Have you wondered why we require the base coats for our mural painting to be flat? Also, why we paint our murals using a flat sheen? The reason for both is ultimately the same.
When you pay to have a mural painted, the last thing you want is for viewers to not be able to see the mural. Yet that is often what happens if a mural is painted with a glossy paint sheen or covered with a shiny top coat. Light reflects off of glossy surfaces and murals with a satin or gloss sheen will often reflect so much light, the mural’s viewers will see more reflected light than they see mural. In fact, depending upon the source of the light, some walls could end up looking more like a mirror than a mural. A mural painted in a flat sheen guarantees that your mural will have excellent viewing no matter what angle it is viewed from or how much light is hitting it.
There is another reason, however, we require a flat sheen for base coats. Most of our murals are applied largely with airbrush and a flat base coat allows a much smoother application of airbrush paint than a base coat with a glossy sheen. Paints with a sheen were designed partly for cleaning purposes. Dirt and oils don’t stick as easily to a higher gloss paint but, then, neither does paint from an airbrush. A lesser glossy paint allows maximum adhesion of our airbrush paint and that is the ideal product for murals.
Many clients are concerned that a flat paint won’t clean up as well in children’s areas and that is certainly a point worth considering. It is easier to wipe down a satin or gloss paint than it is a flat paint. The good news is, flat paint today is much easier to clean up than it used to be. Often you’ll see labels such as “Washable Flat” or sometimes “Flat Enamel” that let you know the paint will be perfect to use around areas that see lots of little hands.
For those who feel they just have to use a glossy paint in their kids area, we recommend a top coat after the mural is painted. Ideally, a flat top coat will provide satisfactory protection but an eggshell or satin finish could be used if desired. Realize that the higher the sheen, the more you will be introducing more light reflection on the mural, but if you are willing to sacrifice that, a top coat may be applied.
We always endorse keeping your murals flat. You’ll see more vivid colors, more of your overall mural and everyone will have a much better mural viewing experience.