Why DIY – mural on the wall

As it turns out, our mural really caught your eyes.

We got a lot of questions on how my sister and I drew the map of Dubrovnik Old Town we showed in our last post and guess what – it’s not that hard at all!

But it is time-consuming, though.

We were going back and forth deciding whether to use a projector or to draw freehand. And to tell you the truth, if we were about to draw basically anything but a map, a projector wouldn’t even be an option.

The idea itself sounds like a foolproof method, but in reality, we literally ended up constantly being in our own way. You see, standing between the projector and the wall is everything but a foolproof method.

The thing is, we didn’t have much time to do the preparation for freehand drawing. But it’s not very common to be on tight schedule when planning a mural in your home. So in case you see drawing as a relaxing thing to do over a period of time and you’re about to enjoy the process as much as the result, here’s what you’re gonna need:


a piece of (graph) paper

pencil (we suggest a 2B art pencil) – to draw an image on the paper, but also to draw fine details on the wall

carpenter’s pencil – to draw on the wall

putty rubber – to erase without any smudges or residue

tape measure – to measure the wall

1-meter ruler or any plank where you can mark the distance of your grid lines you’re going to trace on your wall

1. Draw or print out an image you wish to transfer on your wall

It doesn’t matter on what paper you’re drawing/printing the image, but keep in mind its proportions. The best thing is to draw the outline of the wall in a smaller scale and then draw on the part of the wall you wish to have your mural on.

Also, to make your job easier, you can use graph paper and skip the next step.

2. Draw a regular grid on your image

When the image is positioned on your paper, draw the fine lines making up a regular grid on it. The easiest way is to draw squares and you can also draw diagonals if you think it will make it easier to trace it later on the wall. If a part of the image is too detailed, cover it with a denser grid.

map of Dubrovnik with grid

We suggest 1 x 1 cm squares that you can easily scale to any size to trace on your wall.

3. Draw the scaled grid on the wall

First, calculate the size of the squares to draw on the wall. Let’s say they are 10 x 10 cm. To make things easier use your ruler to mark every one meter horizontally and vertically and then draw 1×1 meter squares throughout the wall.
After that, mark every 10 cm inside 1m lines to draw the smaller grid.

When your wall grid looks just like the one on paper, you are ready for the next step!

4. Replicate the image onto the wall

Here’s where the hard work begins. It is time to replicate your image square by square from your reference piece to the wall itself. This is very time consuming and you might find yourself doing it for a few days. But it is also really relaxing. Focus only on the square you’re working on and be careful to make every square on the wall exactly like the one on the paper.

If you ask us this part is just the same as drawing over the projection – when you’re doing it freehand you have to keep checking if it resembles the one on paper and when you’re using projector you have to remember the lines you have to draw because you’re obstructing the projection while doing it.

Don’t forget to step back from the wall after you’ve finished with one section to look at it as a whole.

At this point you’ll need:


liquid chalk markers

mural | drawing mural on the wall | blackboard wall

Here’s the thing – since we were working with blackboard wall we only needed liquid chalk markers. If we would have used a freehand method we would trace all the drawn lines now, and we would soon have a completed mural. Maybe we would even draw straight with the markers on the wall grid since it is easy to fix the mistakes you make – you just need a water and a dishcloth. After you’re done, you only have to secure it with some hairspray so it doesn’t smudge off.


role of painters tape

piece of sheet

pots or bowls to mix paint in

acrylic wall paint

– a good set of brushes in various thickness

5. Get ready to paint!

When you’re finished replicating your image onto the wall, it is time to paint. Keep in mind this part can be time-consuming, depending on your personality it could be stressful or relaxing, and depending on the image you want to replicate on your wall, it could be quite difficult.

For those of you who are actually painting the mural on the wall, here’s what you need to do:

Trace the end of your mural with painters tape – carefully secure all the edges and drop a piece of sheet on the floor around the mural.

Paint from the back to the front so – the background first! You’ll need two to three coats of paint for a perfect look and remember that every paint dries darker – it’s always easier to make something darker later than the other way around!
If you’re mixing your paint, make sure you have more than enough amount of paint for the area you’re painting because it’s impossible to mix another, perfectly matching batch of paint.

The last thing to do is the linework – if your original image has it. Do it with a small brush and a bottle of black paint. If you make a mistake don’t panic, use a dishcloth, dip it in water, squeeze the excess water and just carefully wipe it off.
Do the linework from top to bottom to avoid any smudges because you’ll use your body, arm or little finger as a stabilizer.

Apartment for daily rent | interior design | kitchen | dining space | chalkboard wall | map of Dubrovnik | neutral palette

Apartment for daily rent | interior design | kitchen | dining space | chalkboard wall | map of Dubrovnik | neutral palette

Apartment for daily rent | interior design | kitchen | dining space | chalkboard wall | map of Dubrovnik | neutral palette


6. You’re done!

After everything is painted and dried your mural is done!

It is now time to remove the tapes around it. You have to be very slow and careful. We suggest using a scalpel to nick the edge of the line where the tape and the paint meet before pulling the tape off, to avoid removing parts of paint with the tape (you should apply this same rule when painting one wall in a different colour).

And now it’s time to enjoy your mural!

Hope you’re happy how it turned out… 😉

photos: ©upgradesign.blog

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