Colour Areas Nearly Finished Now! Exterior Mural Using Silicate Mineral Paint at Trafalgar Junior School Twickenham – Jenny Meehan WordPress Blog

June 15, 2011

People are noticing the unique paint quality…How the colours reflect the light, how it bounces off the surface and makes them sing.  It’s interesting to me that people bring this up without me having told them anything about the quartz. It’s very nice to hear the children talking about the colours,  and liking the design, and now the pressure is off a bit timewise, I have more time to talk to them about the paint, the design and the concept.  There will be a competition somewhere near the end of the project, and the children will come up with a title, which is very important as it gives more ownership to them.

 The mural is so formal, so ordered.  All well and good, but it’s not quite fitting for the playground yet!  I have a few more things to do for my part, but with the right brushes (wonderful flat and wide brushes, with tightly packed synthetic fibres are best for this type of paint) it will be done in no time.  I’m limited with other commitments in terms of how often I can come in, but there’s not that much more to do.    It was great to do some more of the painting with the children, and I have to say, I am really impressed with all the children who have worked with me.  I was a bit concerned that they might not use the brushes and paint as is needful, (and with this type of paint it does need to be done in a certain way), but you know, I feel ashamed of my doubts, because I think they have surpassed my expectations, and I only wish I had more painting for them to do.

The paint is great, but it does need to be applied carefully.  Wet/dry lapping shows a distinct mark and so care must be taken to maintain a wet edge across each surface.  It’s worked very well for this mural, as the wall is in the shade, and the weather has been good.  When its windy it can dry the paint rather quick, so it’s not just direct sunlight that one has to be aware of, but I have found with the bubblewrap covering that this is a great help with respect to both wind and rain.  With the mural being basically fairly small areas, it hasn’t been a problem and the coverage is good and pretty even.  What you really cannot do is retouch areas….You get a very distinct mark.  You also need to ensure that the paint is very well mixed, especially if the colour has been adjusted with pigment.  It is more like a stain.  I must say that I look forward to experimentally in a more free manner with the silicate mineral paint, using retouching and overlapping in a creative way.  I think it could be quite interesting.  But for this mural design a nice lap free layer is what was needed.

Once the paint has been applied it does need protection as it takes a good 12 hours to dry and it also needs protection from mechanical abrasion for a couple of weeks because it takes time to fully harden.  This again could be used very creatively: I am thinking of some of my experiments with casein in the past and the scraping and scratching into the surface would be an interesting avenue to go down at some point.  My problem, as ever, is time. I’m only working on the mural about once every couple of weeks.  This drags the whole thing out a bit, but as long as it’s done by the end of the Summer Holidays it will be fine. 

I thought about a hydro-phobic coating for the mural, but I don’t think it’s necessary for this project.  If the mural was very high up, near the sea maybe, then it might be worth considering.  The silicate mineral paint itself is water repellent in nature, and though I was a bit concerned about the possible looseness of pigment in some of the more highly coloured areas, I have found that a gentle brushing with some diluted fixative solves the issue, which is only an issue with a couple. of the much deeper colours anyway.  I used ready mixed full colour silicate mineral paint, so I wasn’t expecting any looseness actually, but it is only a tiny amount.  The mural will later be coated with an anti-graffiti coating made by Keim Mineral Paints Ltd.


2 Responses to “Colour Areas Nearly Finished Now! Exterior Mural Using Silicate Mineral Paint at Trafalgar Junior School Twickenham – Jenny Meehan WordPress Blog”

  1. Love watching this story unfold. I can’t wait to hear the final chapter. I also thinks its terrific that the children are getting hands on involvement too.

  2. jennymeehan Says:

    Thank you Amanda. I just wish I had ten times as much time each day, so I could do more. I am loving it!

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