How to Paint a Mural

Have you ever wondered how to paint a mural? Whether it’s for your home, garage, office, bedroom or even business – I have some tips to help! Last year I painted two murals, one of them was a collaborative project and the second I did pretty much myself with the help of my husband.

First know I’m a newbie to painitng murals. The only way to become an expert is to practice, practice, practice, so this is my start. Painting a mural doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking, allow yourself to get excited and have fun!

You can add a mural to the back of a door, in a hallway, on a boring wall, a patio wall, trust me know you’ll know the spot when you see it. It will call out to you – “Paint me!!!!”

Here is the one we did for Mucho Mas Art Studio

Emily Costello did the bulk of this, and I did the flowers and Patrick did Frida’s dress.

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Such a great weekend! The mural was a hit!

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And here is the one I did for Tres Leches Cafe!

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Like @mayainthemoment says “I did a thing!” Painting a mural has been on my life goals list since, like FOREVER. When ET from @tres_leches_cafe asked me to paint one in the new location, I busted through a thick case of Imposter Syndrome to get the job done. I’m not gonna lie, I had a lot of anxiety the night before. I kept thinking of all these people watching me work and secretly critiquing every stroke. But I realized that was silly and I needed to get over it and start painting and have fun! @mantasticartist helped me and taught me as I worked. I think my favorite part was working among all of the happy customers as they waited for their coffee drinks. I made so many new friends and I ended the experience with lots of happy tears in my eyes! You guys, fear is a fence that separates us from trying new things! Everything is so much shinier than expected on the other side of that fence! Thank you to @tres_leches_cafe for the invite for this project! And to my cousin @ti_reyes For helping me too! And to this little girl in the photo above who came and hugged me when I finished! I feel like she blessed it with good energy. She is the first one to take a picture in front of it! Definitely go check out the new Tres Leches Cafe location, it is stunning!

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If I can do this, so can you!

Tips for how to paint a mural:

If this is your first time, choose an easy, simple subject so you can get the hang of painting on a large scale.

Consider the time you have to spend. Make sure to add extra for redos!

Find a wall space that has a smooth surface and has good lighting. Because you know people will be taking pictures! so be aware of shadows, trees, etc. Especially outside, make sure there won’t be bird poop or even direct sunlight – anything that will mess it up.

Patch up any holes in the wall.

Recruit a friend to help. Whether it’s helping you up the step stool or handing you a new paintbrush, you’ll appreciate the extra hands.

Start with a sketch, that way you can be aware of sizing, proportion. you can mentally prepare what you are going to paint!

Decide on a method.

1. For the Mucho Mas mural, Emily sketched out the design on a transparency sheet and we used an overhead projector to draw it with chalk on the wall.

2. Chalk on your design freehand. I did this for the Tres Leches mural. It’s a little scarier, but if you feel confident – go for it!

Make sure to take your time, trust me, this is one project you do not want to rush because it’s going to be big for the world to see.

Expect mistakes. They happen, but just roll with it, we’re learning, remember? Do your best to touch it up and keep moving forward.

RELATED: How to stencil your walkway!

Supplies to paint a mural:


Floor cover


Assorted paints (we used house paint and craft paints

Assorted brushes

Chalk for outlining


Large plastic tablecloth is you are a lefty like me

Sealer (optional)

Directions to paint a mural:

Draw out your outline on the wall, and start with the background layers. If you really want an opaque look, start with a strong base coat of color.

Gradually add in the other layers. Use a dry brush and medium to blend colors if needed. you can see how advanced Emily is – she did contouring for the face, using an array of different skin tones. Then she blended them into one another.

I’m definitely not that advanced! I did mix my own skin tone but I didn’t contour, I was too chicken. I’ll have to practice before I experience with something like that on such a big project! This purpose of this mural for Tres Leches Cafe was to offer a fun Instagram spot for guests. So I left an area for people to stand.

We used a plastic table cover and low tack tape to protect the areas already painted. Especially for me because I’m lefthanded!

If you plan to letter use chalk first to check your spacing, then use wide and thin brushes to get the look you want.

Olivia Fierro from 3TV included both murals in a feature she did for Good Morning Arizona!

Olivia Fierro from 3TV came by and did a segment on the mural!

The mural in our store has been the best idea ever. It serves as the focal point where people gather for photos. I feel like Emily’s Frida blesses our shop with artfulness!

I hope this helped you with your mural planning!

Love & light,

2 Responses

  1. I’ve been wanting to paint a mural for the last few years or so, but aside from the lack of wall space I’m aloud to paint on, it’s intimidating! I applaud you for going for it!

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica!

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