what to use to paint a mural with kids
December 8, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

What should I use to paint a mural with children?

I'm developing a mural project and trying to figure out what paint/s to use. Sorry, this is multi-part, any input is appreciated!

Here are the conditions:
-Needs to be non-toxic (children will be painting, the mural is indoors in an educational space)
-Need to be fairly durable (located in an entryway where it will probably be touched and leaned against, there may be benches in front of it so people may sit down and brush their butts against it or lean their heads on it, etc.)
-Needs to be reasonably priced
-approx. 10x20 feet, wall will probably have been just primed and painted with interior latex paints (its a new building and I have no control over this at this point, can't change the existent painting contract)

I am considering using Blickrylic artist's acrylic. $25 a gallon. Is this going to be durable enough? Am I going to use more of it than I would an interior acrylic wall paint?
How much would I need to paint a 10x20 foot wall?

Also considering Freshaire Zero VOC paint, but I would probably have to also use artists acrylic in some areas to get the brighter/saturated colors. It's $37 a gallon.

And finally, priming:
Can I paint with artist's acrylic on interior latex paint and have it hold up over time?
How about interior latex primer (I would use the Freshaire primer)?
Will I need to gesso over the interior latex, will THAT stick??

Are there other alternatives I haven't thought of for good, fairly non-toxic paints out there?

Thanks for reading through the BARRAGE of questions I have about this project, I really appreciate it!
posted by dahliachewswell to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The murals I have done in schools have all been done with interior latex over latex - no gesso - we primed with white latex. Choice of paint was based on what was available within the school already. The walls were concrete block. The murals (I've done several) have held up decently so that's one data point anyway. I've never used a Zero VOC paint for a mural so can't say anything useful there. I did use some artist's acrylic over latex for detail with no problem.
posted by leslies at 6:08 PM on December 8, 2008

My experience (painting outdoor murals) is that acrylic can be cut pretty significantly with media, to defray the cost a bit. That said, I think inside, latex would hold up as well and be significantly cheaper. Someone will spill a can of paint and it would be good if that didn't cripple your budget.

Interior latex can go right on the wall, provided what ever paint is there is in good condition, which it should be in a new building. In my experience (again, outside,) was that acrylic over latex worked fine.

I would call Dick Blick to help calculate how much paint you will need. On the one hand, you can always buy more, on the other, you can use leftover paint for other projects.

Good luck! Murals are awesome.
posted by aint broke at 10:51 PM on December 8, 2008

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