Essential Tips for Painting a Mural in Your Child’s Bedroom
A mural is a wonderful way to add color and creativity to your child’s bedroom. Murals can range from a dramatic fairytale scene that stretches across most of the available wall space to a simple, adorable tree filled with singing bluebirds behind your child’s bed. Whatever the case, murals are a more intense design project than simply painting the walls, and undertaking a mural project requires a little more know-how. These essential tips for painting a mural in your child’s bedroom will help make your child’s mural magical.
Picking the Mural
Pick Something Timeless
Even simple murals become a room’s focal point, and they aren’t as easy to change as a piece of furniture. Choosing something that your child will continue to love over the years is important to consider when choosing a mural topic. For example, if your child adores the latest animated movie musical, it may seem like the obvious choice for a mural. But movies come and go, and your child will likely adore a new set of characters a few months from now when the next movie comes out. Even choosing a more generic mural theme can backfire a few years down the road if you pick something too “kiddy.” If you don’t want to repaint the mural every few years, choose wisely.
Keep the Child’s Tastes in Mind
Since you are doing most of the work as the grown-up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to paint something catering to what you think looks good. But ultimately, your child is the one who will spend their time in the room. Maybe your child just doesn’t like dinosaurs enough to want to stare at them as they go to sleep or isn’t that crazy about Winnie-the-Pooh. This is not to say that you have to relinquish all veto power, but giving kids the chance to have a say in the room will help unleash their creativity and give them a sense of ownership of their space.
Consider Your Own Abilities
Murals are a chance to let your imagination run wild, but you have to keep in mind that you are the one who has to make the vision a reality. If you are coming to this project with a good deal of art experience, then you are likely aware of how to gauge whether you can make a painting happen with your abilities. If you are not, consider choosing a simpler mural topic or enlisting the help of a more experienced artist.
Planning the Mural
Start on Paper
Once you’ve picked your theme, you will want to begin creating sketches of what you want the final piece to look like. Even your clearest vision will look different on paper, and drawing it will help establish things like proportions and character design. Drawing the mural on paper first is also a useful reference tool for when you begin the tracing step.
Remember the Space
Painting on walls is different from painting on canvas. Your bedroom may have irregularly shaped walls, sloped ceilings, and outlets to contend with that will make your final piece look different than you envisioned. Instead of just avoiding the environmental oddities, you should consider utilizing the space in unique ways such as framing outlets or making the ceiling part of the mural.
Along with the room itself, you have to consider that some of the wall will likely be covered by furniture. If possible, find ways of spacing the mural so the important parts will be visible around the typical height of a furniture piece. You can also consider using the furniture as a reference when it comes to how you size parts of the mural. For instance, if you are drawing a field with a tree, you can consider how tall most furniture is and paint the tree taller to bring home the effect for your children.
Prepare the Room
As with any paint job, you will want to prepare the space before you start to paint. Either remove furniture from the room completely or move it to the center of the room and cover it with a tarp. A tarp should also be used to protect the floor in the area where you are painting. Also, be sure to cover all outlets and trim with painter’s tape. Fill and spackle any holes, wash the walls, and then apply a coat of primer. Your canvas awaits.
Trace Your Design First
Before you pick up your paints, you will want to lightly pencil your design on the wall. When painting on a space this large, it is easy to become lost among the colors and miss where you are in the bigger picture. Penciling in the designs first will help you to avoid mistakes when you begin painting.
Pick Your Colors Carefully
Normally, when you paint a wall you are only using one color at a time. This already comes with its own challenges since your walls and primer bring different undertones to the table. But murals usually require multiple colors, and the colors will be put directly on top of each other on more detailed murals to create depth. Consider both how the different paint colors will look on the wall and how they will look with each other before applying them to the wall.
Also, consider the different hues of individual colors and which one will look better on different parts of the mural. For instance, if you are doing an outdoor scene and are wanting to paint a semi-realistic white cloud, your first instinct may be to reach for the brightest white you can find. But a more natural-looking cloud may call for an off-white mixed with blues or even purples to get the shade you want.
Pick Healthier Paint
Above all, the health of the child living there should always be considered when painting a room. This is especially true with a project like painting a mural in a child’s bedroom, which often requires more paint. Whether your mural will decorate a nursery or a tween’s bedroom, using ECOS Paint’s Lullaby wall paint will provide an odorless*, non-toxic** paint experience for you and your children.
*Odorless - no traditional paint or polyurethane odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.
**Non-toxic - conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.