A list + descriptions of mural supplies to get you started and thinking.
Lunch Box/Healthy Food
Home Depot Buckets
Montana Spray Paint
Empty Paint Pens
Soap (washing brushes)
Table/Something to hold supplies
Any House Paint is fine. I like Behr. The paints at the hardware store are all relatively the same. Different colors are different levels of opaqueness. Some colors need more layers than others.
Cheep brushes work fine. You don’t need that many bushes. On my last mural, I really only used 4 or 5 paintbrushes. Even though the wall is big you don’t need very many brushes. I like having a small brush, a pointy medium small brush, a medium sized rounded brush, and a house painting brush. Some murals require rollers. It really depends on what you are trying to do. My top two favorite brushes are Isabey Isacryl Brush – Filbert, Long Handle, Size 12 and Grumbacher Bristlette Brush – Round, Long Handle, Size 6. I use these two brushes the most.
If you have a mural that requires you to kneel for long periods of time, I would highly recommend using a kneeling Matt. A thick blanket and a pillow could also work. Protect those knees!
Masking paper is great for protecting big areas. For example, if your spray paint skills are not great, masking paper can help a lot if you have any overspray.
If your mural site does not have a running water source, using those Home Depot buckets with lids and a gallon of water works great. Having buckets around can be really helpful for washing your brushes. They are inexpensive and reusable.
Montana Spray Paint
Spray Paint is great for covering large areas quickly. Learning how to use spray paint is really important if you want to paint murals. Brush painting can be very time consuming. Use a mask when spray painting, its worth it for your health. I always feel really sick if I spray paint without a mask.
If you are using spray paint it is best to get a variety of caps. Play around with them to find what works best for you.
I would recommend using water-soluble pencils. These are great because you can basically use water to remove the lines. Also, if using water based paint, the pencil ends up mixing with the paint and gets covered easier. I like using pencils to do my first outline of my mural. I have heard of people using chalk and markers too. Use what works best for you.
This requires a power source. Having a hair drier handy is great for if you need a section to dry faster when you are on the job. It would be helpful to have a portable power thing or an extension cord. Thrift stores always have hair driers. You don’t need anything fancy it just has to work.
Sometimes it’s just bright as F*&k. Have some sunglasses handy.
Rulers are really helpful to have around. I mainly use a metal yard stick.
Lunch Box/Healthy Food
Mural work takes a lot of energy. It’s good to fuel yourself during the day while painting. Pack a nice lunch or some snacks.
Paints are toxic, wearing some disposable gloves would be wise. Also, if you don’t have easy access to a skink where your mural wall is, using gloves can save you from peeling paint off your fingers.
I like to pack a battery charger pack for my phone. Just incase.
If you can get your hands on some scaffolding, it could be really helpful. Not all murals require scaffolding but some do. If you want to do lots of murals, you might want to even invest in some scaffolding. Places rent them out too. You can require a client to provide scaffolding if you need it and don’t have it; Just make sure its specified in your contract.
If you are painting a mural in public, you might want to have a sign that has info about you and that you are an artist painting a mural. It could be good advertisement for your services.
You might need to bring some water to wash your brushes. Also, good for drinking.
I love having cardboard around for practicing spray paint. It helps me get familiar with how close I need to be to the actual wall. It’s also helpful for blocking off areas to minimize overspray.
A tape measure is great for mapping out a grid. You never know when it could come in handy, keep one around.
I love using post markers to help me draw my designs on the wall. Sometimes it’s quicker than a brush to get a sense of where color should go. If the mural is outside, use appropriate outdoor paint after you use the Posca markers.
This goes without saying. Protect the ground. It’s professional. The thrift store often has drop cloths or big sheets for super cheep. I bought three for $3.
You don’t necessarily need a projector. Some projects a projector could make it easier to get your image on the wall. I have a super old projector that is like the ones from elementary school. I can put a piece of paper in it. It honestly works great. If you wanted to buy a fancy one, get an ultra short throw projector. You can put it closer to the wall. This could be helpful if your wall was neat to a busy street or the wall is huge. The ultra short throws are super expensive but totally worth it if you plan to do a lot of murals.
You might need them for something. They are good to have around. I usually use them to cut painters tape or masking paper.
For music and good vibes.
You don’t have to have a level but it could come in handy. A laser level is good for gridding out your wall.
I use a tripod to make time laps videos of my murals.
Empty Paint Pens
You can put house paint in an empty paint pen. Try it out, you might like it. House paint is kind of thick so it doesn’t really drip. I like to use a paint pen filled with house paint to get a preliminary outline before going at it with black spray paint. I don’t have a particular empty pen to recommend, try a few out and see what you like.
You might need some letters. I like to use a step latter and a normal sized latter. I mostly use my smaller step latter.
For clean up. Really important to have around if you spill paint or something.
I like to use dish soap to wash my brushes.
It might be helpful to have a table for your supplies. I have an adjustable work table for like working on cars. It works great. A regular folding table works great. I have even used a latter as shelves when I didn’t have a table.
This is for hammering down paint cans.
This was probably the most helpful supply. I use a chalk line to grid my murals. It works great!
You definitely don’t need all of these supplies. I just wanted to list as many as I could think of to get you thinking about what you might need. Happy muraling!
More Posts About Murals:
Ten things I learned while painting my first mural.
How to prepare + how to do it professionally.
Helpful steps + tips for designing a mural for a business.
I’ll walk you through how to craft a perfect mural proposal with examples.
How to find your own art opportunities.
Let me know in the COMMENTS if you have any questions.