Creating a Wall Mural: Beginner Scenic Painting Techniques

by Wendy Croxford

in Permaset Blog

4 Mar 2022  | 0 Comments

If you’ve ever glanced at a vibrant wall mural and thought, “I want to do that!”, then now’s the time to jump right into the world of scenic painting. All you need is a wall, the right type of vibrant paint for your mural, some basic equipment and the correct scenic painting techniques to develop your design.

Common scenic painting techniques

While every mural artist has their own unique style, following are some of the most common processes and techniques you can incorporate into your scenic painting project.

Applying base colours

Starting with a fresh base coat in an appropriate colour for your design is an ideal way to begin a new mural.  If you’re painting over a dark background and your mural is in light colours, there are two PERMAPLASTIK undercoats you can use.  PERMAPLASTIK Acrylic Sealer Undercoat in White, or PERMAPLASTIK N23 Grey Primer.  The PERMPLASTIK N23 Grey Primer is a great base to use if you are wishing to paint PERMAPLASTIK Glow colours in your design as it helps them stand out.

Planning your design

While some mural artists paint instinctively, others will begin with a smaller drawing as a draft. Once the base coat is down, you can sketch out your design in pencil onto the wall to get the proportions right across the surface.

Projecting the design up onto the wall

Some artists choose to prepare a small drawing, then project that design up onto the wall using an audio visual projector.  Using this method, you can trace over the projected design, making a line drawing on the wall which ensures you will get the proportions of your mural correct.

Taping and stencilling

While this isn’t a common technique used by all mural artists, using stencils and tape can help you to paint sections consistently and ensure clean edges, if this is required for your design.


The best part of all is when you can grab your paint brushes and enjoy the satisfaction as that paint goes on smoothly. Contrasting colours can help to create dynamic and eye-catching imagery.

Watch @mulgatheartist apply an expert hand to a wall mural using these beautiful PERMAPLASTIK Glow colours.


Depending on your style, adding clean outlines around different sections can help to convey contrast and dimension. Outlines can be added with a fine paintbrush or a paint pen, such as a Uni-Posca pen.

Sponging or stippling

Both of these techniques can be great for adding shading to larger areas without detailed work. Sponging and stippling can also be effective for painting on uneven surfaces.

  • To sponge, simply dampen a sponge with water, dip it into your paint, squeeze out the excess and dab onto the surface.
  • To stipple, apply small dabs from a paint brush across the area to be shaded.

Adding fresh elements

There are many options to bring an extra level of interest to your murals, including Metallic and Glow paint colours or fluoro colours that glow under a UV light source.

PERMAPLASTIK Glow Colours glow under UV light


Contemporary artist Kayde Valja used the PERMAPLASTIK Metallic colours to paint his recent ‘Earthly Delights’ series

Finding the right water-based paint for your mural

Contrary to what you might expect, water-based scenic paints can provide a vivid and durable result for indoor wall murals plus it’s easier to clean up your equipment with water.  For outdoor murals, some of the PERMAPLASTIK Glow colours can fade in the sunlight so it’s best to overcoat your mural with the PERMAPLASTIK Clear Gloss or Matt varnish once it’s completed to provide more longevity of the colours.

@heavymentalartist painted his mural ‘Lizardus in the Everglow’ at the Uncontained Festival in Hurstville, and it glows under UV light.

Alternatively, the manufacturer, Colormaker Industries, can provide a more fade-resistant range of bright mural colours for painting outdoor murals, please contact us on 02 9939 7977 for more information about these paints.

PERMAPLASTIK® scenic paints are used across a vast range of applications, from school murals to installations to fine art. They have also been used on film sets for blockbuster movies including The Matrix, Mad Max: Fury Road and Wolverine.

St Augustines College mural painted by Mulga the Artist using PERMAPLASTIK scenic paints

With 32 brilliant colours to choose from and the ability to re-work after just one hour of drying, it’s the ideal mural paint choice for beginners and professionals alike. Explore the full PERMAPLASTIK® range today, or find a stockist in your local area.


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