Painting Over a Wall Mural

When the time comes to paint over that outdated wall mural on the bedroom wall, the job may be more difficult than you think. Depending on the type of paint that the artist used, covering the spot may not be easy. Before you break out the paint and attempt to cover the wall mural, try the tricks below to make sure that your efforts are not in vane.

Analyze the Paint

You do not necessarily have to send samples of the paint out for review, but you may want to evaluate the type of paint that was used and about how old it is. If your home is very old, and the wall mural also appears to be old, you may be safer to send a small bit of the paint out for lead testing. While it is rare in newer homes to find lead paint, it is quite common in turn of the century homes. Once you have determined that the paint does not contain lead, feel the surface of the wall mural. Chances are that the surface will be slightly raised, especially in areas of thick texture. While this worked well for the mural, it will not be a desirable trait for the newly primed and painted walls.

Prepare the Surface

Begin preparing the wall surface by sanding down any rough spots and patching any holes in the drywall or plaster. It is also a good idea to lightly sand the entire surface of the wall mural to release any loose paint or debris. As this step creates a lot of dust and debris in the air, always wear a ventilated paint mask while doing the job. It is important to remember that if the tests on your paint come back indicating that lead is present, do not sand the area at all.


Invest in the highest quality primer that you can afford. If the mural has any dark areas on it at all, it will be important to use a substantial primer that can cover such areas. Do not be fooled into thinking that only one coat of primer will be enough. You may need three to four coats of primer to completely hide a mural that has been painted with acrylic paints, as they are particularly hard to cover.


The color of the paint will also play a role in how many coats of primer will be needed. If the wall color is darker, fewer primer coats may be necessary. For lighter colors, like pale pinks or eggshell white, a substantial amount of primer is going to be critical. Edge the wall around the mural just as you would any other wall. When painting the main part of the surface, use a high-quality roller that will evenly capture and distribute the paint across the wall. Purchase enough paint that you are able to do two to three coats, as needed. Just like with the primer and roller, the better the quality of the paint, the fewer coats will be needed.

The most challenging part of painting over a wall mural is making sure that it is completely covered. By taking the time to smooth out the wall surface and apply ample amounts of primer, the odds of completely covering the design will be much better. Take the proper steps, use the proper precautions and, in the end, you will be able to enjoy a modern and mural-free wall.

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  1. Brenda F Bell

    Who do I give a paint sample to when checking for lead

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