Personal Paint Job

BY DAWN KLINGENSMITH ON AUGUST 24TH, 2017

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A wall mural can bring a nursery theme to life, and paint-by-number kits and removable wall decals make it easy to go bold with no regrets. But a hand-painted mural is more personal and no harder to master than a coloring book. The trick is to use an image projector.

First, browse online inspiration sites like Houzz and Pinterest to find an image or a scene to project onto the wall.

If you don’t have a projector that hooks into your laptop or smartphone, look for equipment rentals in your area that offer projectors.

For large projects, a ladder that doubles as scaffolding will spare your knees and minimize reaching.

For best results, prep the wall so it’s “clean, dull and dry” and use latex paint, says Jackie Jordan, former director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams and owner of Jackie Jordan Studios, Allen, Texas. Acrylic paints from a craft store will work for smaller projects.

Use painter’s tape and high-quality brushes to achieve clean lines, rollers for large swaths of color, and faux finishing tools for texture.

Lightly trace the projected image on the wall with a pencil. You can keep the image up for guidance as you color things in, or paint from a color copy of it. Older kids can assist if you devise a paint-by-number system and can tolerate less-than-perfect results.

“It’s important to let each color layer dry completely before applying the next one,” Jordan says.

Different materials and additives can be used for special effects, including black light paint and glow-in-the-dark paint, or paints with specialty finishes such as textured stone or metallic.

“In a girl’s room, you can add glitter to a flower or a palace for a sparkly effect,” says Kathy Hammond of Murals by Kathy in Houston. “Just use regular store glitter and toss it onto fresh, wet brushstrokes. It’s literally hit or miss, but as long as the paint is wet, it sticks pretty well.”

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