How to Paint a Beach Theme for a Wall Mural

Updated February 21, 2017

Painting a beach scene wall mural is not that difficult, even for the novice, if you learn a few artists' secrets to achieve proper scale, perspective, light placement and shadowing. An opaque projector can place any scene on your wall in the proper size, eliminating any concerns you may have about painting freehand. With the proper materials and preparation, painting on a wall can become almost as easy as painting in a colouring book.

Browse through brochures featuring beach destinations. Photos taken by a professional and sold to advertise a vacation retreat may give you some design ideas of your own.

Look at vacation pictures taken by you and by others during a particularly memorable holiday. The photos may evoke fond memories and inspire you to capture and preserve the experience with your own personalised wall mural.

Research photos on the Internet featuring places you have always wanted to visit. Think tropical paradise locations such as Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii and more.

Draw your image in pencil on a plain poster board.

Experiment with colour mixing by combining small dabs of paint on a styrofoam plate until you achieve the colours you need. Record how each colour was obtained for future reference.

Practice for your mural by applying paint to your poster board sketch. This will give you the confidence needed to begin your full scale wall painting.

Sketch a layout of your wall mural onto the wall. An opaque projector may be used if you do not feel confident enough to draw a freehand image. A picture placed on the base plate of the projector can be magnified and traced to fit your wall space.

Paint the background image. Large expanses of sand, sea and sky should be painted first. Make use of your colour mixing notes from Section 2, Step 2. Allow this section to dry overnight.

Paint architectural elements such as a beach chair or tiki bar so that all objects cast light and shadow the same way. Sides facing the sun should feature a lighter shade of colour than sides facing away from the sun. Allow the mural to dry overnight.

Add the smaller details such as beach grass, foot prints or shore birds last. Allow the mural to dry overnight.

Apply a clear coat, matt, polyurethane sealer to protect the mural and give it a washable surface. This product is available in a spray and should be applied in broad, even strokes to eliminate the possibility of dripping or uneven layering.


An opaque projector may be rented from your local arts supply or equipment rental store. Acrylic paints, brushes and polyurethane spray are available from your local craft or paint supply store.


Allow each segment of the mural to dry thoroughly before adding new elements to your design. Use a protective mask and gloves and provide adequate ventilation when applying the polyurethane sealer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Art eraser
  • Poster board
  • Opaque projector- optional
  • Artist brushes
  • Acrylic paints- various colours
  • Painter's tape
  • Styrofoam plate
  • Polyurethane- matt finish
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About the Author

Kevin Ann Reinhart, a retired teacher-librarian, has written professionally since 1976. Reinhart first published in "Writers' Undercover" Cambridge Writers Collective II. She has a bachelor's degree in English and religious studies from the University of Waterloo and a librarian specialist certificate from Queen's University and the University of Toronto.