Work wonders with walls

Work wonders with walls

Are you the artsy-type dreamer or a nature-lover wondering how to spruce up your walls? There’s one common answer to this question – wall murals.

Intrigued? Don’t be. For mural artwork isn’t meant merely for outdoor display on exterior walls or at public places. Today, indoor wall murals find a place in home decor plans, too. And yes, it’s not just large house-owners’ privilege. Murals can be installed/painted in smaller houses, too. In fact, they’re often employed to create an illusion of spaciousness.

But, what exactly is a mural? It’s a piece of artwork that’s painted onto a wall directly or a ready piece applied over it. Opt for a mural embracing the entire accent wall or for a small decorative niche. Whichever’s your choice, ensure it coordinates with the room’s overall design theme and architectural elements.

Murals can adorn the living room, bedroom, the kids’ rooms, dining room, kitchen, stairways, landings, practically just anywhere in the house.

Plenty to pick from

What mural choices do you have? First, there’s artwork painted onto the wall or on canvas that can be applied onto it.

Metallic ones or mixed-media pieces huge enough to cover the whole accent wall or of a smaller size to occupy a part of it are also on your plate. Mixed-media pieces are made of different materials like metal leaves, fabric, feathers and the like on mosaic tiles. Mini, framed, abstract metallic works and wall decals or stickers are also available.

If you opt for paintings, you can either commission a mural artist or make it a ‘DIY job’. Else, go for a canvas mural that’s painted in a studio and attach it to your wall. Today, paintings/photographs can be digitally printed onto poster paper/canvas and glued to the wall.  But, they lack the allure of hand-painted creations, besides being unable to suit preferences and wall-sizes. Plaster of Paris creations are also attractive.

Determining factors include your budget, comfort level with the brush, the mural’s purpose (mere decoration or creative tendencies too) and the overall decor theme.Various themes are available – good old Mother Nature, a famous painting’s reproduction, a historic event, a place, an episode or a personality (even a pet) dear to your heart, graffiti art or abstract themes.

Discuss every aspect in detail with your muralist, if you are commissioning one. Whatever you opt for, first choose the location and ensure the wall is freed from damages, uneven surfaces or peeling paint. Use a primer to prepare a smooth surface before painting.

You can do it too

If it’s a ‘DIY job’, usually a combination of latex paints (the usual house-wall eggshell-finish paint) for the background or broader spaces and artist acrylic paints to fill in the details is recommended. There are many alternatives you can choose from – gridding, projecting the original small-sized image onto the wall and pencilling the outline or painting the entire picture thus.

While actually painting, you can use a combination of methods – sponging, stippling, stencilling and so on. Remember to pick a variety of brush-sizes, a palette and, of course, a step-ladder, if you intend painting up to the ceiling. The last task is to apply a protective layer of varnish. Choose one that’s clear water-based with a soft or low sheen.

Wallpaper murals are applicable over painted surfaces and wallpapered ones as well. They help you create a scenic view (nature themes) or the feel of a window (a well-lit city or a container garden) or feature designer art. A vast landscape covering the entire wall behind the seating area in living rooms creates an impression of being seated outdoors in the lap of Nature. For those tired of the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle, this is the best choice.

So is wallpaper depicting clouds in the sky, the moon and stars or the planets for the ceiling. An image of a ship sailing on the waters could be an appropriate display behind the bar counter. For the kids’ rooms, consider wallpaper mural themes ranging from trees and flowers with butterflies/birds, grassland scene with animals, racing, fairies, mermaids, belles before a castle or a flying plane outside a window.

For the wall behind the bathtub or indoor swimming pool, go for underwater sea-life or waterfalls, rivers and so on. A Buddha wallpaper mural (whether abstract or a photographed sculpture) needn’t be confined to the meditation room. He sits snugly in the living room, too. Mythological themes like the slaying of a demon by the Goddess are perfect for the puja room.

Birds in flight, butterflies, trees, flowers, animals (kids’ rooms), pots and pans (kitchen background display), amusing quotes and inspirational messages are some more examples. The objects are printed in either one single colour or in many hues. Sizes ranging from small to large to enable selection according to the wall size.

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