The Gorilla Blog

Painting Base Coats for Murals

Before we paint or install murals, we request that you prep your walls. This often requires painting a new base coat of paint on to your walls. It is important at this stage to make sure the walls contain no tape, nails, staples, holes, adhesive, oils, etc. Neglecting to remove these things can cause delays in the process and may end up creating a less than ideal end product.

This video shows how to paint a good base coat as well as demonstrating some other helpful painting hints. You may want to consider hiring a professional house painter to paint your base coat If you can add that to your budget. The main goal is to end up with a smooth surface, free of obstacles and debris. That will help ensure the mural applied to the top of it will be as perfect as possible!

Our 3 Levels Of Pricing Keeps Your Theming Budget Under Control

3 Levels of Pricing

When planning your design project, it’s important to know exactly how much you will be spending. With our 3 levels of pricing you can choose what type of theming you want for your environment and stay in complete control of your design budget.

The first step in settling on a budget, is determining how many square feet are in the area you intend to renovate. It is often a good idea to come up with a couple of variations on this amount. For instance, you can figure the square footage of the “essential” themed area (areas you have to have redesigned) and then another number for the “ideal” themed area (areas you would love to have redesigned if you are able to). This will give you the opportunity to add additional square feet of space to your “essential” area if you find that your budget allows it.

Our 3 Levels of Pricing for Themed Environments are as follows:

IA Theming Level Pricing

There is an additional level not shown here which involves our vinyl murals at $6-$8 per square foot. These are perfect for “Do It Yourself” theming projects where you want the biggest impact for the smallest price. For more information on our vinyl murals please check our page about our vinyl murals.

Let’s examine each pricing level further.

Yellow Level Theming

Yellow Level Theming Pricing

An example of our Yellow Level Theming.

Yellow Level Theming is all hand-painted murals. There are no 3-D elements in our Yellow Level Theming but you might not notice that upon first inspection. Our hand-painted airbrush technique gives your entire environment an authentic three dimensional look for non-3-D pricing! Yellow Level Theming can work in almost any room or hallway and is very customizable. We use washable latex and acrylic paint in all of our hand-painted murals so cleanup is easy. Hand-painted murals are perfect for almost any venue whether it be kids’ church rooms, pediatric rooms, daycares or play spaces. To determine your cost for our Yellow Level Theming, just multiply your total square feet by $30 (Hint: doors are usually around 21 square feet so subtract that amount from your “Total Square Feet” for every door in your space.) Please note, there is a $5,000 minimum budget requirement for our Yellow Level Theming.

Red Level Theming

Red Level Theming Pricing

An example of our Red Level Theming.

We frequently refer to our Red Level Theming as “Panel 3-D” because the three dimensional objects are painted or printed on wood and/or plastic panels. This level of theming utilizes hand-painted or printed vinyl murals (often both) but receives a big visual “pop” from the 3-D panels. Because of the panels, the main characters and objects seem to pop off of the walls giving you a higher level of “WOW Factor” than with just flat murals. Additionally, panels can also be used to create 3-D objects such as classroom signs, trees, door and window frames, architectural details and structures. We frequently use panels for free standing pieces such as light posts, fire hydrants and other elements to enhance themed environments. The ideas are limitless. Our Red Level Theming is perfect for smaller space venues on a tighter budget that still want a high-impact redesign. It’s our most popular theming level and we have used it to design churches, assisted living facilities and pediatric offices. It’s also a very economical method for stage design. To determine your cost for our Red Level Theming, just multiply your total square feet by $40 (Remember, doors are usually around 21 square feet so subtract that amount from your “Total Square Feet” for every door in your space.) Please note, there is a $15,000 minimum budget requirement for our Red Level Theming.

Blue Level Theming

Blue Level Theming Pricing

An example of our Blue Level Theming.

Our Blue Level Theming is the “Big Daddy” (or “Big Mama” if you wish) of our themed environment design. It involves everything from our other levels (murals, Panel 3-D) but has the greatest “WOW Factor” of all due to full 3-D objects, sculptures, props and special features. It is at our Blue Level Theming where we have fabricated 3-D trees with full canopies of leaves, wood pirate ships to play in, ancient castles to hide in and lighted space ships to visit distant galaxies. Blue Level Theming creates a theme park environment for your space that is interactive in every way. It gives the full sensory experience of the design you choose to communicate with your visitors. If you need special design features such as a movie marquee, mine cart, jungle ruins or a fantasy tree, Blue Level Theming can deliver those features to you. It’s the level that says you are serious about providing the ultimate experience to your visitors or audience. Blue Level Theming is best for venues with larger, open spaces and rooms or hallways that can accommodate three dimensional objects without those objects restricting crowd flow. Blue Level Theming is perfect for theme park areas, museums, amusement centers such as bowling, laser tag rooms. and miniature golf courses, theatres, church worship rooms for kids, and hospitals. We can make practically any environment with our Blue Level Theming and everything is specifically customized and built for your space. To determine your cost for our Blue Level Theming, just multiply your total square feet by $50 (Remember, doors are usually around 21 square feet so subtract that amount from your “Total Square Feet” for every door in your space.) Please note, there is a $30,000 minimum budget requirement for our Blue Level Theming.

When planning your themed design, it’s always great to know how much you will be spending. Our 3 Levels of Pricing for Themed Environments makes it easier for you to do that and stay in control of your budget. If you have very specific special design requirements (special desks, props or stage needs) those can be priced on an individual basis in addition to the regular theming pricing. If you have any questions about our theming prices and how you can decide which one would work best for your area, Contact Us today for a free consultation.

Kid’s Church Room Spotlight: Moses Parting Sea

Moses Parting The Sea Mural

Making a serious Bible story come to life in a way that communicates to children is not always easy. It’s the ongoing task of every Children’s Pastor and Kid’s Ministry. One tool to help accomplish this task is incorporating effective kid’s church room design and theming. We’re all aware that kid’s learn more when they are stimulated to do so by their environment and one of the more effective ways to stimulate them to learn is by telling a story using wall murals. It’s a way for children to not only see the important elements of a story, but to feel as if they are actually experiencing that story. Through experience, a child makes emotional connections and it is because of those connections, they will remember the stories for the rest of their lives.

Moses Parting The Sea Mural

Making stories come to life through murals and themed environments is what we do best at Imagination Atmospheres. We’ve been painting murals and building themed environments since 2004. Within that time, we’ve designed several Bible story murals for kids’ church rooms and children’s ministry areas that have proven to be very popular with the kids themselves. Ranking way up there in the list of top favorite Bible stories is the tale in Exodus of Moses parting the Red Sea. Now, you might question how this story can be a kid friendly one. Most of us have seen The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston parting the waters so the Israelites can go through, only to turn around and close it, causing hundreds in the Egyptian army to perish. While I loved that movie as a kid, that particular scene terrified me (as it would most kids) and it isn’t a part of the story a kids muralist would want to highlight on a church wall.

Our Moses Parting The Sea mural features Moses himself at the center of the mural. His arms are outstretched and several sea creatures happily peer out from the waves of the parted Red Sea. This mural is one of our largest wall murals at 10′ x 25′ and can be scaled down proportionally to 8′ x 20. Even as a fun, humorous, cartoon mural, the story is dramatic and one that children will not soon forget as they stand in the middle of the parted ocean. The scene will inspire questions from the kids and give teachers the perfect opportunity to do what they do best: Teach.

Our Bible story murals are professionally printed on durable vinyl wallpaper for an easy to install, easy to clean, easy to maintain experience. The “Moses Parting The Sea” mural comes in 6 panels and is printed for invisible seams at the overlapping areas. The mural can be installed with some difficulties by one person but easily installed by two or more installers. Standard vinyl “wallpaper paste” is required for adhesion. Please allow 14 – 21 days for production and shipping of the mural. If you have special sizing requests, installation challenges or any questions regarding the product, email us or give us a call at 800-621-0236.

Brick Wall Mural Ideas

What can you do with a Brick Wall? Well, plenty actually!

Our Brick Wall Mural Panels come in several different styles, colors and features and there is a very good reason for that. Customizing your space. After almost 15 years of creating murals and themed environments for kids’ spaces, we’ve learned some things about designing rooms that we have applied to our new vinyl wall mural packages. One of those things is what we might refer to as “black hole areas.” A black hole area is a section that needs to be designed in order to match the rest of the themed area but has characteristics making it difficult to theme. Let’s examine a few of these:

Doors and Windows

Doors and windows can always be problematic when theming. When trying to apply a preprinted vinyl wall mural, these areas can prove almost impossible. Trying to fit a wall covering panel around a door and getting an exact fit or trying to theme a section with a window without losing vital design elements in the mural is a huge headache.


If you are creating a Main Street environment with our Main Street Mural Panels, you may be needing to wrap the design around a corner. It’s possible to have two “shops” meet in the corner but this may also be undesirable. In some locations, corners may be a bit remote and you might not want to lose a “shop” in an area that is rarely accessed.

Wall Objects

Many spaces that are being themed, have sections of wall with pipes, fuse boxes, lights, switches, safety equipment or other such obstacles that would require a vinyl wall mural panel to be cut, sliced, or pieced together.

Design Flexibility

When building a Main Street village, some may feel that too many “shops” side-by-side is over-stimulating and the design may need a rest for the eyes.


Sometimes it is desirable for a classroom to have one or more walls themed in a way that matches the overall theme but also isn’t overpowering.

Lesser Used Areas

We frequently find that customers want to theme areas such as restrooms, stairwells, closets, offices and other areas that don’t get as much use as common areas. It doesn’t make sense to waste rich design elements in these lesser accessed areas.

Imagination Atmospheres designed our Brick Wall Mural Panels to solve most of these difficult areas. We offer two types of brick walls: our Irregular Brick Wall Murals and our Tiling Brick Wall Murals. Here is an explanation of the difference between the two.

Irregular Brick Wall Murals

Main Street Murals Irregular Full Brick Wall.    Main Street Irregular Half Brick Wall

Our Irregular Brick Wall Murals were created for one main purpose: as a separation panel between Main Street Mural shop panels. Some may feel that too many Main Street shops side-by-side create an excess of visual stimulation. The Irregular Brick Wall panels are a perfect way to break up the pattern. Because these panels are made to be used only one panel at a time, they do not tile together to form a longer brick wall. However, they are quite useful for placing in between shops, putting around a small window or wrapping around doors and corners. Have an area with a bulletin board, video screen or coat rack that would be wasted space for a Main Street Shop Mural? Add some bricks! You’ll be surprised at how much the Irregular Brick Wall Murals add to your Main Street theme.

Tiling Brick Wall Murals

Tiling Brick Wall Panel  Tiling-Half-Brick-Wall  Tiling-Brick-Wall-Purple

If you need to have a brick wall area larger than the width of one of our Irregular Brick Wall Murals (54″), take a look at our Tiling Brick Wall Murals. These panels do everything our Irregular Brick Wall Mural Panels do but they can do it much longer! Because these panels are made to seamlessly tile together, you can make a brick wall as long as you want! Create a long brick wall in your hallway, stairwell or even brick and entire classroom. And because they are made to seamlessly connect, you can cut them in half and make a long half brick wall or just use pieces where you need them. It’s all up to your imagination. The Tiling Brick Walls can be used anywhere the Irregular Brick Wall panels can be used but, because they can be tiled together, you can use them for theming around larger windows, double doors or entire rooms. And because these Tiling Brick Panels come in a variety of colors, you can make different rooms or areas different colors. And if you really want your room to get wild, mix them and go multi-colored! A rainbow brick wall room! Again, it’s all depending how you want to customize your space.

We hope you will find our Brick Wall Mural panels useful. We encourage you to dream up your own ideas for how and where to use them and when you do, please send us photos of your space so we can show everyone else!

Vinyl Wall Murals Are Here!

New changes are coming to Imagination Atmospheres as we start rolling out the latest additions to our themed environments department. Our custom designed vinyl wall murals are now online and available for ordering.

Custom spaces have always been important to us and we’ve designed these murals to be as customizable as possible. That means you can order our new murals, install them yourself and still have a unique space. We’ll work with you to make sure our new murals fit your individual space in size and design.

Main Street Vinyl Wall Murals

Ultimately we’ll be offering hundreds of mural designs in our mural shop. Currently we are developing murals for church groups with our Bible Story Murals. These murals are based upon some of our most popular hand painted murals from the past 15 years of Imagination Atmospheres mural work. These murals depict many of children’s favorite stories from the Bible such as “Noah’s Ark,” “Moses,” “David and Goliath,” “Old Testament stories,” “Jesus’ parables,” “Jesus’ life events” and more. These murals are specifically designed to be adjusted in size so they will fit your space. We’re adding new stories on a regular basis so if you need a mural we haven’t added yet, feel free to contact us with your request.

We’re also excited to be developing our new Main Street Murals theme. The “Main Street Theme” is always one of our more popular themes and with the addition of the theme on vinyl wall covering, we can make these murals available anywhere in the United States! Best of all, our Main Street Murals are designed with customizing in mind. Each Main Street “shop” is printed on a single 54″ x 96″ panel of vinyl material. These panels are exactly like wall coverings you see in a wallpaper store. They require no special materials (other than wallpaper paste) or advanced skills to hang, so you can do the installing yourself! All you need to do is figure out how much space you want to theme, decide which Main Street shops you want to put into your theme, place an order and create your own Main Street village. It’s that simple! The Main Street shops are great for long hallways but are also wonderful for classrooms. You can even start the theme in the hallway and move it into classrooms. The choice is completely up to you. And for an extra design fee, we’re able to make a few design changes on the panels themselves, such as the addition of a logo, ministry name and even some color changes. Contact us with any custom requests you may have.

We believe our new vinyl wall murals will be an popular addition to our custom themed environment offerings. It allows us to serve customers all over the country with custom art, on a quality product, at a very economical cost. That’s what we believe Imagination Atmospheres is all about.

Did you know you can hang vinyl wall murals on a cinder block surface? The main thing to keep in mind is to prepare the surface by making it as smooth as you can. The smoother the surface, the better the mural will stay secure to the wall. Having painted block is a great foundation and you can insure even more secure adhesion with the addition of a liner. Here’s an article with tips on hanging wall coverings on concrete Have questions? Give us a call at 800-621-0236.


artist drawing

I’m one of those artists who enjoys doing a variety of creative art forms. I’m lucky in that my job involves mural painting, airbrushing and cartooning because these are some of my favorite types of art but in my personal life I also enjoy fine art, performance art and photography as well.

Recently I’ve been diving back into photography and rediscovering my love for capturing still images. I don’t know about you but when I am concentrating on a certain type of art, my creative mind doesn’t want to be interrupted with thought or ideas about any other type. It’s very difficult for me to work on photography at the same time I am painting abstracts, for instance. I’m not sure why this is but my mind only wants to concentrate on one creative outlet at a time, which makes my artistic life always look very compartmentalized. If you meet me at one period, I may show you all of my recent photographs, but another times I may have several new canvases to display. Rarely will I have new art from several different expressions.

I wonder how artists such as Picasso could work on so many different types of art pieces at the same time. Some artists seem to have this well of creativity inside them that must come out in whatever form is handy at the time. They can paint a landscape or snap portraits in the same day and still feel a sense of fulfillment.

How about you? What is your creative process? Can you work on several different types of art projects at the same time? What’s your secret?

— Rick

Welcome to the Jungle

Jungle murals and themes are always fun to create, especially when the space is on the smaller side. The surrounding jungle mural can give you a real claustrophobic feeling, similar to what you might feel in the real jungle. In this theme for Highlands Church in Cumming, Georgia, we created a jungle environment that is a mix of cartoon and storybook, with some elements of the realistic. 3-D vines and airbrushed leaves, trees and foliage provide a dense canvas for the jungle feel while 3-D elements such as bamboo awnings, door frames and jungle rock walls give everything an added pop. The sign-in area features lighted jungle torches and coconut candles and a 3-D toucan to welcome the kids into their new space.

Jungle themes and murals are always a great idea for a kid space. The animals and detailed design provides an environment which stimulates a child’s imagination and sense of adventure. It’s a theme which lends itself equally well to small areas and large areas and a wide range of budgets. It’s a good choice for churches, amusement areas and daycares. For a consultation about your space, contact Imagination Atmospheres at 800-621-0236.