Introduction: Paint a Mural in a Child's Nursery

My wife and I are expecting a girl. She found a giraffe mural in a magazine that we decided to try. It turned out pretty good. This instructable documents how we did it. It requires what some might call basic art skills like tracing and painting in the lines. Supplies:

Picture of image to be painted on wall
Overhead transparency
Carboard box
Colored chalk
Paint brush 1.5 or 2 inches wide
Small paint brushes - the artsy kind
Wall (duh)

Step 1: Choose Image

My wife found this picture in a catalog. The photo is a picture of the catalog.

Step 2: Trace Image

Trace your chosen image onto an overhead transparency.

Step 3: Projection

I made a makeshift projector using a box, a lamp and some tape. Project the transparency onto the wall. I found that using a light bulb without the "frosting" on the inside made for a clearer picture.

Step 4: Trace Projection

Trace the projected image on the wall with chalk. I used pink chalk since white chalk didn't show up at all and the color I wanted to paint was pink. You can barely see the pink chalk in the attached photo. Looking at the photo I realize you can't see it all all. Take my word for it, there's a chalk outline of the mural.

Step 5: Paint

Now that that the picture is drawn on the wall in chalk, paint. Just don't go outside the lines. This is the hard part. It takes a steady hand and patience. When doing touch ups I found these two things made a world of difference: 1) Solid lines with smooth edges and 2) A solid coat that does not allow the background color through.

Step 6: Finish

Finish painting and when the paint dries, wipe the wall down lightly with a clean rag. This will remove the chalk left behind from before. Now step back and marvel at your artistry.