As a member of Lowe’s Creative Ideas Network I received gift cards from Lowe’s in order to purchase supplies to complete projects. All opinions are my own.
I have loved murals for as long back as I can remember, and so it was only natural that one day I would want to move from an admirer of murals to a creator of murals. At 12 years old I asked my mother if I could paint a mural on my bedroom wall, and I will be forever thankful that she allowed me to, no questions asked.
Since growing up and moving out on my own, I have continued to paint murals on the walls in every place I’ve lived. The only sad thing about a mural is that you can’t take it with you when you move, and if you decide to re-paint a room, it often gets painted over, with no way to preserve it. So when I decided I wanted to paint a new small-scale mural this time, I decided to make it portable. (Which is actually something Mexican painter Diego Rivera did in a much larger scale!)
I chose murals in La Palma, El Salvador, in the traditional style created by Fernando Llort, for my inspiration. While this portable mural measures only 8 x 24 inches, I hope to do a bigger one later. Here’s how you can make one too!
How to: Paint a Portable Mural
1 untreated piece of wood board (whichever size you want. The one pictured is 8 x 24 inches) – Try to find one with as little defects and knots as possible.
Paint in various colors, (I love the Valspar samples at Lowe’s which are only a couple dollars each. They come in so many bright, beautiful shades.)
Paint brushes in various sizes
A piece of drafting paper
1. Measure the length and width of the wood. On the drafting paper, with one square equaling one inch, draw a rectangle to the same dimensions as your wood.
(Note: If you’ll be hanging the mural instead of just setting it on a shelf or mantle, you will need to carefully add picture hangers to the back of the wood at this point – Just make sure the screws are much shorter than the depth of the wood so you don’t go through and damage the side you’ll be painting.)
2. Within this rectangle on the drafting paper, create your design with pencil.
3. Once you’re happy with your design, you’re going to manually transfer it to the piece of wood, using the grid on the drafting paper as a guide. Don’t feel overwhelmed – just go square by square and draw what you see. Use pencil so you can erase and correct as needed. As you transfer the design, you may feel comfortable changing some elements of it – go ahead! It doesn’t have to be exactly like your original draft.
4. Take a moment to plan ahead and decide which colors you want to use and where. This may change as you work, but it’s good to have a general idea before plunging in.
5. Start painting!
6. Allow the paint to dry. Once the paint is dry, you can put your mural wherever you want, and because it’s portable, if you change your mind – no problem! Just move it elsewhere!
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