Thursday, November 5, 2009

HOW to do a PAINT


Getting permission to paint on a wall is probably the HARDEST part of a paint. It's also the MOST crucial part because our MAIN objective for painting public walls is to start conversations with people from the area and get them to join us.

Without permissions, it is not possible to have the community's support. Without the community's support, you can not involve them in your paint. So, PLEASE ensure that you have permission to paint a wall from the owner of the wall.

Remember, this is NOT graffiti. We
paint in broad day light and preferably on weekends to increase the chance of people being free and at home to be able to see what we are doing, get curious and hopefully join us :)



1. Sandpaper
2. Sponge
3. Rags of cloth
4. Paint brushes of different sizes [thin ones for outlines and intricate details, thicker ones for fillings in, thickest ones for backgrounds]
5. Lots of water cleaning the wall, mixing with the paint, cleaning brushes
6. Containers [small buckets, mugs, glasses, according to the quantity] to mix the thinner with the primer and also for mixing the paints
7. Plastic bags for palettes
8. Paper [for quick rough sketches during brainstorming, to sit on, to put paint brushes on, to clean up spilt paint with, etc]
9. Chalk, charcoal, pencil for making the outline of the painting
10. Knife, scissors [ALWAYS handy - We didn't have one for our Rest House Road paint and had to use a sharp stone to cut a plastic bottle, so that we could fashion it into a container for our primer and thinner mix! :)]


1. Primer
2. Thinner
3. Emulsion exterior base paint [regular/white]
4. Stainers


Cleaning: Before you can paint a wall, you need to clean it. Depending on the wall, you might need sandpaper to scrape things like flaking paint, moss, posters and mud off. You can even use a hard brush instead of sandpaper. If the grime is stubborn, try putting some water on it first.

Base: After you have cleaned the wall, apply a mixture of primer and thinner. Be generous.

*When you pick up the primer from the hardware store, ask someone for the correct proportions for mixing the two.

After applying the primer and thinner mix on the wall, leave it to dry. Go for a loo/lunch/tea/whatever break. It usually takes about 30-45 mins to dry on a nice sunny day. Only begin to paint over this base once it is completely dry.

*Remember that a good coat of primer is what will ensure that your painting lives a long and happy life. It is what the paint sticks on to. So, don't compromise here.


Since we wanted to use a wide range of colours, we found that buying these separately was working out to be too expensive. So, we used stainers for colour and added them to white emulsion exterior paint instead.

Our total cost including paintbrushes [initial investment] , paints and the numerous miscellaneous knick-knacks worked out to about Rs. 1000/-. Since there were 3 of us, this meant it was a little over Rs. 300/- per head. And we still have loads of paint leftover. So your actual cost per paint will be even less than this.

Stainers: Each 50 ml bottle cost Rs.25/- each at most. We got 8 such bottles of Asian Paint stainers.

Base paint: One litre of white emulsion exterior paint.

MIXING : We took little containers to mix paint in. So, first we would put a little base paint, and then add a little stainer to it. I would advise that you first mix small amounts to test how well the stainer is catching on. Colours like red and also the darker ones like brown, we found harder to mix because the base paint is white and tends to lighten most of the darker shades.

For consistency, we added water. Don't make it too watery as the paint will then drip. Keep a spare cloth and sponge handy for soaking up these trails.

What colours: Get the usual red, blue, yellow primary colours for SURE. Then, depending on your piece, pick the other colours. Knowing that our paint would involve flowers and plants, we picked two shades of green - emerald and olive, yellow, red, lavender, inky blue, black and one vermilion red.


While we would LOVE to paint a wall WITH you, we are yet to find and get permissions for one big enough to allow more than 3 people to paint simultaneously. So, please keep a look out for walls, big and small.

Also, we hope this will grow into a movement. So, we don't want it to be dependent on any ONE group/ individual. So, please go ahead, source your walls, get permissions and PAINT! We would be happy to help you in any way we can.

If you have any questions, please ping us right here on the blog, or on our Facebook group - Bangalore Wallflower.

Hope you have a GREAT paint :) Do link us to pictures.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Shop a wide selection of quality paint and stain at 100bricks. Find exterior and interior paint from top brands such as Asian,, Nerolac, Tractor Emulsion etc., Paint Dealers In Bangalore | Plumbing Materials Suppliers

  2. Nice article, great pictures!
    Make sure you have waterproofing done as it could lead to wall paint damage.

  3. What do you mean by thinner ? Is it water or any other thing?