Some DIY projects seem more intimidating than others. Painting a mural on your outdoor shed is one of those projects that seems really complicated if you’ve never done it before. But, actually, the entire process is not only much easier than you think, it’s also enjoyable. And, you’ll love having a unique piece of artwork right in your backyard.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can transform your EasyShed garden shed into a masterpiece! It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you have an artistic bone in your body. This is a DIY project for anyone!
- A power washer (or you can use a hose and rags)
- Primer for metal surfaces (we recommend a spray)
- Face mask and gloves
- Plastic sheet
- Sturdy ladder or step stool
- Paint for metal (more on this in a moment)
- Sidewalk chalk
- Paint thinner to clean the brushes (if you’re using oil-based paint)
If your shed is not brand new, you’ll also need:
- A power sander or sandpaper to remove any rust before you get started
Alright, when it comes to paint, you have a couple of different options. If you think you want to try your hand at spray painting, there are plenty of brands on the market that are made specifically for metal surfaces.
If, on the other hand, you want to stick to a paintbrush and wet paints, you’ll choose between an oil-based or a water-based paint. Water-based paints tend to be easier to paint with and are not considered hazardous waste like oil-based paints are. However, they need to be painted over a strong primer as any contact with the actual metal will cause rust. Oil-based paints, on the other hand, are much hardier, and are recommended for coastal areas.
It’s important to talk to an expert at your local paint shop for advice on the best paint for your region. They’ll be able to recommend to you the best primers, paints, and finishes for your project.
Now, you might be asking yourself how much paint you need to buy. This is going to depend on whether you want to paint the entire shed, one wall, or a part of one wall. Painting the entire standard-sized shed with two coats would likely require about 2 litres of paint. Obviously, if you’re going to be using different colors, you’ll need smaller portions. Again, it’s helpful to talk to an expert in your area so that you can get an idea of how much your unique project will require.
Probably the most intimidating part of painting a mural is figuring out just what you want to paint. But this should be the most fun part! The key is not to put too much pressure on yourself. Your DIY mural can be quaint and lovely instead of a perfect professional work.
Here are a couple of different ideas to inspire you:
This is a style that can be recreated by someone who has never picked up a paintbrush in their life. If you want to go completely freestyle, simply take some masking tape and create triangles of different sizes. Paint each triangle a different color (or choose three or four main colors), allow the paint to dry and remove the masking tape.
The use of stencils
Stencils are another great way to get a professional-looking mural without having any experience with painting or art. Simply find a design that you like, print it out in poster format, and cut it out on a large piece of cardboard.
When it comes to what design you want to use for your stencil, the possibilities are endless. You could use lettering, people, animals, buildings, trees, or really anything you like. You can even start with a geometric background and then use a stencil on top.
Flowers and plants are great for outdoor shed murals because they don’t require too much rigidity in the painting process. Flowers in real life aren’t perfect or uniform, and you can use this to your advantage. Allow yourself to paint through intuition here. If your rose looks more like a peony at the end, well, you’ve still got yourself a beautiful mural.
Another good option that is frequently used in DIY projects is the simple cactus outline. When you break succulents down into their basic shapes, you’re really just working with ovals for the main body and little lines for the spikes. Easy enough. And it will come out looking trendy.
More complex pieces
If you have some experience or are just ready for a fun challenge, you might consider a design that is a bit more complicated. Landscapes, people, animals, trees, and cityscapes can all look amazing on your shed wall. Just make sure that you take plenty of time coming up with the design, and figuring out the exact color scheme, before translating it to your shed.
Getting to Work
No matter which direction you choose, here are three tips to get you started:
- Sketch out a possible design on a blank piece of paper.
- Use a grid to break your design into 9 separate blocks. As you’re painting, you’re just going to focus on one block at a time. This is going to help you paint your mural without becoming overwhelmed by the big picture. It will also ensure that you’re maintaining the right proportions throughout the painting process.
- Sketch out your design with sidewalk chalk. Were you curious why we added the chalk into the list of supplies? Well, think of your chalk like a pencil. It’s going to give you the skeleton of your painting and can easily be washed off when you’re finished.
Once you have all of the prep work done and you’re ready to paint, take a deep breath. This is going to be the fun part, so don’t get so bogged down by how you think your mural is supposed to look at the end. If you make a mistake, it’s okay! Just roll with it. Remember, once the paint is dry, you can add some touch-ups.
Also, remember to give yourself plenty of breaks so that you can take a step back, relax and admire your work. If this is the first time that you’ve painted something this large or with this much detail, you’re going to feel it in your shoulders, arms, back, and, okay, pretty much everywhere else. And if you don’t give yourself regular breaks, you might walk away with a headache at the end of the day. So, even if you have to set a timer for yourself, make sure that you’re taking breaks.
Let us know how you do!
We’re eager to see your in-progress and finished outdoor shed murals, so send us your DIY projects or share then on Facebook with us!