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DIY - How to build a portable mural wall

Over the years as a graffiti artist and muralist who's always loved to paint big and paint outside I've come across many challenges that I've had to over come, especially legality issues in the beginning that every graffiti artist or street artist faces. Removing the graffiti aspect from the equation, your a muralist who's having a tough time trying to find walls to paint and trouble finding building owners to give you permission to paint their property you hit this huge physical creative block that can completely stop you from even trying, or even wanting to try. Often times your feeling creative and inspired and then life happens. I've for sure been there many times. The struggle is over now! I've finally created a solution.

It had to be a simple build with commonly found materials along with being inexpensive. So here I'm sharing with you the plans to build a portable mural wall that you can take with you and setup nearly anywhere. The initial build allows you to put your wall up anywhere that there is grass but I'll explain further down how you can also you this on any solid surface as well. You'll have the option of painting on canvas material, plywood or any surface your able to put in your slots on your wall.

So here we go. *side note: I'm working on pictures and diagrams this week so check back here

DIY How to Build A Mural Wall

build time: 30-45mins

Materials list (with approx. price CAD):

  • 3 x 2x4's ($15)

  • 2 x Fence spikes ($14)

  • 1 x 1"x2" pine ($3)

  • wood glue ($8)

  • drop sheet cloth 9' by 12' ($35)

  • 4 quick grip clamps with from dollar store, whatever is cheap ($4-20)

  • 2-pack inch and a half hinges ($3)

  • 2 tent spikes ($4)

  • epoxy glue from dollar store ($3) Approx. Total= $105

Tools you need access to:

  • brad nailer with inch and a half nails

  • table saw

  • miter saw

  • measuring tape

  • drill

  • 6" long drill bit the same size as your fence post spike metal dowel that will be inserted into the bottom of your posts

Overview of the process:

What the final vision and how your new mural wall is going to work is this; Your creating a mural wall that uses a drop cloth canvas or plywood wall that can be continuously painted over until its too thick and needs to be replaced

your mural wall consists of two 8 foot posts that get spiked into the grass, you fold out your wind supports and spike those in as well. You then clamp your canvas sheet on your first post top and bottom and then stretch the canvas to the other side clamping top and bottom there too. Make sure your wrinkles are stretched out and you are ready to paint!

Plywood Option: you have your slots on the inner side of your posts that you can now slide your plywood sheet that is up to 3/4" thick. You can adjust your width of your mural wall by moving your posts.

If you want your wall to be 12 feet long for example, what I do is lay my 3 piece of plywood on the driveway and just wood glue a 6ft piece of 1x2 pine at the center line of the seem, next day flip it over and brad nail or put some 1" screws in the front and then prime it. This wall would last me at least a couple of summer/spring painting seasons or more easily.

Steps for the build:

Step 1 :

Take your 2x4's and set your table saw guide to 1/8th and just trim the rough edge that they always have just so we are working with nice and straight edges. your first two 2x4's are your mural wall posts and the third is going to be ripped into your sticks for the inner slots for the plywood wall option.

step 2:

set your table saw blade guide to 3/4 inch, lay your 2x4 flat and push it through. get as many sticks as you can get out of the board, that's all you will need. Once you do this turn each stick on its side and run them through again at 3/4". so now we should have sticks that are 3/4 all the way around

step 3:

clamp your posts on a table and find the center of the bottom of your post (say how) and drill your hole for your spikes. mix your epoxy glue and lather the metal dowel of your fence post spike and insert into the drilled hole and hold it there firmly for a min while it sets. do this for both posts

step 4:

while those are setting up we can glue and pin our slots for the plywood wall option. mark 6 inches from the top of your post while they are laying flat, this is where the slots will start. Cut your 3/4" sticks to 6 feet in length. Mark the cent of your post length wise by making a little tick with a pencil roughly every 8 inches all the way down and then mark and measure the width of the gap for the plywood you want to slide in. run glue all down the side of the stick your gluing to the post and brad nail them on each side of the center on each post. Lastly cut a tiny piece to glue and nail on only the bottom gap, this will stop your plywood from sliding through and resting on the ground.

step 5:

Your essentially done at this point, you just need to cut two 18" pieces out of your 1x2 pine and cut each end at a 45 degree with the miter saw and drill a 1/4 inch hole on one side. this is where the tent spike will get tapped in. screw your hinges on so that your wind stabilizers can fold up and i just use the clamps to keep them in place when not in use .

Step 6:

Get painting!

If anyone tries my build out and makes improvements to make this thing even better please let me know in the comments and link some pics if you can, feel free also to drop me a line using my contact form.

*update - instead of using 4 clamps like in the picture, as you can see some places are a little bit wrinkled..I’m going to use another 4 extra cheap quick grip clamps to keep it tight in more places which will flatten it out, as well, just like when you prime canvas, the paint will tighten it up too.

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