Our final day of painting. Countless thanks go out to everyone who came out for this day. We seriously couldn’t have done this without you, and are excited to feature our collaboration with you for everyone in the neighborhood to see come August.
After all this planning and preparing, we finally get to paint!
We’ve talked a lot about ideas, teaching, and even planning. But how do you actually make a mural?
I’ll start with the nitty gritty details and numbers. Photos are at the end of the post.
For anyone who’s curious, here’s what we went through.
|Markers and crayons (for workshop activities)||Target||$9.57||1.00||$9.57|
|Sharpies, pencils, and graph paper (for workshop activities)||Target||$18.38||1.00||$18.38|
|Hardiebacker Cement Boards||Home Depot||$10.97||27.00||$296.19|
|Glidden Premium Paint – gallon buckets||Home Depot||$23.48||3.00||$70.44|
|Behr Pro Exterior Paint – gallon buckets||Home Depot||$24.98||10.00||$249.80|
|Paint rollers||Home Depot||$6.28||3.00||$18.84|
|6 pack extra rollers||Home Depot||$10.97||1.00||$10.97|
|15 piece brush set||Home Depot||$9.67||1.00||$9.67|
|4 inch flat brush||Home Depot||$3.85||3.00||$11.55|
|1 inch flat brush||Home Depot||$0.94||4.00||$3.76|
|foam brushes||Home Depot||$0.64||9.00||$5.76|
|Pour Spouts for paint cans||Home Depot||$0.98||5.00||$4.90|
|Scotch Blue Painters Tape||Home Depot||$6.25||1.00||$6.25|
|9″ paint roller||Community Warehouse||$5.28||1.00||$5.28|
|Paint Rags 10 pack||Home Depot||$3.97||1.00||$3.97|
|Glidden Exterior Paint – 1 quart||Home Depot||$11.28||1.00||$11.28|
|VandlSystem 1-gal. Anti-Graffiti Coating||Home Depot||$50.24||1.00||$50.24|
See the post on Painting Days to review our process, from setup to workflow.
Additional Information about Our Materials
Why didn’t we choose to paint directly on the brick wall? In the case of our building, it’s made with cream city brick, and the aged brick is crumbling and peeling. The surface takes paint poorly and the paint would easily come off the portions of the building that are built with the cream city brick. Additionally, since this is a collaborative piece with the students and neighbors, it was easier to set our project up outside and in the school’s garage. This allowed us to do a lot of upfront planning, to project sections of the mural on each panel, and not have to worry about having any students on a lift to reach high points on the building.
Artists: There were two of us professional artists on hired for this project, Jenie Gao and Gabriela Riveros. In addition to 8 workshop sessions (2-3 hours each, for a total of 20 workshop hours), we spent 10+ hours outside of classroom time:
And 34+ hours of actual painting time (we typically had 7-10 helpers at a time, varying based on the students’ class schedules and community members’ participation):
Contractor: We hired a contractor to install the panels on the wall. Our contractor worked to install the lumber support beams and hang the panels between 8/2 and 8/4. We had three student volunteers help him transport the panels to the building, where they also got to learn about installation.
Total, we (the artists) had 50+ hours of contact time with the students for this project, 34 of which we spent painting the mural.
Day 1 was dedicated to priming the boards. Everyone earned their ice, cold beverages that day.
We bought most of our supplies at Home Depot. The benefit of this is that Home Depot had everything we needed and multiple options. It was also convenient. But there are community resources for more affordable paint (though you’re limited in your options for colors). Community Warehouse in Milwaukee is a great resource for affordable supplies like brushes, paint rollers, and other staples, and it’s always worth looking for bulk/resale type shops like this place in any city you might be working in.
Glidden and Behr both had affordable options for exterior paint, semi-gloss. We went for semi-gloss because it’d be easier to wipe down if needed, without being maddeningly reflective in the sun like glossy paint would have been. It’s important to tell your paint mixer which colors you’ll be using as your primer or on top of other coats, as some colors are more opaque while others need to be mixed with a primer to be used on top of other paints.