Mural, Mural on the Wall

When preparing for the arrival of their baby, parents can develop quite a long checklist of all that needs to be done. One item that tops many to-do lists is decorating the nursery. For parents who want to truly transform a room, choosing to decorate the walls with a mural is becoming increasingly popular.

One of the best parts of deciding to include a mural in the baby’s room is that there are so many options from which to choose. A good place to start is to decide what type of mural you want and how involved you would like to be in its creation.

Hiring a Professional
For parents who prefer hiring a professional, there are several muralists in the Charlotte area. Whether you start by contacting those mentioned in this article or get a recommendation from a friend, it helps to meet with the artist and talk about your ideas first.

At this initial meeting, you should be able to view the artist’s portfolio to see if his or her style is one you like. You can also go over ideas with the muralist and see if he or she will do some preliminary sketches. From this initial meeting, you should be able to tell if you have a comfortable rapport with the artist. As always, when hiring a professional, it is important to check the person’s references.

Questions to ask a professional muralist:
• Do you have a portfolio I can view?
• How long have you been painting nursery murals?
• How many nursery murals have you painted?
• Do you have a few references I could contact about your work?
• How long would it take for you to complete the type of mural I am requesting?
• What is your estimate of the cost?
• What type of paint do you use?
• What do I need to do to prepare the walls and the room before you start?

If you are like artist Stacy Bottom from Mt. Pleasant, N.C., you could draw your own sketches and then transfer them onto the walls and paint them. Says Bottom, “We decided on a Winnie the Pooh theme for our nursery because my wife asked me to paint a few characters on a wall. I had never done a mural before, but wanted to give it a try. We had four months before the due date, and I sort of got carried away and did all four walls.”

Hire a Pro
For those who aren’t as confident in their artistic abilities but would still like to go it alone, the following instructions could help:

1. Find an image that you want to use. You could enlist an artistic friend to draw the image, or you could find a photo in a magazine or on the Internet. Make sure it is not copyrighted or that you get permission to use it if it is. If you already know what you would like and are somewhat artistic, you could also create a design yourself. Remember, you can make several attempts to get it just right at this stage.

2. Scan or save the image on your computer and use photo software to adjust the design so it will look the way you want for the mural. Keep in mind that a simple design with bold lines will be easiest to transfer to the wall. Also, make sure the dimensions are correct for printing.

3. Print the design in black-and-white on clear transparency film.

4. Use an overhead projector to shine the image from the transparency onto the wall you want to paint. (There are companies who rent overhead projectors if you do not have access to one. Check your yellow pages for audio visual equipment.)

5. Use a pencil to trace the image onto the wall.

6. Fill in the color with acrylic paints.

The Best of Both Worlds
But what about the parent who already has an idea for a mural but doesn’t feel confident about creating one herself and doesn’t want to pay the higher cost of enlisting a professional muralist? A company like Murals Your Way ( or Fun Décor For Kids ( just might be the answer.

At, you can pick out a design from a selection of over 4,000 images or send in a photo and have the company make a mural from the artwork. The murals are printed on a solid vinyl fabric-backed wall covering and sized according to your request. Hanging this type of mural is similar to hanging wallpaper. The cost is $7.95 per square foot for the company’s designs and $8.95 for a customer’s design. is a local company from Matthews that has many murals, wall stickers and borders to choose from. The designs come with simple step-by-step instructions that involve cutting out the pre-made artwork, applying wallpaper paste and placing the design on the wall. If you are concerned about doing it yourself, you can hire an associate from the company to come out and hang the mural for you. The costs range from $34.95 to $395.95.

Whether you are inspired to decorate your baby’s nursery with cartoon characters, mythical landscapes or underwater worlds, murals are a great way to transform any room. Plus, now that you know how easy they can be to create, you are that much closer to checking off another item on that to-do list.