How to Paint Over a Mural

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Ever move into a house where the previous owner thought it would be a brilliant idea to paint a giant mural on the bedroom wall? No matter how good the original artist was--you just don't have the same taste in wall decoration. Or maybe you've done something similar yourself--like painting cartoon characters or animals on your kids' bedroom walls, but the kids have now outgrown that style. Painting over a wall mural can be a real challenge, especially if there are dark or bright colors on the wall (red is particularly difficult to cover). It seems no matter how often you paint the wall, after a little while that mural will start to show through. Here are some ideas on how you can paint over that wall mural--and keep it covered up for good.

Things You'll Need

  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • TSP (Tri sodium phosphate)
  • Sponge mop
  • Latex primer OR
  • White carpenter's glue
  • Paint sleeve (short nap)
  • Paint roller
  • Begin your preparations by removing the furniture from the room or at least moving it into the center so that you have room to work. Lay down drop cloths to protect your floors.

  • Using a sponge mop, wash the wall with a mixture of TSP and warm water. This will get rid of any dirt or oils that might be on the wall.

  • After the wall has dried, give the entire wall a light sanding with the 120-grit sandpaper, then remove any sanding dust using your sponge mop and clear water.

  • Apply a coat of latex primer to the entire wall and allow it to dry thoroughly, then apply a second coat of primer and allow time for it to dry thoroughly.

  • Finish painting over and covering up your old wall mural by applying two coats of your new paint color. The two coats of primer in combination with two coats of paint should prevent any "burn through" of the old mural.

Tips & Warnings

  • For even better coverage, having your primer tinted to match your chosen paint color will enhance the colors of your walls and block the old mural.
  • After doing your wall preparation, instead of using primer, you could use a mixture of one part PVA (Poly Vinyl Acetate) glue (white carpenter's glue) to six parts water, followed by two coats of paint.
  • On small jobs it may be less expensive to use the mixture rather than buying a can of primer.

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