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What are the Best Supplies to Paint a Mural?

Updated: Apr 22

A fellow artist recently asked me to assist them paint their first mural. She’s a fabulous exhibiting artist, but new painting murals. I am no expert (yet!) but it gave me the inspiration I needed to get organized and ask myself, “What are the best supplies to paint a mural?” From conversations with your client, to organize the proper insurance, it can be a lot to keep track of.


Here’s a helpful list of the best mural painting supplies for you (AND ME!) to eliminate the guess work.


Learn from muralist Lauren Clayton about what supplies you need to paint a mural?

Mural Paints

  • Exterior-grade acrylic paints: These are weather-resistant and suitable for outdoor use.

  • Primary colors (red, blue, yellow) as well as black and white for mixing.

  • Additional colors as needed for your mural design.

  • Spray paint cans


Paint Brushes

  • Various sizes and shapes for different details and areas.

  • Larger brushes for broad strokes and filling in large areas.

  • Fine brushes for intricate details.


Paint Trays and Palette

  • Disposable or reusable trays for holding paint.

  • Palette for mixing colors.

  • Recycled jars and Tupperware to mix and store paints.


Painting Surface Preparation

  • Primer suitable for outdoor use to prepare the wall surface.

  • Drop cloths to protect the ground and surrounding areas from paint splatter.


Drawing and Sketching Supplies

  • Chalk or charcoal for sketching your design directly onto the wall.

  • Measuring tape for accurate proportions.


Safety Gear

  • Gloves to protect your hands.

  • Eye protection to shield your eyes from paint splatter.

  • Spray paint project respirator to filter aerosols and organic vapors.


Consider a moisture meter and respirator when painting a mural

Ladders, Scaffolding or Lifts

  • Depending on the height of the mural, you may need a ladder or scaffolding to reach higher areas safely.

  • Scissor or boom lift rentals to reach high or out-of-reach locations. 


Sealant/Topcoat

  • Clear, weather-resistant sealant to protect the mural once it's finished.


Cleanup Supplies


Design Reference

  • Mural design created by hand, in Adobe Illustrator or Procreate

  • Printed or digital copies of your mural design for reference while painting


Miscellaneous

  • Water containers for cleaning brushes and thinning paint.

  • Masking tape for creating clean edges between different colors or sections.

  • Moisture meter to gauge the dryness or dampness of your mural surface

  • Hand-warmers for cold weather outdoor projects

  • Lawn chairs to take a break between mural phases

  • Business cards or branded "Mural In Progress" signage


And lastly, for exterior murals, be sure to check the weather forecast. Paints need time to dry and cure.

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