How to paint a mural

Painting a mural is a brilliant way to transform a space in a unique way and if you choose the right image, equipment, paint and friends to help you, it’s also the best fun you'll ever have with a paintbrush.

Before you start

Good preparation and planning will be key to success for your mural project and although preparation of surfaces isn’t the most exciting part of the job, it will make your work quicker and easier to do; plus the end results will look great for much longer.

Safe access to the areas you are painting is important too, so no rickety ladders and wobbly chairs please! We want you to be safe, happy and in one piece while you paint your masterpiece so if there are high walls, use a work platform or scaffolding tower and make sure all access equipment has been professionally installed and checked over before you climb up there.

The surface you are going to paint has to be dry and clean before you start. Clean off any loose material and flaking paint then apply a coat of primer to areas that are bare plaster, wood, metal or brick. Ask at your local DDC about the best products to use for each surface if you are unsure.

  • 1. Designing your Mural

    Look for something that is simple and full of impact so that it will be easy to get a great result using lots of different levels of skill and ability.

    2. Choose your colours

    Use Dulux Stripe cards to help you match up the colours in your design and try to keep the selection as simple as possible. Use masonry paint on exterior walls and for any other surface ask for advice at your local DDC for the best Dulux products to use.

  • 3. Scaling up your design

    Scaling up a small design onto a large wall isn't too difficult and it's even easier if you have some friends to help you. Start by sizing up the original picture as big as you can on a photocopier then draw a grid over the design with a fine pen or pencil. Each cell of the grid should contain a reasonable amount of detail as you are going to copy them one by one onto the wall.

    4. Trace the detail

    Make an outline of the design that simplifies the image but retains important details. This will guide the painting and separation of colours.

  • 5. Size up the grid on the wall

    Work out how big you want the mural to be. Use a tape measure, spirit level and chalk line reel to transfer the scaled up grid onto the wall (a chalk line reel makes the job of creating long straight guide lines really easy and you can get one from your local Dulux Decorator Centre or DIY store). Once you have the grid chalked, it's easy to scale up your design by copying the detail one cell at a time.

    6. Brushes and equipment

    Use a combination of standard decorating brushes and artists brushes. You will need wide emulsion brushes for big areas and thinner ones for edging in and finer details. You may find that the best artists brushes for outdoor murals are oil painting or decorators brushes.