Wall painting: how?
May 3, 2006 1:57 AM   Subscribe

I want a large stencil-like image on my bedroom wall and door. How do I go about this?

I'm thinking about something like this (note: I do not want that graphic or anything, just that size). The wall will be painted (light creamy) white, the graphic should be black. Also I want a graphic like that on the white door that leads to the bedroom.

My question: obviously (obviously) I'm not just going to make a freehand painting on the wall and the door. Because I'm not quite that talented. So, provided I decide on what I want on the wall, how do I get it there? And what kind of paint do I use? Or is it feasible to go stencil all the way and spray it on or something? Will I need different paint for the wall/door? Help!
posted by Skyanth to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I used to do similar thing by using an overhead projector. Just throw the picture up there and trace it onto the wall.
I don't know how accessible a projector would be to you...
posted by shanevsevil at 2:22 AM on May 3, 2006

Tape + spraypaint.
posted by delmoi at 2:29 AM on May 3, 2006

You can order custom graphics big enough to cover a trailer truck from many sites on the Web, and if you like, you can include metallic foils, and surface effects. Peel & stick & go nuts.
posted by paulsc at 3:06 AM on May 3, 2006

You can create your stencil using The Rasterbator... Then print, cut, stick on the wall and paint away with glee.
posted by lorbus at 3:09 AM on May 3, 2006

Best answer: Second the projector idea, that's how I enlarge and transfer images. An opaque projector is probably cheaper than an overhead projector; they usually available in hobby/craft stores for around $50us.
posted by one at 3:31 AM on May 3, 2006


You could employ the methods of graffiti artists who use stencils. Some of them end up looking amazingly cool, and generally only use cardboard boxes and spraypaint.
posted by Loto at 4:34 AM on May 3, 2006

If you ever need to make this a white wall again, realize that black is very hard to cover. Just an FYI.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:04 AM on May 3, 2006

The easiest and traditional way is to use the grid method (Check the bottom of this page). Make or find a drawing on a regular sheet of paper. Draw an evenly spaced grid over it. Now draw a grid on the wall with the same number of units. Use a pencil or a black charcoal stick and start drawing outlines from the original drawing onto the corresponding grid on the wall. Breaking it down by squares makes it a lot simpler so that even a non-artist can create one. Back in the olden days and even still today, mural artists use this technique to scale their drawings.
posted by JJ86 at 6:10 AM on May 3, 2006

Third the projector method. I'm not at all artistic or crafty but I borrowed one from a school teacher friend for a weekend, found it remarkably easy to set up and the resulting painting was much admired.
posted by ceri richard at 6:18 AM on May 3, 2006

Oh and as for the black stencil in Skyanth's example, I saw a diy programme recently where the images (in that case a wallpaper of navy blue and red football badges) were painted over with a good quality white paint then the whole wall painted with the final color. Seemed to work well (even though I'm suspicious of these "decorate three rooms in a day" type programmes).
posted by ceri richard at 6:26 AM on May 3, 2006

Projector is the only way to go. Now how to find one. If you or a close friend attend church they may have one they use in the sunday school dept. Check out one from the local library. Try a friend that may know someone on a school PTA/college that could get their hands on one, and last but not least rent one from a A/V place. Good luck!
posted by johnd101 at 7:08 AM on May 3, 2006

One word of warning: straight lines are a bitch to make on a wall. Curvy lines hide a lot of imperfection. But if you have a lot of straight lines, beware, bc just sticking some masking tape up there and using it as your straightedge doesn't work as well as you think it will. It didn't for me. However, if you use a projector, trace it out in pencil, and follow the pencil line carefully with a small paintbrush it will look great.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:53 AM on May 3, 2006

selfmedicating said: One word of warning: straight lines are a bitch to make on a wall.

Only if you try to do them by hand, for everything else there is the age old method of using string and tacks.
posted by JJ86 at 8:13 AM on May 3, 2006

If you want to use tape for straight lines, there's a paper tape made for painters. It's inflexible brown kraft paper with 'post-it' type adhesive along one edge of the tape's underside. Looks like this.
posted by wryly at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2006

I helped a friend do exactly what you are proposing, and we did it with overhead projector. Worked really, really well.
posted by dead_ at 10:27 AM on May 3, 2006

Best answer: Here is a small guide on how I did exactly that.
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2006

Response by poster: Asbestos McPinto: that is awesome.
posted by Skyanth at 11:34 PM on May 3, 2006

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