A mural adds depth, creativity and inspiration to a blank wall. A mural is any artwork painted directly onto a wall, ceiling or other large, hard surface. Stucco walls make an interesting mural surface choice because of the usually unfinished texture of the wall. Incorporating the roughness into your mural, such as in the surf in a beach scene, will draw intrigued looks from passers-by or guests in your home. Whether you choose to paint a rural landscape, a city scene, a detailed portrait or a fantasy world, knowing how to prepare the stucco wall and preserve your mural is paramount.
Clean the stucco surface with a power washer to remove all dust, dirt and oil. Fit a wide spray tip on the power washing hose. Use minimal pressure, about 1,200 to 1,500 psi, because stucco is considered a soft coating. Spray the wall until you do not see any dirt.
Remove loose paint from previously painted stucco. Use a putty knife and wire brush. Lift the loose paint with the knife. Brush away loose particles. Let the surface dry completely.
Paint on an acrylic masonry primer. Apply two coats to ensure a smooth surface for your mural.
Choose a paint type. For the safest paint, select a masonry type, such as latex paint, that advertises its "breathing" qualities. Or, if you prefer, use oil or water-based types. Choose types of paint that allow internal moisture to escape but that will not let rain and humidity affect your mural. Masonry paints, such as latex paints, tend to limit the amount of dirt and mildew growth on the walls.
Select your brushes. Depending on the type of mural you want to paint— extremely detailed or light and unstructured — choose brushes that give you flexibility and a variety of brush-stroke styles. For large swaths of image, such as sky, use a lamb's-wool roller. Use a 1- or 1 1/4-inch roller thickness for smoother stucco textures and 1 1/2 inch for rougher, unfinished textures. Reach higher areas of the mural by extending the roller brush pole.
Apply the paint. For the first coat of your mural, roll on a continuous film of paint. Avoid leaving any small holes or bubbles in the paint. As you progress with the mural, use smaller brush strokes and get into detail.