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Bright, Beautiful Interior Murals with Golden Acrylics

Create Bright, Beautiful Interior Murals with Golden Acrylics: A Demonstration by Rock Newcomb

Golden Acrylics are ideal for interior mural painting (exterior murals, too, but that's a different story). They come in a breathtaking range of colors, adhere to nearly any surface and dry quickly. They're safe to use, clean up with water and don't have toxic fumes like oil paints. Three formulations - Heavy Body, Matte and Fluid - give you wide choices in application and finish. Many mediums are available to add texture, extend drying time or provide other specific qualities. In fact, the breadth of Golden's line of acrylic paints and acrylic mediums means there's something suitable for almost any mural application, whether it's a simple design on a bedroom wall or a lavish visual environment in a public building.

  • Preparation is key. Before priming or painting, a surface should be free of dust and grease. If you are painting over old paint and don't know if it's oil- or waterbased, use an alkyd primer.
  • Stripping. Apply stripper and wait. Let the solvents do the work for you. Then wipe with a cloth.
  • Scraping. To avoid damaging the surface, scrape gently and try to remove only loose, dried, peeling paint. Leave the rest to the paint stripper.
  • Stripping Wallpaper. Peel wallpaper by using wallpaper stripper and water solution. Apply with a sponge mop or sponge and remove a section at a time.
  • Sanding. Sanding after a surface has been stripped is the best way to achieve a smooth surface.
  • Priming. Latex and Alkyd primers are good primers for Golden Acrylic Paints. They can be sprayed, brushed or rolled.
  • Caulking. If caulking is necessary, be sure to use sandable/paintable caulk.
  • Base Coating. Base coats are applied over primer coats to prepare for glazing techniques. Satin finishes work best because they are less absorbent, allowing glazes to remain workable longer.


Surface Preparation

  • Raw Sheetrock Wall. Sand drywall compound areas; prime with latex wallboard primer.
  • Plaster. Prime with Golden GAC 800 Acrylic Polymer for Reducing Craze, recommended for priming chalky surfaces, or commercial plaster primer.
  • Canvas. Scour with water and sponge to remove sizing, then prime with Golden or Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso or Golden GAC 700 Acrylic Polymer for Increasing Film Clarity. GAC 700 helps prevent support-induced discoloration.
  • Wood. Repair and sand, then prime with Golden GAC 700 or commercial wood primer.
  • Wallpaper. Most wallpaper can be painted if it is fairly new. Prime with Golden or Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso. Note: older wallpaper will usually peel off when primed.
  • Plexiglas. Prime with Golden or Daniel Smith Acrylic Gesso
  • Aluminum. Clean with acetone and prime with acrylic gesso. In some cases, when aluminum will be inside, it can remain unprimed.
  • Metal. Clean with wire brush/steel wool. Lightly sand. Prime with commercial alkyd primer.
  • Brick. Saturate with Golden GAC 800 and then prime with an exterior latex primer.


How to Achieve Maximum Working Time

  • Seal the surface to be painted using a satin or gloss base paint. Flat paint soaks up acrylic glazes too quickly, reducing working time.
  • Any breeze flowing over the work makes glazes dry more quickly. Try to cover or close air vents or open windows which blow air across the surface.
  • Weather conditions affect working time. Hot, dry weather and direct exposure to sun shorten working time. For longest open time, paint on cool, rainy, high humidity days.
  • Moisten the surface with a cool spritz of water before painting in dry, hot weather. While working, you can lightly mist glazed areas with a plant sprayer.
  • Have paints and tools ready before you begin your painting project. Keep them cool if possible.
  • When applying an acrylic glaze technique onto a large area, leave a jagged wet edge similar to the edge of an unfinished puzzle. Work up to the jagged wet edge, then add more wet glaze as you fit into the jagged edge and continue the technique.
  • Only apply acrylic glaze as far as you can reach. Try to work with another person when glazing a large area such as a wall.

Rock Newcomb

About the Author
Working as a fine artist from a studio in Payson, Arizona, Rock Newcomb does highly realistic Native American pottery still lifes and wildlife subjects, a unique combination and even more so because he has won awards in both categories.

In 1999, he was the Region III Award winner of Arts for the Parks competition in Jackson, Wyoming. He has won prizes at "Birds in Art" exhibits at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, and the International Wildlife Art Show in London.

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