This was the largest canvas I ever worked with so it was quite a challenge. I felt a real novice doing it and would probably do some of it differently if I did it again. For example, I would not paint on a 37 C day because it required lots of sun cream and drinks and it was harder to work with the paint that dried quickly.
I knew I wanted to spray paint the background and paint more details with brushes. Choosing spray paints was easy (once the staff unlocked the cage it is kept in). In the end I think we used about 7 tins of Rustoleum. This was a good quality oil based gloss spray paint that did about 4 x 4 metres per tin. As our fence was quite old and soaked up a lot of paint, I think we needed more. We were told it would be hard to paint over the gloss paint (matt paint was hard to find) and might need some sandpapering. But it was never a problem, which might be due to the old wood.
Water based paint
For the more detailed painting we wanted lots of colours. We chose exterior water based paint (ie washes out in water). Firstly we choose three tints from the colour samples. Then we purchased a litre of white paint, divided it into four jars, added tints to three and kept one white. I was limited by sharing my choice with Sylvia (who had her own fireworks section of the wall). The colours were lighter than I wanted but in the ended looked better than deeper colours. For more colour options, we bought some pots of primary colours in White Knight Splashes water based enamel paint. We them did lots of mixing these to increase the palate of colours greatly. The two colours I really missed were a dark brown and a dark blue or green. We got by. At one point, a friend came and helped me mix a dark green using a few of our kids craft paints.
When I did a quick tally, I worked out that we spent close to $200 on paints. Ouch! We still have a few half pots of paints.
As you can see, the first job was to clear the plants and sweep the concrete clean. This was great because it is a big job that does not get done often enough. As you will see in one of the pictures, Sylvia helped with spray painting and doing some of the details, especially the fairy toadstool houses.
In the first picture of the painting, you might notice a very pale blue spray. It was so pale that we went back and purchased another brighter blue colour that was far more obvious and pleasing. Generally I think using spray paint for the background saved us a lot of time. Though I did get a sore finger from pushing the nozzle. We used face masks when spray painting but no gloves so I got a little on my finger. (Maybe gloves next time!) Old clothes were a must too!
I spray painted some vague dark green tree shapes and then gave them more shape with the lime green paint. Sylvia was unhappy with the lime green looking so yellow in the bottom section but in the end I think it was ok. When my friend came to help she would have liked to give more shape to the tree tops. Like me she didn't have the time or the right coloured paints to do it.
We have had a few rainy days since the mural was finished and it did not wash off. Phew! Now I just have to hope the fence doesn't fall over. It is getting pretty old; we could feel some planks were a little loose when we were painting.
Disclaimer: I have noted some of the brands of paints as a reminder but I paid for my own paints and do not have any affiliations with the companies.