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How do you watercolor a wall?


Watercoloring a wall can transform a plain, boring space into a beautiful work of art. With some preparation and the right materials, anyone can create a stunning watercolored mural. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to successfully watercolor a wall in your home.

What You Need

Watercoloring a wall requires gathering some basic supplies. Here is a list of the materials you will need:

  • Paint brushes – Get a variety of brush sizes and shapes for details and filling in larger areas.
  • Watercolor paints – Liquid watercolors or watercolor tubes work well. Choose colors you want to use in your mural.
  • Primer/Sizing – Gel or liquid sizing helps the paint adhere to the wall.
  • Drop cloths – Protect your floors from drips and spills.
  • Painter’s tape – Mask off edges for clean lines.
  • Sponges – Help blend and soften colors on the wall.
  • Spray bottle – Mist the wall while painting to keep colors wet and workable.
  • Step stool – Necessary for reaching higher areas of the wall.

Gathering these supplies ahead of time will make the watercoloring process go smoothly.

Preparing the Wall

Before starting to paint, you will need to properly prepare the wall. Proper prep ensures the watercolors adhere properly. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean the wall thoroughly by washing with a degreaser if needed. Allow it to fully dry.
  2. Fill any holes or cracks with spackle and sand smooth when dry.
  3. Lightly sand the entire wall to help the paint grip the surface.
  4. Wipe away all dust with a clean, dry cloth.
  5. Apply a primer or sizing layer and let dry completely. This seals the wall.

Take your time with the prep work to create the ideal surface for painting. The wall should be smooth, clean, and sealed before adding any watercolor.

Sketching a Design

Once your blank canvas is ready, it’s time to map out the watercolor design. Here are some options for transferring your sketch to the wall:

  • Freehand sketched design – Lightly sketch your design right onto the wall in pencil. Allow for organic work as you go.
  • Tracing paper sketch – Draw your design on tracing paper, tape it to the wall, and trace the outlines with pencil onto the surface.
  • Projected image – Use an overhead projector or slide projector to display your design on the wall and outline it.

Take your time sketching out the composition. Make sure to step back periodically to check proportions and perspective. You can reinforce the main contours with painter’s tape once you are happy with the sketch.

Mixing and Applying Watercolor Paint

Here comes the fun part – finally adding color! Follow these tips when working with watercolor paint on a wall:

  • Always use clean water and work from light to dark colors.
  • Mix small amounts of paint at a time so colors don’t dry out while working.
  • Use broad brushstrokes and loose, impressionistic painting techniques.
  • Blend edges with a damp sponge for soft transitions between colors.
  • Mist the wall with a spray bottle to keep it wet and allow paint to drip and bleed.
  • Step back frequently to evaluate your progress and make adjustments.

Build up the colors gradually to add depth and dimension. Let layers dry between applications to prevent muddiness. Allow for some unpredictability and creativity as you work. That’s part of the beauty of watercolor!

Finishing Touches

Once your watercolor design has fully dried, there are a few finishing steps:

  • Carefully peel off any painter’s tape used for crisp edges.
  • Gently smooth any rough paint edges with fine sandpaper.
  • Seal the mural with a watercolor wall sealer for protection.
  • Touch up any small imperfections and add final highlights.

Finally, sign your masterpiece and appreciate the gorgeous watercolor wall you’ve created! Proper care and cleaning will help your mural maintain its vibrant colors for years to come.


While watercolor paint adheres well to properly prepared walls, take steps to protect and care for your finished piece:

  • Use mild cleaners and avoid abrasive scrubbing.
  • Do not allow moisture to build up on the wall or seep behind the paint.
  • Limit direct sunlight exposure which can fade colors over time.
  • Gently touch up any damaged spots to prevent flaking.
  • Reapply a wall sealer every 1-2 years for added protection.

With the right care, your watercolor wall mural will remain beautiful for many years!


Watercoloring a wall is an enjoyable way to bring color and beauty into any space. With some basic materials, preparation, sketching, painting techniques, and finishing steps, anyone can transform a blank canvas into a stunning work of art. Just take your time, embrace the unpredictable nature of watercolors, and most importantly, have fun with the process! A watercolored mural makes a wonderful focal point and conversation piece for any room in your home.

Supply Purpose
Paint brushes Apply paint in various sizes and details
Watercolor paints Provide color for your mural
Primer/Sizing Seal and prepare the wall for paint
Drop cloths Protect floors from spills and drips
Painter’s tape Mask off edges for clean lines
Sponges Blend and soften color transitions
Spray bottle Mist wall to keep paint wet and workable
Step stool Reach higher areas of the wall

This covers the key supplies needed to watercolor a wall. Having the right materials and understanding their purpose will ensure success! Let this list guide your shopping and prep work.