Building Materials - Table of Contents.........,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,....... Public Art  - Table of Contents

Outdoor Mural Materials.

  • Wall murals are large visual displays that can cover an entire wall or a large portion of a wall.

    Traditional murals are hand-painted by artists, making them a time-consuming and costly investment.These aren’t the only kind of wall murals, though.

    Another popular option is a printed mural. These murals are essentially large decals, either in one uninterrupted piece of material or cut into sections that fit seamlessly together. These decals adhere tightly to a wall, like paint, transforming a plain surface into something dazzling.


    The process looks like this: You digitally design your mural, and then a print studio like SpeedPro (online October 2022) that can handle large wall mural printing will print your design onto the right media. For an outdoor wall mural, a print studio will use a substrate like polyester or mylar and add the right laminate to protect your mural from the elements. Once your mural is printed, you peel the image away from the backing and carefully press it onto the wall surface, smoothing away any bubbles, so you are left with a beautiful and impactful display.
Hand painted
  • Hand painted wall murals grab attention and add appeal to any space. However, hand painted wall murals are expensive to commission, can  be ruined by  vandalism, can take a long time to paint and may be difficult to clean and touch up.

  • Examples:

Parachute cloth / Polyester / Polytab
  • 100% polyester non-woven fabric that is being used by muralists. The material can be used primed or unprimed.

  • Polytab product is a non-woven fabric that is lighter than traditional canvas and can take on the form of the surface it is being applied to. It can be worked on with almost any paint or media and adhered to a wall using acrylic gel. See, for example, QST (online October 2022)

  • Polytab is a non-woven fabric and is also known as Parachute Cloth. The material is very light, lighter than canvas, and can take on the form of the substrate it is being applied to. This fabric that is traditionally used in the garment industry is now widely part of large public mural art projects.

  • Mural Cloth is non-woven fabric that is primed with 2 coats of the highest quality interior / exterior primer. It can be worked on with almost any paint and media. Your mural can be painted on cloth inside and adhered to a wall using acrylic gel medium.

  • Polyester materials that receive regular maintenance could have a lifespan of 20-30 years.

  • CAN PRINTED WALL MURALS BE APPLIED TO A BRICK WALL? Yes, you can apply a printed mural to a brick wall. By printing vinyl on a durable, high viscosity vinly medium, you can apply vinyl murals and branding to just about any surface
  • Cast Vinyl: "Considered a premier manufactured material,  cast vinyl is a type of plastic film popular for is near paint-like final appearance. It is thinner than other print vinyl, which allows it to hug wall curves and divots yet still maintain vivid colors and resolution better than stiffer varieties."  - Speed Pro (online October 202
    • “One of my goals has been to allow a regular format artist to participate in the mural scene,” said Rory [Allen]. “We digitize the work back at Zoom Copy, and then print it, and then apply it to the wall.  I asked Rory about the longevity of the mural, and he said that he guarantees it to last for 5 years, but 3M (the manufacturer of the material) guarantees 11 years. “I believe that it lasts longer than paint, and it can be removed without a trace,” said Rory. Buffalo Rising (online October 2022

Other: Photographs
  • "[Max] Collins wheat pastes his supersized photographs, a technique that is popular among street artists from Paris to Brooklyn. The images are imposing and approachable at the same time." - Elizabeth Licata, Buffalo Days: More dimensions for Public Art, pub. on Buffalo Spree, Nov. 2013

  • Examples:
    WASH Project
Other: Sgraffito
  • A type of decoration executed by covering a surface, as of plaster or enamel, of one color, with a thin coat of a similar material of another color, and then scratching or scoring through the outer coat to show the color beneath

  • Examples:
    Joseph Calasanctius

    The Maid of the Mist

    Assumption RC Church

Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2022
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