How to Paint When You Can’t Draw

by | Sep 24, 2009 | Miscellaneus | 8 comments

I have my 100 Follower Giveaway post all ready to go! Only 7 more followers. Let’s hope we hit it today!

I feel pretty strongly that if a client wants me to paint a logo or cartoon character, it needs to look exactly like that logo or character. I’ve seen so many murals when Mickey Mouse looks like Mickey Mouse, but not really. Or a Football Team logo has really weird proportions. My guess is that these artist are freehanding it. I don’t think it’s cheating to use a projector and I finally purchased one last year. This takes the “I can’t draw” argument away from people who say they can’t do decorative painting or murals. (No excuses, ladies!)
As an example, I am showing you a Pittsburgh Steelers desk I just completed for a client. This is a little out of the ordinary for me, but decorative painting is not just for chicks! (I’m actually about to do a Star Wars mural…very fun!)I purchased a Kwik Draw projector and have been happy with it. There are some negatives – if your image is large the edges are blurry and the room has to be really dark to be able to see the image clearly. The pluses are it’s inexpensive (about $100), very simple to use, and it takes a standard light bulb. I printed up a copy of the logo from the Internet and put it in the projector. Since the logo was being painted on the top of the desk, I tipped the desk forward and put the projector on the floor. I traced the logo lightly with a pencil, then turned the projector off and the lights back on. Now, on to the painting…

This is the final product. I freehand almost all of my furniture and most of my murals, but there are times when it needs to be exact. This was one of those times and I am pleased with the results.

I have seen projectors for as cheap as $20…I even saw one new in the box at a thrift store this weekend. If you want to do murals or painted furniture, but you can’t draw, give this technique a try!


  1. Tiaa @ EYInteriors

    This is such a cool idea. I would like to paint a small mural in my daughter's room. This would be a great way to do it (and to get practice! LOL) Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope to connect more often in blogsphere! 🙂

  2. Bev @ The 3 Clutters

    I don't even care about football and I love that desk. Great job.

  3. bj

    Ahh, this looks great!!!!
    xo bj

  4. Let it Shine

    Awesome desk!
    I bought a projector over a year ago too, for a specific clients mural. But I find myself using it for all sorts of random things…….and they are super cheap on Craigs list. But mine is the old school teacher kind 🙂
    Can't wait to see the Star Wars mural!!


  5. Summer Rae

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ashlee

    Great Idea. My husband and I want to paint a mural on a HUGE wall in our living room. Maybe this is the answer!!!


  7. Leslie

    I so agree with you about licensed characters looking "right." A few years ago we purchased a home that had spider-man in one bedroom, the little mermaid and ninja turtles in another and the Chicago blackhawks logo in the basement. They all looked "off" and I couldn't wait to Kilz them & cover over them!
    Hugs, Leslie

  8. Catherine

    Hum….what about copyright laws? You printed the logo from the Internet & copied onto a desk to paint for a client. I am assuming she paid you for the project. So is that legal? I have read where you cannot copy someone’s art work & use it to paint and sell. I have read where you can paint whatever you see online or elsewhere but you cannot sell it.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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