How to Transform a Room in Hours

Dining Room with Countryside Murals I by Michael Alford

There are several techniques for covering walls with decorative painting. Fresco, the practice of applying pigment directly into wet plaster, is the best known. Other techniques include painting onto dry plaster, or onto boards, panels or stretched canvasses then mounting these on the wall.

Michael Alford uses a technique known as marouflage for large mural projects.

In marouflage, the painting is done on canvas then stuck to the wall with adhesive. This method takes painstaking preparation and pinpoint accuracy in measuring and design. Yet it has many advantages. The bulk of the messy work can be completed off-site, murals can be prepared for rooms still under construction and the mural can be installed quickly, transforming a room in hours. In this photo essay, Michael shows how it’s done.


michael alford in the studio with palette

The mural begins as canvas attached to the wall of the studio. Tradiational preparation techniques and high-pigment paints result in a robust mural that will last a lifetime.


michael alford preparing a wall for a mural

The dining room walls are stripped in preparation, carefully filled, skimmed and sanded to provide a smooth surface for the mural.

mural on a spindle

The completed canvas mural is rolled on a splindle in the studio and transported to the work site. On walls prepared with strong adhesive, the mural is unrolled in situ.

finishing the mural

The canvas is trimmed and smoothed for a perfect fit. Eyston installation squareOnce installed, the mural looks as though it’s always been there.

You May Also Like

New London Cityscapes 2023: Capturing Moments of Transition in an Ever-Changing City

New London Cityscapes 2023: Capturing Moments of Transition in an Ever-Changing City

“I painted the majority of the cityscapes in this show during the late winter/early spring of 2023. I favour this transitional time of year for scenes of London because the quality of light is interesting to me. The low sun produces unexpected shadows and points where objects catch the light. The changeable weather — sudden showers, fine drizzle, mist — adds a degree of mystery to familiar places and prospects. It helps me see them afresh.” Michael Alford

read more
2023 Summer Solo Show at Wimbledon Fine Art

2023 Summer Solo Show at Wimbledon Fine Art

Paintings inspired by home, paintings inspired by travel. The cityscapes, city scenes, beach scenes and travel paintings in Michael Alford’s latest solo exhibition provide a glimpse into the varied life and limitless curiosity of a painter at large in the world.

read more