The Different Types of Mural Painting Explained

The Different Types of Mural Painting Explained

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The Different Types of Mural Painting Explained

The Different Types of Mural Painting Explained

Murals can be found in streets and cities. They are fantastic pieces of art that hold a lot of power in creating a certain energy and livening up a location. It is amazing what the power of paint and colour can do.

Bold and beautiful, wall murals come in a variety of styles and types, bringing with them a sense of community and beautifying urban settings while inspiring creativity amongst locals and visitors alike.

Murals can pay tribute to a particular person, event, or era in history; they play a big part in attracting tourists to an area and make fantastic photo opportunities for many people who enjoy them.

There are no limitations when it comes to murals and how creative artists can be with them, but in this blog, we will delve into the different types of murals that exist, along with the techniques that mural artists use to create these large-scale pieces of art.


What Is a Mural Painting?

A mural refers to a piece of artwork that is painted onto the surface of a wall or ceiling. It is, therefore, an oversized painting and is applied directly to the surface of the wall, ceiling, or other permanent surface.

As a mural is painted directly onto a wall or ceiling, it then becomes a part of that building and is considered a permanent feature of the wall.

There are different types of mural paintings and different types of techniques used to paint them.


The Different Types of Mural Painting Explained

Generally, three different types of murals exist. These three types of murals include photography, painted images, and abstract murals. Read more about these three types below.


Photography Murals

Photography murals are a great way to showcase your photography skills or photos that you really like. Photo murals can be created in multiple ways. Through single photos or an array of photos, art owners can celebrate their favourite photographs in a variety of ways.

Photography murals can be showcased on canvas, vinyl, aluminium, photo board, or even have photographs turned into wallpaper. A wallpaper photo mural can help show off photography on a unique wall, and it sticks straight to the wall, creating a mural instantly.


Painted Image Murals

Murals that are created in urban locations often feature recognisable images or painted scenery. Murals can be striking and feature icons in an area too.

Image murals are created for many purposes. Originally, murals were used to create beauty in an area; they can be used today for this, to make a political or social statement, or to record a historic event.

Image murals transform an area and catch people’s eyes and attention. They can turn urban areas with boring, dull walls into interesting places, that attract visitors, which otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Therefore, they have been known to transform an area, community, and space.

Great examples of locations that have come alive with the help of image murals include the likes of Shoreditch in London, or Berlin in Germany to commemorate the historic Berlin Wall’s remains, serving the area as a famous image gallery and open-air viewing that attracts many tourists.

An area’s local economy can be positively impacted by the use of murals.


Abstract Murals

Abstract murals are a good way of incorporating a modern and contemporary feature into a building or area. They can be as colourful and as bold as the artist likes.

Abstract murals can be done in one large piece or divided into smaller sections.


The Different Types of Mural Techniques

Modern-day contemporary murals can be created using a variety of techniques. The main types of techniques used to create murals include fresco, graffiti, mosaic, and marouflage. Here we will go into more detail about these different types.



Fresco is a method of painting whereby paint is applied to wet plaster on a wall or ceiling and, when dry, becomes an integral part of the plaster and therefore the wall or ceiling too.

The word ‘fresco’ comes from the Italian word ‘affresco’ which means fresh. This method is an extremely durable way of painting, so it is fitting to be used in outdoor settings where murals are commonly found.

The paint is mixed with water and can be applied to plaster or mortar. Hours later, the pigment is absorbed. As the plaster dries, it reacts with the oxygen in the air and fixes the particles in the pigment to the plaster. This process is what allows the painting to stay in place for many years to come and even centuries, allowing the colours in the mural to stay vibrant and fresh, despite being outside and exposed to the elements and the damaging rays from the sun, which can usually cause paint to fade.



Graffiti is an art form that helps to portray many things, including people’s emotions, politics, self-expression, or characters. Graffiti is often carried out on walls in public spaces.

Graffiti art has played a big part in recent contemporary wall painting, with thanks to artists Shepard Fairey, Keith Haring, and ABOVE to name a few examples.

We have the 1990s to thank for the rise in popularity of graffiti art on walls. Stony’s artwork is heavily influenced by graffiti, due to its wild and chaotic nature, uniqueness, and wording.



Marouflage is a technique whereby a mural is created by attaching a painted canvas to a wall. The adhesive used in attaching will dry harder in the same way plaster does. This helps to create a permanent attachment to the wall as if the painting were painted directly onto the original surface.



Mosaic murals are not created using paint. Art is made in the style of mosaics by using tiny pieces of glass and other materials to create an image or pattern. The materials are attached to the walls with glue or cement.


Can Anyone Paint a Mural?

Someone who paints murals is called a muralist. Muralists will design and paint artwork on walls in communities and streets. They can even be commissioned to paint for businesses, zoos, cities, and hotels, to name a few examples.

Murals can be created on either indoor or outdoor walls and certainly have an impact wherever they are located.

You do not have to be a professional muralist in order to paint a mural, but having lots of painting experience and having the know-how and confidence to paint on a larger scale certainly helps.

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