Table of Contents

Ideas for Painted Outdoor Wall Murals

Deborah Stephenson
Table of Contents

Painting a mural can be a fun project, but if you are unsure of your artistic skills, you may want to give your creative inclinations a trial on an outdoor mural before tackling that aesthetically riskier indoor wall.

Outdoor murals are especially nice in areas where children are present, and they make excellent backdrops for playgrounds, daycare centers or recreational areas. Even a garden wall or a privacy fence can become a painterly focal point with the right theme.

Garden Murals

Paint tromp l’oeil (literally “fool the eye”) flowers and shrubs on a garden wall using perspective to blend it with real plants and flowers in the foreground to visually expand your garden. Add a bench, statue or fountain for a focal point. If your garden lacks a view, paint a gate or window on a wall and compose a view inside or beyond it—from a distance it will appear as a real view to give the garden an inviting aspect. Paint a garden shed with shovel, rake and hoe or a line of hollyhocks against the sides to create a cottage garden scene on an otherwise blank wall.

Kid’s Murals for Active Areas

Depending upon the age of the children in question, you could paint anything from nursery rhymes to aliens and zombies. The main thing to keep in mind with kids is that they love bright, energetic palettes. Get them exercising with bold colors and themes with lots of implied movement. Sports themes or murals with painted children engaged in swinging, running or fast-paced pursuits will inspire and motivate real kids to similar activities.

Kid’s Murals for Quiet Areas

Sometimes, high activity is the last thing you want. Instead, paint scenes involving children engaged in quiet pursuits like reading or playing board games. A restful mural filled with cool green trees, still waters or simple abstracts in muted pastels will help achieve a tranquil ambiance that calms energetic children. Murals of this sort work well in a library setting or play areas near quiet zones like hospitals or nursing homes.

Nature in the City

Create a peaceful oasis in a crowded noisy city with scenes from nature. Let the imagination soar to produce a desert landscape, jungle or palm tree-lined beaches such as those painted by mural artists in Art Effects (see References). Whichever landscape says rest and relaxation to you is the perfect subject for a wall in the area where you spend your off hours. Match real plants and outdoor furniture to the imaginary landscape for an integrated look.

Abstractions & Distractions

If you have a problem area in your yard or neighborhood, replace it with something so captivating people will forget to notice the problem. Build a stand-alone wall in front of an unwanted view of a business, garbage dump or noisy street and turn the wall into a colorful work of art people can enjoy. Copy an old master, create a bold abstract or paint it like anything you would rather look at—whatever tickles your fancy and presents a distraction. You will forget the problem as you lose yourself in contemplation of its replacement.

Invisible Walls

Sometimes a wall obstructs a more desirable view. If you cannot tear the wall down, stand on the other side of it and take wide-angle photographs of the view beyond. Use those to recreate the view with paints on your side of the wall. If your skill level is not up to duplicating the real view precisely, you can at least paint the sky and a bit of grass to blend your side with the other.