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Go Wall Out!

- Giles Smith 31 May 2016
Go Wall Out!

There is no surprise there is an increasing trend of using wallpaper and wall murals.  No longer is wallpapering the cool thing in the 60’s and 70’s. A statement piece from floor to ceiling opens up your space and gives off that edgy, free-spirited, modern personality. Wallpaper and wall murals add depth to the space as well. It’s as if stepping into another world just outside that wall. Take advantage of wallpaper and wall murals to create your own special retreat. The possibilities are endless. Go “wall” out!

Here are some of DUFMOD's favourite finds:

Got goosebumps of inspiration?

If you decide to go the DIY route to paint your statement walls, remember to clean and do a thorough check for cracks and mold.  Next prime your walls. It's just like getting your face prepped up before makeup. 

The Tools

Depending how you will approach this project, here are a list of tools:

Paint rags or old T-shirts you plan to throw out.
Painters Tape
Paint brush (various sizes and bristle textures
Paint roller (various sizes)
Bristle Stippler
Paint Primer
Roll of Canvas
Acrylic paint (your choice of colors)
Stencils (letters, shapes, etc)
Medium glazing liquid

 3 Options After Prepping Your Wall

1) Directly paint onto the wall. This is what most people will want to do at this point.

2) Add texture to the wall (for example, by applying plaster, or taping). This can create an interesting surface and design, but be aware of how it will affect the final painting. Will it add to the look or would it be an unnecessary distraction?

3) Paint on canvas. Adhere a large piece of pre-primed unstretched canvas to the wall, similar to the way you would hang wallpaper, using an adhesive like Jade glue, Unibond, or wallpaper paste. Tip: Attempting to glue up a finished painting on unstretched canvas, will be really difficult to get it to adhere correctly.

Image and Design Prepping

Transfer your image onto the wall. By now you should have a sketch of what your mural will look like, so you'll need to enlarge the image into the wall using either one of these mural techniques: the grid method or an art projector. Use a pencil to trace the image onto your wall.

Pencil or tape the outline of your image or design. 

Underpainting. The underpainting consists of large blocks of color roughly painted. Don't worry about making it perfect, you will paint more detail later. You will want an acrylic paint as it dries quick for you to paint over mistakes quickly.

Start Your Masterpiece

Here are some mural techniques at your disposal, courtesy of Thaneeya McArdle:


Sponging is a good way to create the sense of texture in a mural, such as clouds in the sky or leaves on a tree. You can also sponge a color on top of another color to create more of a sense of depth and interest, rather than leaving an area as a flat, single block of color.

Sponging is also one of the handy mural techniques for quickly filling in large areas with color.

To sponge, first wet your sponge and squeeze out the excess water. Dip your damp sponge lightly into your paint, then lightly blot the sponge on some paper towels. You don’t want your sponge to be too loaded with paint. Think of a clown crying.


Stippling is one of the popular mural techniques for creating detail without worrying about smooth blending. For instance, if you're painting a green field, you can bring it to life by stippling other colors into the green. Here's how to do it:

Apply a green underpainting, then after it is dry, paint a thin coat of a different color over top of it (for example, a yellow-green or a darker green).

While the paint is still wet, dab the wet paint with a dry stippling brush and dab the new color around until the new layer is all stippled. If done correctly, the new color will no longer looked "brushed on" and some of the underpainting will show through. You can repeat this mural technique as many times as you need (with as many colors as you want) until your desired area is covered.

This is a nice mural technique for creating the illusion of a field alive with shades of green, dappled in yellow sunlight.


Stenciling is a popular mural technique because it is fairly simple and anyone can do it – you don't need any special art skills. You can buy stencils in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from alphabet letters to farm animals to wildlife, trees, planets, you name it!

To stencil, use a painter's tape to adhere the stencil to the wall. With one hand, hold the stencil in place and with your other hand, paint in the color. You need to be cautious around the edges, because you don't want too much paint build-up on the edges when you lift the stencil away. Use a sweeping, circular motion when applying paint near the edges to avoid build up.

You can also use a stencil as an outline, and paint in details later. For example, you can follow the mural technique described above to stencil the image of an alligator in a solid shade of green. Then remove the stencil and paint in details, such as eyes, teeth, and bumpy skin.


Do you want to make your mural look old, emanating a sense of history into the room? You can achieve this by antiquing, which is one of the easiest mural techniques. To antique a wall, mix your desired color (usually siena or umber to create an aged look) with an acrylic glazing medium, using the ratio of 4 to 5 parts glaze to 1 part paint. Brush the mixture onto your wall and quickly - while the paint is still wet - run a clean rag or cheesecloth over the paint to spread it around. For an added effect, you can use this technique to add even darker color to the corners and edges of the wall.


To create acrylic glazes on a wall, mix the acrylic paint with an acrylic medium Golden Glazing Liquid. This will thin and "stretch" the paint, making it more translucent. When you paint a glaze on the wall, the color underneath will show through. This is a handy mural technique for adding dimension and shading to your mural.

For more details and ideas, Alisa Burke made an amazing mural for her tropical retreat. Take a peak.

Ready to start your statement wall? Grab a your favorite "pick me up" drink and let the painting begin. Wall out!