How To: Paint a Mural in your School or Community Center


If your school district cuts art in the classroom, take it to the hallways (or cafeteria, or library, or lounge)! If a nearby school has the same problem, get some friends together and lend a hand.

  • Make your plan. Identify some spaces in your school that might benefit from a make-over, like the library, the gym, or the lobby. Think of some art that might be relevant to those spaces, like painting healthy food in the cafeteria. The cause of your choice also be great subject matter for a mural.
  • Ask the administration. Show your plan with sketches and a list of possible murals. Say that a school beautification project that improves school's environment and peers' access to art. Can the school make alterations to the building? Listen to their ideas too and try to come to an agreement.
  • Collect supplies. List the supplies you'll need (i.e. pencils, erasers, paint and paintbrushes). Which of these can the school give you? For wall paint, you'll probably need a local hardware store to donate. Explain your project to them and see if they would be willing to help. If you still need more, think about running a collection drive.
  • Build a team. Have a meeting and gather a team of students who want to help. Check and see what they're interested in doing and what they feel they're good at. Assemble a sketch team to come up with a final draft to be the template for your big mural.
  • Get final approval. Before you put a drop of paint on the wall, make sure you and the administration are on the same page! Double check that you agree on
    • where the mural will be
    • what the mural will look like
    • when you will be painting it
    • how you will be painting it
  • Paint away! Use pencils to get your small-scale sketch onto the large-scale wall and then fill it in with paint! It will be your job to do some planning about how to execute the painting. Remember to clean up after yourself as well!
  • Celebrate. Will school allow a party to celebrate the completion of your masterpiece? Invite the families of the artists to come view the piece. If you can, turn it into an opportunity to raise funds for your next arts project!