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Using mural paints vs house paint | Mural paint

A question I get quite often is “What type of paint do you use?” Or ” How much money can we save by using house paint? “

To start, house paint is probably about 30% cheaper than mural paints. And in many circumstances they work quite nicely. They are exterior rated, can be mixed to any custom color and are widely available. And depending on location they can look great for up to about 10 years before a noticeable fading occurs.

But from an artist perspective I like mural paints, for a few reasons.

First off, the colors are more pure and vibrant. If I were to mix a purple color from red and blue and have that color mixed in a house paint, the mural paint may be the same color, but is more vibrant. The reason is this: my purple is mixed with red and blue only. A house paint probably has black, Brown and other colors mixed in to get that purple color. It may be the same color, but has a cloudiness to it. And it becomes difficult to get the vibrancy that is almost automatic in mural paints. I can tone down the vibrancy of I choose to, but keep it if I want a nice “pop” of color.

Second is durability. Mural paints are stronger than house paints. They contain a higher percentage of acrylic resins than house paint.

Third is fading. Paint companies like to offer “lifetime warranties” on their paint. But read the fine print. What they are guaranteeing is the binders in the paint, not the pigments that color it. So it will fade, especially in the Florida sun. The pigments they use, especially, reds and blues, don’t do well long term in the Florida sun. So the paint film itself is fine, but the pigments within it have deteriorated.

As a mural artist, there are certain pigments that are very sensitive to UV light. Colors like Cadmium Red and yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Dioxinine Purple are horrible colors for exterior. They begin to fade immediately and within a year are almost non existent on an exterior wall that receives direct sun. Pyrol red and yellow oxide are much better choices and can do 90% of the work of cadmium colors. To the typical viewer they don’t notice the difference.

Lastly is techniques. As mural artists we use and apply paint in a much different fashion than a painting contractor. We are blending, fading, applying thick, applying thin, pouncing, glazing and a variety of other techniques. We need products that are designed for all those applications and doesn’t affect the paints performance. House paint is limited to its “mil thickness”. It is designed to be applied at a certain thickness to perform it’s function. If thinned down or applied thinly it actually voids the warranty of the paint film. Mural paints, on the other hand, are formulated to be mixed with other products, thinned, blended and abused.

Mural paint

From an artist point of view, Golden Paints is my favorite line of products. Not only do they have superior products, but their technical support is outstanding. It’s very easy to get a chemist in the phone and say ” I’m about to paint a mural and am considering doing _______ “. Their tech support will go out of their way to walk through a solution that not only looks great but doesn’t interfere with the integrity of the paint.

Painting outlet covers | painting outlet covers

One type of work I find really fun is painting outlet covers to match the backsplash tile.Its really satisfying to see how much I can get the outlets and switches to blend in.

Is it durable? Heck yea, with the proper priming and a kitchen quality varnish, they can be cleaned right along with the tile and hold up to hands and objects being plugged in.

The outlet blends right in!
Another outlet painted

I have lots more of these types of photos but posted the ones that were the most challenging.

Chalking in Follina | Chalk art, madonnari

We were invited to participate in a madonnari festival in Follina, Italy.

Follina is an amazing village north of Venice. We were housed in a 13th Century building turned into a hostel that contained remnants of ancient frescoes, a courtyard and great views of the mountains.

We picked a challenging piece, Caravaggio’s “Paul on the Road to Damascus”. The night before the festival there was a hail storm, leaving about 2 inches of hail on the road.

Luckily, it was gone by Saturday but Sounds it rained all day. Most of worked late into Saturday night to complete our pieces.

The town, the people and the experience was a once in a lifetime.

Fresco at our hostel
Chalking late into the night
Our chalk piece. Not the best photo as the street light was bright

Salon in Chamonix France

We are on a tour of Europe that encompasses decorative art and chalk art.

We started this journey in Chamonix France to attend Salon, an annual meeting of decorative artists from over 30 countries.

For my exhibition panel, I created a trompe l’oeil piece uses objects of the area but painted in a 19th century American style.

Chamonix is beautiful, and we had an opportunity to visit the top of Mont Blanc, a glacier and the town of Gruyère, Switzerland. It was a great week before moving on to Italy.

My exhibition panel
Visiting a glacier

Naples Florida – Muralist – Mural Artist | Muralist, Naples, Mural artist

Naples Florida Mural detail

Living in SWL, Ive done alot of work as a mural artist in Naples, FL. Naples has a variety of art, with muralist of many styles finding their work in demand. I love the variety of mural projects I have done in Naples, from private homes to businesses.

One of my favorite mural projects was Naples Beach Brewery, in which we did a 10 x 30 mural that depicted the backwater areas of SWFL. As a muralist, I love these types of projects, as we were trying to create a scene that placed the viewer in something familiar, but different than a beach scene,

We had an opportunity to add many beer related elements, including water, yeast, hops and barley, which were hidden throughout the mural.



Naples Beach Muralist
Naples beach Mural



Mural artist, Muralist, Naples Florida

Another mural project  we did was a patio store. We used the immense space to create scenes of Florida throughout the store.  This was a great fit for a mural in Naples, FL.

Naples Mural

Naples muralist
Naples mural


Naples patio store mural


Call us for a free consultation for your mural needs. (239) 677 0960

Europe – Part 3 – Madonnari Festival

Im doing these posts a bit out of order, I havent posted Part 2, which was our visit to Rome.

We were invited to participate in Concorso Internazionale dei Madonnari, a church festival in Nocera Superiore, south of Naples. It was a real honor to be invited along with a handful of other artists from the US, as well as artists from Mexico, Netherlands and elsewhere.

This wasnt a street art or chalk painting festival, but a church festival in which the chalk art was one part of a larger festival that included concerts, a light show, fireworks, parades and more. The theme this year was a Bible verse, based on John 15: 13-16 and was interpreted as “A great love, share it with the others”




Our piece was a recreation of “The Visitation” and measured 6’x 6′. For this festival we began work about 4pm and worked until midnight and then began the next day at 6am.


Nocera Superiore is a beautiful town with a great view of Mount Vesuvius. On top of every mountain were the remnants of old churches.

We stayed in town for two days after we chalked and had an opportunity to enjoy the festival and the people.