How to Paint Large Seascape Murals

Written by phil whitmer
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How to Paint Large Seascape Murals
Seascape murals are popular ways of decorating inside and outdoor walls. (the doorway to a building with a seascape mural on the wall image by David Smith from

Elements of the seaside mural include trees, shells, driftwood and surrounding oceanside cliffs and landforms. Underwater seascapes with lots of brightly coloured fish and marine life are a popular choice for the walls of children's rooms. Seascape murals are popular in restaurants, bars and on buildings near the ocean. The murals may be painted on indoor or outdoor walls. Seascape murals may feature beach scenes with bathers or landscapes of the shores of tropical islands.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Drawing materials
  • Paper
  • Latex house paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Enamel paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Roller
  • Poles
  • Silver tape
  • Sandblaster
  • Power washer

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  1. 1

    Make thumbnail sketches of the seascape mural's design. Visit the local beach to make drawings or take photographs. Use Internet or book pictures as references if you live in a landlocked state. Photograph and draw fish from the local aquarium. Study the colouring and anatomical details of the fish. Practice drawing the small details you will use in your large mural. Finish a large scale drawing of you final composition.

  2. 2

    Prepare the background surface for your interior wall mural. Scrape off any deteriorated paint and sand the walls smooth. Roll on a fresh coat of white or off-white latex paint for the basecoat. Clean and smooth the surface of outdoor walls in preparation for the mural. Sandblast or powerwash the walls if they need it. Fill in any cracks or holes in the wall.

  3. 3

    Select the type of paint best suited to your mural. Paint the prepared surface with a primer compatible with the type of paint you will use. Use housepaint latex, craft acrylics, or regular artist's acrylic paint for indoor murals. Use acrylic or solvent-based enamel paint for outdoor works. Add a hardening medium to acrylics to increase their durability.

  4. 4

    Transfer your drawing by the grid method or by tracing it onto the wall. Use an overhead projector to enlarge and project your design for tracing the outlines. Add details with stencils. Draw freehand with brushes taped to poles long enough to provide an overview of the work in progress. Keep the composition of the entire work in mind as you paint, don't get too caught up in any one small area.

  5. 5

    Block in background colours with a roller and your largest brushes. Paint in the details of your seascape with medium to small size brushes. Use lots of bright, fully saturated colours to paint iridescent tropical fish against a deep blue background in an underwater scene. Portray dramatic affects to evoke the primal feeling of the ocean as it meets the land.

Tips and warnings

  • Varnish an outdoor mural to help preserve it.
  • Wax or varnish an indoor mural to protect it.
  • Make sure the paint is completely dry before varnishing or waxing.

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