Introduction: DIY Wall Pop Art

Picture of DIY Wall Pop Art

Do you have a big wall in your house that could use a POP of ART?

How about one that can be changed to say whatever you want it to?

You can make your own wall-sized, customizable pop art by following the steps in this instructable.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Picture of Gather Your Materials

To paint the mural the way I did, you will need the following:

  1. projector that can project your desired final image size
  2. computer machine to get your image into your projector
  3. digital file of image you want to paint
  4. pencil
  5. small flat brush with fairly firm bristles
  6. acrylic paint
  7. paper towels
  8. glass of water
  9. dry erase or chalk board paint and recommended roller

Step 2: Choose Your Image

Picture of Choose Your Image

Google is your friend

I just did a google search for "pop art" and clicked on "images" to find the image I liked. Mine is by artist Roy Lichtenstein. The first image of its kind I found was small, only 397px x 400px. I narrowed my search to "lichtenstein" and selected "search tools" to look for images "larger than 2 MP." Doing this, I was able to find the same image that was 2433px x 2406px, which is much clearer and easier to trace when it is enlarged through the projector.

If you find an image in a book, you will need to scan it into a digital file (scan at the highest resolution).

Make it easy on yourself

It is much easier to paint an image with blocks of color as opposed to various shades. The image I chose was easy because it was just plain yellow, blue, red, white and black. I didn't have to mix any colors, they came right out of the tube. I also decided not to try to replicate the Ben-Day dots because it would be too time-consuming and probably wouldn't turn out that great.

Don't forget the bubble

if you want to use the dry erase or chalkboard paint, make sure your image has a speech or thought bubble.

Step 3: Project and Trace

Picture of Project and Trace


Whatever projector and computer machine you are using, get them hooked up together and projecting your image onto your wall. You may have to move the projector toward or away from the wall to get the image to fill up the wall space. You may also have to raise or lower the projector to get the image in the center vertically. I chose to flip my image horizontally so that the woman was looking into the house instead of out the window.


Once the image is positioned and in focus, start tracing! You will want to outline every line and color. Draw lightly so it will be easy to erase any pencil marks that are still showing later (or use your touch up paint). DO NOT move the projector until you are finished with all of the tracing because it's very hard to get it re-positioned once it's moved. If you are not sure if you've gotten everything, turn the projector off (carefully so as not to move it) and take a look at the wall without the image on it. If you missed a spot, turn the projector back on to finish up.

Step 4: Paint!

Picture of Paint!

Use the right brush

I used a small, flat brush to paint my entire mural. For the outlining, I turned the brush so I was leading with the narrow edge, and then filled in the color using the broad edge. You'll want a brush with fairly firm bristles especially if your wall is not totally smooth. Also, firmer bristles help when painting with heavier paint like acrylic.

Use the right paint

Acrylic paint is thick enough to do a great job, but you will likely need 2 coats if you are painting dark colors onto a light colored wall. To make the colored paint (not black) a bit less transparent, you can add a little white to it.

Use the right order

Paint your outline first, then color in the rest of the image. If you paint with color first, you may paint over your pencil outline and not be able to see it later.

Step 5: It's Bubble Time

Picture of It's Bubble Time

Follow the instructions on the chalk board paint or the dry erase paint to fill in your speech or thought bubble. You will probably need to touch up the outline in black when you are done. Now you have a cool pop of art mural on your wall that can say whatever you want it to!


Dennett (author)2015-06-29

This is super cool and well done. I used the same method as a halloween costume one year using face paints. <3 Lichtenstein art.

kcli (author)2015-01-15

Hey DIYA1-I found my projector at my Goodwill. Also, I've heard that many libraries still lend them out. Might also ask a school or church if you can borrow theirs.

Hey lanavonhaught-I've wanted to do this for a while...thanks for the tut and motivation I needed!

lanavonhaught (author)kcli2015-01-16

Thank you!

RnP (author)2014-12-02

really inspiring! Great Job!

lanavonhaught (author)RnP2015-01-15

Thank you!

DIYA1 (author)2015-01-07

I priced projectors and they're kind of expensive for one project. Anyone found a work-around? Maybe I could rent one somewhere?

DIYA1 (author)2015-01-07

I've been pricing projectors. They're kind of expensive for just one project. Does anyone have any ideas? Is renting an option?

Ninzerbean (author)2014-11-06

I like how you positioned the outlet cover on her finger. I'm a bit perplexed at why you copied another artist's work though.

agulesin (author)Ninzerbean2014-11-11

He's hoping that the artist doesn't read 'ables and won't come after him for copyright claims!!

jdaley99702 (author)agulesin2014-11-24

copyright claim not likely since no one is making any money here. I didn't do a search but if the artist was selling this as print then he might have a claim. That being said theres a few good tutorials on this site of how to make your own image into pop art in case anyone else was looking to do this with a unique image

lanavonhaught (author)Ninzerbean2014-11-06

The outlet was a happy accident. I used a Lichtenstein illustration because it's AWESOME.

thormj (author)2014-11-06

A suggestion -- instead of turning the projector off, set a book in front of the lens to block the light. That way you're not touching/bumping the projector.

lanavonhaught (author)thormj2014-11-06

Great idea!

Or plug the projector into a power strip and use the power strip switch to turn it off.

agulesin (author)mschuckmann2014-11-11

Not a good idea to turn projectors off like this; it damages the lamp as they should cool down slowly. Either place an object in front (but not too close to!) the lens (as suggested by Thormj), or unplug the video cable from the computer end (to prevent the projector moving).


dannydraait (author)2014-11-08

Love it, looks very good!
At my work (I work in a bar) I painted the restroom doors in a pop art kinda theme. Your wall reminded me of them :)
Keep up the good work!

That is VERY cool.

Thank you so much! :D

Eh Lie Us! (author)2014-11-10

you threw me off with the bubble re-use. Whiteboard? Chalkboard?


lanavonhaught (author)Eh Lie Us!2014-11-10

You can use either, I used dry-erase paint :)

amandaulyatt (author)2014-11-06

I love it! That's my teen kids' bedroom make-overs taken care of. Thank you for sharing :)

Yay, I want to see a pic when you're done!

Deltic (author)2014-11-07

Excellent work - looks great. Since I usually find that acrylic paint flows better if slightly diluted it may be an idea to start painting at the top so if you accidentally overload your brush & it runs down then it won't spoil an area that is already painted. Also the use of an artists soluble pencil will stop design lines showing through on lighter painted areas.

lanavonhaught (author)Deltic2014-11-08

Good thinking! To get the crispest line on the black outline, I didn't dilute the paint but used a stiffer brush. That also helped in not having to paint over it so many times to get it opaque. And I didn't even know about artists soluble pencils, will have to look into those, thank you!

farazjz (author)2014-11-07

Wooooow amazing

lanavonhaught (author)farazjz2014-11-08

Thank you!

sweetnienna (author)2014-11-08

Awesome idea !
I rent my place, so I can't paint that kind of stuff on the walls... I'm sad :(

I rent also...oh dear. I'm hoping I can just paint over it when I move! Might take a few coats :)

ellochka (author)2014-11-06

You are a genius!!! Thanks

lanavonhaught (author)ellochka2014-11-06

I'm no genius, but thank you.

egnaz (author)2014-11-06

Thank you! You inspired me to draw a portrait of my wife.

lanavonhaught (author)egnaz2014-11-06

Holy WOW, that's awesome! Well done!

bandithansen (author)2014-11-06

Wow! That is truly inspirational and looks like it is very doable for the "want to be artistic but can't quite get there" :)

You've described me to a T.

scott! (author)2014-11-06

AWESOME idea! I need to do this.

lanavonhaught (author)scott!2014-11-06

Do it!

Michaelballew (author)2014-11-06

That looks GREAT!!! What color did you use for the skin? Thanks for sharing!!

The skin was the original color of the wall and I'm not sure what it is since I rent the house. Probably some general swiss coffee or something like that.

craft-n-genius (author)2014-11-06

wow, so cool! I never would have thought of doing this... I hope you win!

Thank you!

ravenking (author)2014-11-05

What a fun project! Great idea.

lanavonhaught (author)ravenking2014-11-05

I'm sad it's done, it was so fun to do. Maybe I should do another one!

That looks GREAT!!! What color did you use for the skin? Thanks for sharing!!

lanavonhaught (author)2014-11-05

Go for it!

hinagiku (author)2014-11-04

Woow it looks great well done !! I might try this someday :))

lanavonhaught (author)hinagiku2014-11-04

Do it!

bizzycrafter (author)2014-11-04

That looks GREAT!! And what a fantastic idea to paint the dialogue balloon in dry-erase paint!! So much easier to see than yellow sticky notes. I'm not saying people at my house would actually READ any messages, but at least they wouldn't be able to say they hadn't seen them!

Thank you!

bigdawgte (author)2014-11-04

That's just awesome....

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