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Mural Panel Testing Results

7 thoughts on “Mural Panel Testing Results”

  1. I did a mural on marine grade plywood, facing south in Michigan. Used several sanded Golden gesso layers on front, back and sides. Mural subject to extreme heat, cold, rain and snow. It was up for 10 years. Golden acrylic paint used. Several top coats of Golden MSA varnish gloss. There was no sign of loss of structural integrity to the substrate. There were four 4’x8’ panels. Mounted to brick wall. Used full palette of golden colors. Should have been try too coated with varnish every couple years, but was only top coated once. Chief problem was fading and chalking where top coat got thin or worn. Panels were removed after 10 years, damaged and faded areas repainted, new top coat and transferred mural inside a building. Looks like new. Not all areas needed to be repainted.

    • Hello, Kenneth.
      Thank you so very much for providing your personal experience with using our products on a mural. The testing we did for this article was pretty aggressive, both in the angle of the test panel fences, and the sets that were primed, edge/back sealed, and painted without applying an isolation coat or varnish/topcoat. We knew by doing this method, we would learn what materials and products are likely to fail sooner than those using more stable surfaces. From your account, it sounds as though the recoating after 3+ years with additional MSA Varnish layers would have helped out, which is our experience as well. Still, 10 years in that brutal Michigan weather is a test for ANY system!
      We encourage anyone that has created a mural and has been able to revisit it over the years to let us know how things are going. We are all always learning and can always improve the process for future exterior applications.
      – Mike Townsend

  2. I have found the Pellon to be a great substrate for collage (soft gel is the adhesive). I do wonder about the long term changes – the collages “stiffen” considerably over time, unmounted, as your example was.

    • Hello, Selena.
      Thank you for comments and questions. When we prepared a roll of Pellon with 100% acrylic housepaint, then painted the color bars with Heavy Body Acrylics, the roll was stiff but still flexible without any signs of cracking. Much like woven fabrics such as cotton duck canvas, coated non-woven fabrics will retain a memory of the shape that they are in as they dry. I would assume that as long as you allow them to dry — such as stapled over a panel or table surface, directly over 4 mil thick poly plastic sheeting — the primed/cured pieces will be stiff but still flexible. I found them very easy to cut into shapes and easy to attach to the panels using Soft Gel. As long as the primers and paints are acrylic-based, they should not continue to stiffen because acrylics are relatively inert when fully dry and do not become increasing brittle as an oil-based coating does.
      – Mike Townsend

  3. Wow. Acrylics have become so exciting! I’ve been watching some of your videos which are so well explained.

    Perhaps you haven’t seen my reply and question which asks if you do workshops as well?

    I find that by seeing and actually participating in a new technique it sticks better.


    Kathleen Veronesi

    • Hello Kathleen.
      Thank you for your kind words!
      We do offer classes from time to time, but none on mural painting at this time.
      We are available for help, and if you want to come up and visit, we can take some time to review and questions you may have, and play with paint!
      – Mike Townsend


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