ago

    Mine are painted right in, some (incuding this pic) also have the painted fabric used as well for dimension:

    It's fun to see how others have gotten carried away in the right way on their rooms...there are some amazingly talented GW'ers around this little thread! Please share's so fun to see the different ideas!

  • 15 years ago

    We painted a mural in my daughter's room. We used an overhead projector. We traced some pretty trees and bushes and such out of a coloring book and then projected them onto the wall. Then we used a pencil and traced the picture onto the wall. The colors I picked were the Disney brand at either HD or Lowe's (I don't remember which). Here are some of my pics, good luck!!! Christy

  • 15 years ago

    Ah, you're a woman after my own heart, Mullberryst!

    I very much enjoyed the pictures in this thread, and want to remind you that if you look in the Gallery at the toddler rooms and I think also at the older kids rooms you will see lots of cute murals.

    I've done quite a bit of decorative wall painting and a couple of complete murals, and I just use either laytex I've got laying around, or Plaid acrylic paints from Michaels-- or both.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our Gallery -- toddler rooms thread

  • 15 years ago

    Wow, I love the murals! There are so many talented people on this forum. I love all the pictures of the kids enjoying their murals too.

    Something else to consider: map wallpaper. Non-gender-specific and educational. I am looking forward to showing Junior where everybody in the family is (we have relatives in the Foreign Service).

    Here is a link that might be useful: Wall-size map

  • 15 years ago

    Would someone please post a link to the mural in kids rooms thread .I cann,t seem to find it.Thanks.

  • 15 years ago

    I bow in awe at the talent here! What amazing rooms - and very lucky kids!

  • 15 years ago

    My mom did my DD's room (this same motif will be repeated in the new house, too!). She uses acrylics and a regular pencil for certain sketching of items. This was done before DD was born (and before the mess of furniture and toys!). She has since added the mommy robin and a baby sparrow.