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How to Make An Eerie Wall Mural

This wall mural represents a window through which a skeletal tree casts an eerie shadow. Follow these step-by-step instructions to design and create your own wall mural like this one.

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Step 1: Choose a Design

An old movie still was the inspiration for this mural.

old movie still was inspiration for mural

Step 2: Transfer the Design to the Plywood

Luan plywood has a smooth front side and a rough back side; make the smooth side faces out. Sketch or transfer your design onto rectangular pieces of the plywood cut to your desired size.

Step 3: Cut Out the Pieces

Cut the design pieces out using a jigsaw with a fine-toothed blade to avoid chipping the wood. Sand the edges.

cut design pieces out using jigsaw

Step 4: Paint the Pieces

Paint the cut pieces and add detail as you choose.

paint cut pieces and add detail

Step 5: Lay Out the Design

Assemble the cut-out pieces onto the floor and determine the placement on the wall. Use a measuring tape and level to mark the best place to start. In this example, the cut-out lines up with the height of the window on the adjacent wall to create a shadow effect.

Step 6: Arrange and Hang the Pieces

Use small brads to attach each piece to the wall. Luan plywood is thin and can easily split. If needed, pre-drill the holes with a small drill bit. Plaster walls can chip if larger nails are used.

use small brads to attach each piece to wall

Step 7: Paint the Mural With A Shadow Effect

To achieve a shadow effect, use a lighter and a darker shade of paint of the same color. Paint the background wall in the lighter color. Then hold a spotlight at an angle to the window to create real shadows on the far side of the window. Pencil those shapes in and then paint them in using a darker shade paint to create darker 'shadows' of each window. Remember that paint dries darker than it looks, so the wet paint may look lighter than dry wall paint.