Studio Journal

What kind of paints to use for outside mural?

mural-2014For my 8 x 32 foot exterior mural, “Dance of Two Cultures” in Brunswick, Maine I used Golden heavy body acrylics.  These paints are wonderful.  This mural is now 6 and a half years old on an exterior, West facing wall in Maine.  There is a small eve at the roof but nothing that shelters this mural in the least.  So this means the paint has been exposed to 6+ years of Maine weather 365 days a year.  The wall bakes hot in the summer and endures typical winter temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit or below .  Blizzards, snow flurries, torrential thunderstorms and hot summer suns, Maine weather can be extreme… and the paint shows no signs of fading.

I used a palette of 9 or 10 colors.  Golden has many technical sheets about their products on their site and they rate paints for exterior use.  This palette has the highest light fast ratings, and I can now say I agree completely.

The mural was painted, indoors, over the winter of 2007-08. The paints had rich pigmentation making painting easy and a joy.  Opaques easily painted over contrasting value and colors.

The color is just as rich today as day one six years ago.  Thanks Golden.  And nope, I am not getting paid to say this.  It’s just great paint.





  • Melody Goyer on Jun 25, 2019 Reply

    What type of varnish did you use?

  • Christina Morris on May 30, 2019 Reply

    Love your art work

    • HallowellKit on May 31, 2019 Reply


      The type of paint for outside murals partly depends on what you are painting on. I have outside murals using Golden Acrylics–the colors rated of outside use– ( Using these painted on 100% polyester canvas. Fredrix has a tough version.

      Right now I am working on one using another fabric, Polytab (PT20R Polytab,) a non-woven synthetic. With Golden acrylics and Nova Color paints. This will be glued to a brick wall. This is the “canvas” used in so many of the Philadelphia murals. Look up Polytab method or Parachute Cloth method for murals.

      I also have some painted on Alumilite panels. Basically signage panels, kind of like aluminum “plywood”. Tow sheets of aluminum with a plastic waffle core. Very light, tough and with an enamel surface to take paint–NEEDS TO BE SANDED before use! On these panels i used 1Shot sign painter enamels. Very tough and lasting very well up here in our Maine weather. (I have test panels outside as well, using Golden acrylics and so far holding up jsut fine after 1 1/2 years.

      Hope this helps. What’s your mural project?

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