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Specialty Painting: Murals

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Including a mural as part of your wall can bring an entirely new dimension to a room. For example, a mural of an Italian villa, along with matching décor, can make you feel like you're in the real place. There are many different approaches to creating a mural. This guide will outline a few of the most common mural-creating techniques.

Using an Overhead Projector

Your first step will need to be choosing a design. It can be something you've drawn yourself, found online, found in a coloring book, etc. Your painting or drawing skill is going to need to have some influence over what you choose to do. This guide will tell you how to get an outline of your mural onto your wall, but the quality of the detail after that point is going to be totally dependant on your own skill.

Once you've selected an image, make two copies of it: one in color and one in black and white. The color copy will be your reference when painting (you can also simply refer to the original). Transfer the black-and-white copy (which should be large enough for you to see the details) onto transparency paper. You should be able to do this at a local copy store. Ask an employee for help if you need it.

Place the transparency onto an overhead projector and adjust the projector until the image on the wall is the size and location you want. Carefully outline the design on the wall, using a pencil so that you can erase mistakes if necessary. Then, you can start filling in the image details by painting or drawing.

Using Butcher Paper

Another strategy is to draw your design onto butcher paper (a large roll of paper). Then, you simply cut out the individual pieces of the design, place them where you want them on the wall, and trace around them with a pencil. Make sure you cut out any shapes that are within larger shapes to help you capture details. For example, if you have a picture of a building, you can cut out the windows within the building, then trace around the inside of these cutouts. You can then draw and/or paint in additional details you want.

If you want to transfer a smaller image onto the larger piece of butcher paper, you can try a grid-enlargement technique. Make a grid over the image, drawing vertical and horizontal lines at equal intervals; every ½ inch for example. Let's say you want to double the size of the image. To do so, draw a second grid on the butcher paper with the lines at one-inch intervals. Then, carefully transfer the picture, square by square. The grid will help you maintain the original image, because you'll only need to focus on drawing one square at a time.

Premade Murals

If you don't have the drawing or painting skills necessary to create your own mural, you aren't out of luck. You can buy premade murals that will only need to be attached to the wall. Generally, all you need to do is apply wallpaper adhesive to the back of the mural and put it in place.

To go along with your mural, consider giving the wall around it a unique texture as well. There are countless patterns and painting techniques out there that you can use as the perfect compliment to your mural. With just a little work, you can have a unique scene in your home that you can enjoy for years to come!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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