The feasibility of painting on fabric or vinyl.
August 8, 2012 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I've been commissioned to paint a mural on some sort of material that will be 20'x20' and will be displayed outdoors. What material would be most receptive to paint, flexible and long-lasting?

Is it possible to paint on vinyl or canvas and fold it up without any cracking of the paint? Is there a paint that adheres to vinyl? Any suggestions or experience would be most appreciated.
posted by cloeburner to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
I haven't painted a mural since the 7th grade (and that was on a non-moving wall), but the expert mural folks at Precita Eyes can probably help.
posted by rtha at 8:24 AM on August 8, 2012

How long do you want it to last? My mom does papier mache art that she leaves outside; she paints it with latex paint and then coats it with clear polyurethane or polycrylic or whatever. It's held up through hailstorms.
posted by Madamina at 8:33 AM on August 8, 2012

I'd recommend canvas + latex paints. Be sure to coat it with a primer first, both sides. Once done, you could even paint over it with some kind of water-based clear coat for further protection from the elements. (Note, some clear coats will add a very slight yellow-orange hue.) If you have to transport or store the mural, roll it up instead of folding. Good luck! : )
posted by see_change at 9:52 AM on August 8, 2012

I hate to be that guy that ignores the question parameters, but does it *have* to be flexible? MDO plywood is often used for outdoor sign painting (no personal experience, but have read it many times). Issues of cracking and flexibility would then be moot.

Of course, storage and transport then becomes more challenging, but not insurmountable. Besides, transporting 20 x 20 folded mural in such a way as to not damage it might be pretty difficult.

A 3/8 inch thick 4x8 sheet of the stuff was $52 at the first place I found that had pricing online.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 2:47 PM on August 8, 2012

I used to commission artwork banners in a former job, and the most cost-effective thing was to commission a studio-size original and then have the banner place reproduce it at a larger scale.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:11 PM on August 8, 2012

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