Which paintbrushes should I use for a mural?
Versatile Brush 10 Pack
This pack from amazon is the best little starter kit. Especially if the project you’re doing is a smaller surface area (let’s say a set of stripes that are 4” thick each). It comes with 10 so you don’t have to wash and reuse the same brush for each color and paint smoothly on the wall.
These bad boys are my detail brushes. Every time I paint a mural there will be paint that bleeds somewhere or things that need to change. These brushes are my go-tos for that. I love that there’s a flat tipped brush, some super narrow brushes and a variety of sizes for the different needs a project presents.
Angled Sash Brush
Ahhh, the angled sash brush. I love this bad boy. I specifically love this style with the thin handle (as opposed to the more ergonomically shaped one) because its so much lighter and easier to hold. If you’re going to spend hours painting, you want to have the right tools. Specifically ones that are as light as possible. I go with the 2 inch width because it will fit in the majority of sample paint pots.
The rubber nub. I feel like this one is a classic as well. It’s compact and comfortable, light and small. It fits right in the palm of your hand which makes awkward angles a breeze!
Assorted 5 Pack
This pack comes with 5 brushes for about $5, with a variety of sizes. It’s a nice set to start out with, making them a no-brainer.
Handy Paint Pail
Whenever I’m doing a larger mural that requires more than just a sample pot of paint, I like to pour the paint into a smaller container like this one. It’s comfortable to hold, has a magnet for your paintbrush and can be used and reused forever. You can buy liners for it (which is handy if you’re using multiple colors!), but to be a little more eco-friendly I usually just allow the paint to dry fully, and then I’ll peel it out. Weirdly satisfying.
4 inch roller frame
When I’m painting a space with a lot of surface area, I’ll use this mini roller. It’s fast and lightweight (which we’ve established is key).
4 Inch rollers
I use these rollers most frequently. Make sure you wash them out after each use and they’ll last you years!
Handy Roller Tray
I pair the mini roller with this tray for mobility and convenience. I have used many oddly shaped tupperware containers as a stand in, but since I found this I will never go back. It’s easy to carry around with you, it has the roller tray built in and it’s very lightweight.
What type of tape should I use for a mural?
I use most types of tape. I feel like they all serve a purpose. Whenever I’m taping, you can be sure I’m using the clean lines trick. My tape breakdown is below:
If you are having trouble with tape sticking to your wall, you want Frogtape on your side. This tape sticks so well. When I’m painting on smooth surfaces this is my go-to.
Regular frog tape won’t stick to paint that hasn’t had 24 hours to dry. That’s what the delicate is for. I keep this on hand because I typically have to tape over paint within a few hours of it drying. It’s also good for delicate surfaces.
3M Blue tape
General purpose tape. I use this often and for almost everything. It’s not as sticky as frog tape but it feels more versatile. It will stick to freshly dried paint.
Blue tape delicate (it’s actually purple)
I use this whenever the surface I’m painting feels fragile. Sometimes you can just tell that the top layer of paint isn’t as secure. This is my go-to for that.
3M exterior tape
This tape is weird and plastic-y and totally threw me off at first. But after using it, I am super impressed with its flexibility (it has SO much stretch) and got fairly clean lines.
I have been burned by generic painters tape before. Not literally, but I have been 3/4 of the way through a project only to discover that none of the tape actually stuck to the wall. It’s bad. 3M is the only general painter’s tape I’ll buy (tan colored).
Note: this tape isn’t as forgiving as Frog tape or 3m Blue. I would not leave this tape on longer than a day or two (will leave a sticky residue or damage wall underneath) and I would not use it on trim (it’s pulled up a lot of trim paint in the past). I would not use it if it will be sitting in the sun even for a short period of time.
It is however the cheapest option. I will use it if all the above conditions are met, because I burn through tape quickly (again, not literally. Please don’t burn tape).
How do I choose paint for my mural?
Great question. There are a lot of great paint brands and many that I haven’t tried yet, so instead of recommending brands I’ll focus on paint properties.
What kind of paint should I use for a mural?
I use paint appropriate for the surface I’m painting. If the mural is on an interior wall, I use wall paint. If it’s on an exterior wall, I use exterior wall paint.
What sheen of paint should I use for a mural?
I use matte or flat when painting color on walls. Anything with a sheen is going to have a reflection and distract from the final image you’ve painted. Lower sheens also mask wall imperfections. I make sure when I’m buying a matte or flat that it’s advertised as “washable”.
What paint quality should I get?
I go for the higher quality line at any paint store. Usually the second tier (to save a little money). I end up needed fewer coats (than if I had used cheaper paint) this way which often makes up for the price difference and the paint goes on better.
How much paint do I need for a mural?
Most murals can be done with sample pots of paint. I will almost always use these. Some paint companies don’t use their normal paint formula in the sample pots, but I haven’t found that to be an issue. Shelves in my garage are filled with sample pots of paint. The only times I buy quarts or gallons of paint are for large, full-wall installations. Most interior residential murals don’t fall in that category.
Please note that I don’t recommend using sample pots for painting full walls.
Do I need to put a protective coating over my mural?
Nope! I sure don’t. You could do something to protect it if you anticipate graffiti being a problem, bu that’s not an issue I run into often. If it’s a mural in your own home you can always save the extra paint for touchups later on!
Specifically Ticonderoga pencils. Is it dorky to geek out about a pencil brand? Doesn’t matter, they’re the best.
4 ft Level
I use this 4 ft level for almost all of my murals. It comes with me when I travel. It has a case with a sticker and a place at my table. I’m kidding, but it really is my favorite.
1 ft Level
I use this 1 ft level for most smaller applications. Pair it with a yardstick if you don’t have a larger level. Pair it with a chalk line to make things even easier. As a bonus, I use it all the time for DIY projects too.
This has the most beautiful blue chalk too which I prefer. As an added bonus, chalk lines function as a plumb bob, always helping you find plumb. This line also features a clip to secure it on one end, which is ridiculously handy.
A speed square is another one of my essential DIY tools. Paired with a circular saw it has all-but replaced my chop saw. It’s not essential for most murals, but I find it helpful to find a 45º angle. As a stand in, you could always fold a square piece of paper along a diagonal and pair it with the 1 ft level to help you find 45º.
I don’t typically use a drop-cloth when I’m painting, but when I do, I prefer this one. Its dimensions make it ideal for working along a wall.
What should I wear while I’m painting?
So you want my recommendations on which clothes look best covered in paint do you? Ha! Trick question. All of them look great. But these are my go-to painting overalls.
All Purpose Overall
I wear these overalls 5 times a week. I like to think we’re best friends. They might think otherwise. They’re stretch denim and fit perfectly. Everyone who buys them loves them. I can’t recommend them enough!