When you think of large murals, images of colorful concrete walls or brick likely come to mind. That’s because most buildings and outdoor spaces are made with these materials which are relatively easy to create art on.
But what about creating stunning murals on other materials, like wood? Mural painting on wood isn’t uncommon, but it does require a different approach than painting on concrete or brick. Read on for our tips and tricks for how to do mural painting on wood so you can transform a blank panel or fence into a work of art.
Mural Painting on Wood 101
Painting on wood comes with some unique challenges. But no matter if you’re an experienced artist or a novice DIY-er, the first thing you should do when mural painting on wood is properly pre-treat the surface.
Ultimately, you want to turn the wood into a smooth, clean canvas for your art. This can be difficult when working with a natural material like wood that’s susceptible to variations and blemishes. After washing down the surface (a pressure-washer can be beneficial for prepping outdoor mural painting on wood) you can often remedy any divots or imperfections with wood filler. Depending on the wood, you may also want to sand it down. Of course, this is easier for smaller wood panels. But even on a wall or fence, a little sanding can go a long way to help create a paintable surface.
Once your wood is completely dry, it’s time to seal it. This is different from primer and must occur as a separate step prior. A sealer protects the wood by creating a barrier between it and the paints and environmental factors. Then, it’s recommended to use two coats of acrylic primer on wood. If you’re creating a mural painting on wood panels, you may want to utilize a primer such as Gesso to make the surface slightly textured and ready to accept the acrylic paint rather than absorb it. If you skip this step, your mural may look great at first, but it will be more susceptible to flaking and damage from the elements in only a few years’ time.
Choosing the Right Paints
One of the most important parts of mural painting on wood is choosing the right materials. Acrylic paint is ideal for outdoor mural painting on wood because of its versatility, ease of application, and quick dry time.
Depending on the colors of your mural, you may consider applying a coat of acrylic exterior paint in white or black as a base. However, you can also go right into painting the details of your mural since the wood has been primed correctly.
When mural painting on wood walls, you can use a roller brush to paint a base coat, but traditional paint brushes (from small round brushes to flat brushes) can be used to create fine details and paint around curves. A foam brush or other techniques can also be used to add texture.
Finishing Wood Mural Paintings
Wood mural paintings can take anywhere from 24-48 hours to dry depending on the amount of paint used (and any elements it may be exposed to). It’s essential to give the acrylic paint the time it needs to dry completely before moving on to this final step.
Once your mural is dry, you should use a sponge brush or roller to apply a sealant or acrylic varnish over your artwork. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to let it dry and apply the right number of recommended coats. This final sealant helps to protect the piece from the elements, which is especially important for outdoor mural painting on wood or when creating a mural that naturally undergoes wear and tear throughout the years.
Other sealants, like a spray-on, may be best if you’re working on a smaller mural painting on wood walls or creating works of art on wood furniture pieces or shelving.
Wood Mural Painting Supplies
Now that you know how to do mural painting on wood, it’s time to collect your materials and try your hand at creating one. At Nova Color, we have the professional-grade acrylic paint needed for mural painting on wood and other surfaces.
From highly pigmented acrylic paint to a variety of primers and varnishes, Nova Color has everything you need to create a mural on wood that not only looks amazing but can also withstand the elements.
Shop our collection of acrylic paint today! Join the Nova Color Paint affiliate program which helps artists monetize their love of art and top-quality acrylic paint. Browse our FAQ page to find answers to all the questions related to our complete product range.