Awhile back, my husband and I were looking for a way to add a pop of color to our son’s room. He was still sleeping in a crib and his room was lacking character. We wanted to do something that would add a statement to his otherwise boring wall.
After some back and forth, we settled on painting a hexagon wall mural. We had seen some great examples online, and my husband is an engineer and good with math, so we figured how hard can it be?
Now, I won’t lie: painting a hexagon wall mural is not a typical DIY project. While it can be done in a single day, it requires a little more prep work and a lot more patience than simply painting a wall with a single color.
However, the extra effort is definitely worth it. Follow the guide below for some tips and pointers on creating your own hexagon wall mural and you’ll have a great piece of artwork that will stand out and create a unique feature for any room.
For your hexagon wall mural project, you’ll need the same basic supplies you would need for any painting job:
- Small paint roller with pan
- Paint brush
- Painter’s tape
- Tarp to protect floor
- White caulk if you plan to paint on a textured wall
In addition, you’ll also need a few extra supplies for this project:
- Flat piece of cardboard
- Box cutter
- Piece of string and a nail or thumbtack
- Ruler (measuring tape will work)
2. Create the Template
This is the most important step, so take your time. Creating the hexagon template accurately now will ensure the painting goes much smoother.
To start, we have to remember a little bit of geometry. You may recall that any hexagon with equal length sides can be inscribed inside a circle, as the the next image shows:
Notice that all 6 points on the hexagon are on the circle. In fact, the length of each side of the hexagon is the same as radius of the circle.
Why is this important? Well, drawing a hexagon is hard, but drawing a circle is easy.
Remember earlier we listed a piece of string and thumbtack for materials? We’re going to use it to draw a perfect circle.
Start by tying one end of the string to the tack, and placing the tack firmly into the cardboard. Make sure the cardboard is sturdy and free of folds and creases.
Next, tie the other end of the string to a pencil. Keep in mind that whatever length of string you have between the thumbtack and pencil will determine how big your hexagons are.
For reference, we used a string length of 6 inches which gave us hexagons that were 12 inches at the widest points.
Holding the string tight, trace a full circle around the thumbtack. Take your time and make sure the entire circle is clearly drawn. Keep the string pulled tightly the entire time to ensure a nice, even circle.
Now, we’re going to mark the hexagon.
Remove the thumbtack but leave the string and pencil attached. Pick anywhere on the circle and place the thumbtack. Gently pull the string tight and mark wherever the pencil crosses the circle.
You’re going to repeat this by removing the thumbtack and placing it where the pencil last marked on the circle. When you’re all done, you’ll have marked 6 points on the circle that, when connected, form a perfect hexagon.
This video should help explain it a little better:
Using a straight edge, carefully connect the 6 dots on the circle. This will reveal the hexagon shape inside the circle.
Use the same straight edge and a sharp box cutter to cut out the hexagon shape.
If you’re doing a large space, consider using this hexagon template to create a couple more by simply tracing it onto another piece of cardboard. This will speed up the painting process later, but isn’t necessary.
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3. Prepare the Wall
With the hexagon template created, it’s time to get down to business!
If you created multiple hexagon templates, feel free to use them all at once to layout the pattern. We only had a single template, and found it easier to work with one at a time for our small space.
Start by locating a place on the wall where you can fit the entire cutout. I recommend starting at the bottom, and in the corner of another wall. This will give you a nice vertical guide for starting.
Fold a piece of tape on itself and stick to the hexagon template. This will let you stick it on the wall and free up both your hands to tape around it. You can also use a carpenter level to ensure the hexagon template is plumb on the sides.
With the template on the wall, apply painters tape on all edges. Don’t actually tape the template itself, but use the edges of the hexagon as a guide to place the tape directly on the wall.
Where the tape overlaps at the vertices, you’ll need to use your box cutter or utility knife to remove excess tap and ensure the overall hexagon shape is maintained. Make sure to do this carefully! Don’t press too hard against the wall, or the paint will not apply evenly and may bleed under the tape.
Remember, the are area with tape becomes the border between each hexagon. It’s important that no tape or other debris cover the paintable areas, or your hexagons will not look exact after painting.
Once you have the first outline complete, simply move the cardboard template to the next area. Just pick an edge that already has tape, align one of the edges of the hexagon template with the tape, and stick it to the wall again.
Now it’s just a matter of repeating the process. Move the hexagon template to the next edge, tape around it, trim the excess tape, and repeat. The first hexagons will take a little work, but as you go along it will become easier.
Tape as many hexagons as you like on your wall. In our case, we preferred an asymmetric and unbalanced look, so we didn’t create a perfect grid of hexagons. Instead, some rows had 6, some had 7, some had 4, etc. This is a great way to flex your creative muscles so think outside the box!
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4. Painting the Hexagon Wall Mural
Once you’re happy with the layout, it’s time to start painting.
But before you pickup a brush, you may need to do a little more prep work. If you have textured walls, I highly recommend you seal the edges of the tape with paintable caulk. While this will require more work, it’s absolutely worth the time and effort! If the edges of the hexagons are not crisp and straight, the mural simply won’t look right.
To seal the edges of the tape, apply a little caulk to each piece of tape. Use either your finger (with a glove on) or a flat trowel to smooth out the caulk along the edge. Try to use as little caulk as possible to prevent the hexagon area from getting too much. While it may be paintable, it has a slightly different finish than drywall and can stand out once the paint is applied.
If you have flat walls, sealing the edges is not necessary but can still help create crisp lines for your hexagons. Either way, if you do decide to seal the edges with caulk, give it several hours to dry before painting.
Also remember to prepare the room the same way you would any painting project. Move large furniture out of the way, cover the floor, and make sure you have proper ventilation.
Once you’re ready to paint, you have several options for colors. You can make every hexagon the same color, but this won’t be very impactful.
You can also make each hexagon it’s own color, which definitely adds some boldness to the wall. However, if you have lots of hexagons, it’s not feasible to choose and purchase lots of coordinating colors.
We chose a hybrid approach. We started by picking two colors we liked. In our case a nice blue-green hue that coordinated with other items in the room, along with a neutral gray tone.
We started by painting a couple of the bottom hexagons the gray color. For every 2-3 hexagons of gray, we would add one with the blue-green color.
As we worked our way up, we mixed the base colors with some white paint in another can to create a slightly lighter tones. We then applied these lighter colors to a few more hexagons.
We repeated this for the remaining hexagons. We would mix in a little more white paint to lighten the colors, and then apply it to 2-3 more hexagons until we reached the top.
The end result was a cool gradient effect that played really well with the geometry of the hexagons. The predominantly gray tones are contrasted nicely with the occasional pops of blue-green.
5. Wrapping Up
I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to go out and create your own hexagon wall mural! It definitely felt a little intimidating at first, but doing the prep work and focusing on the details resulted in a great finished product.
Let us know in the comments if you have tackled your own wall mural! And if you need more inspiration for how to spruce up your walls, check out our guide to dealing with boring walls.