Painting Sky Murals

By: Debra That Painter Lady Conrad

With a sky mural you can create an extraordinary feeling of airiness and space in a room. A night sky twinkling with far-off stars is a wonderful sight to behold as you drop off to sleep, or you can create a sense of infinite horizons with a soft blue skyscape with gently drifting clouds.
Step 1: Pick a Design
There are many ways of creating skyscapes in your home. It all depends on what effect you want to achieve. A trompe l'oeil skylight through which you seem to glimpse blue sky and pastel clouds is one option. This is a time and labor-saving option. If you want a more elaborate illusion, you could turn the whole ceiling into a sky vista. For a full-on illusion, your sky can extend beyond the ceiling and onto the walls of your room.
Step 2: Select a Painting Method.
The ideal way to get the dreamy, irregular colors of your blue sky is to use color washing. This is a simple method of applying paint, using a sponge, and the right effect is almost guaranteed. When your sky is painted, you can choose among several methods for creating your clouds. Once again, sponging is a suitable technique for creating clouds with soft outlines. Stencils, or kits that allow you to transfer a design onto your wall, are an excellent choice for most people. You can then simply paint on your clouds, using a sponge, rag or brush.
Step 3: Suitable Paints.
For indoor purposes, you can realize your design using water-based acrylic paints. For new concrete you will need to prepare the wall with a special sealer. Flat paints are not recommended as a base for faux painting. Water-based acrylic paints are ideal for creating your finish. You may need to cover the finished work with a transparent sealer.
Choose your colors with your dcor scheme in mind. To create the subtle gradations of a color-washed sky, you will need blue paint in two or more shades. Depending on your room you may want brighter blues or smoky, grayish hues. A night sky can be enhanced with stars in glow-in-the dark paint. Invisible by day, non-toxic fluorescent paints are a hit in children's rooms.
Step 4: Ready, Steady, Go.
Clear your room; cover the floor and furniture with drop cloths and pitch your ladder. For complex designs you may need a platform on a scaffold to make it easier to apply the paint on your ceiling. Clean, plug holes and cracks with putty, sand and seal patches and prime the whole with a suitable base coat - as noted, avoid flat paints as a base. You are now ready to create your skyscape.
Step 5: Application
You can now colorwash your surface to simulate the sky and add your clouds using your technique of choice (sponging, stencils or brushwork). You can create a simple night sky without necessarily painting your ceiling black, blue or indigo. Because today's fluorescent paints are invisible by day you can create a stellar constellation on your bedroom ceiling in a matter of minutes.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
You may want a simple, airy skyscape that consists only of wide space and clouds, but you can always add a few extras as a final flourish. Butterflies, far-off birds or a shimmering rainbow could add the finishing touch to your heavenly scenery.

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Sky murals can change an ordinary room into a work of art. Visit for plenty of painting technique ideas and complete instructions for painting techniques for clouds to make your sky murals even easier.

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