Helpful tips and suggestions on what kids need to paint a wall mural

Helpful tips and suggestions on what kids need to paint a wall mural

Painting a wall mural is a great way to liven up spaces in a school building and provide children with a relevant, creative project that will build relationships and bolster school spirit.

The first step in planning to paint a wall mural is identifying some spaces in your school that would truly benefit from a make-over.  For instance, are there walls in the school lobby to create a mural that would welcome school visitors?  Could the library, gym, or even the corridors use some colorful and inspiring artwork?  

Once you have identified an area or location for your students to paint a wall mural, it is important to gather a team of teachers, school administrators and even parents, who will assist with the implementation, scheduling and supervision of this project.  Be sure to clear your plans with the school administration.

Next, involve the students.  Brainstorm themes, designs with the students. Children will be enthusiastic about contributing their ideas.  Assemble a team of students, or a combination of students and adults to sketch a template or draft for your mural.  Then, on to collecting art supplies for your mural painting project.


The mission to paint a wall mural in a school should be focused on the true creative vision and voice of the students.  Encourage the students to articulate their vision, and explain their choices about colors, graphic elements and themes.  You may wish to gather some library books to help familiarize students with famous muralists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Diego Rivera, Keith Haring, Grahm Rust, Robert Wyland or Rainer Maria Latzke.

Before your begin the actual painting process, you will need to gather supplies.  High quality acrylic mural paints are ideal, but if you are on a budget, ask parents and teachers to contribute regular household paints.  If the mural is planned for a sunny location, check the UV qualities of the paints to ensure that colors won’t fade.  Also, opt for paints with a matte or eggshell finish in order to minimize the reflective quality of the mural under the school lighting systems.

Select a diverse assortment of high quality, synthetic paintbrushes.  You will need many different sizes of paintbrush heads, wide and large, thin, thick, sharp and pointy, small and round… because murals entail a large space, a substantial amount of paint, and often, many layers of detail, you can be sure that you will go through an array of paintbrushes.  The trick is teaching children to properly clean and store their paintbrushes so they can be used again and again, rather than thrown away.

Be sure to prepare your wall surface before you begin to paint a wall mural.  This entails thoroughly cleaning the wall to remove dust and dirt.  You may also wish to apply a fresh coat of primer.  Use painters tape to tape of any hardwood trim or other areas that should not be painted.  Cover the floor and any furniture with a drop cloth.  It is also wise to encourage students to bring smocks or painting clothes from home.

Finally, you can get to painting!  Since murals cover such a large area of space, it is not surprising they can take a long time to complete.  Whether your mural will take a week, or several months, the process can take energy and stamina.

Once your mural is completed, make a point of celebrating the occasion!  You may wish to hold a reception or art opening in honor of the students.  Invite parents, faculty and school administration.  Invite photographers from the local town paper, or the school newspaper.