As the third week of the program came to a close, the teens began preparing the space to paint. Their first step was to wash the walls where the murals would go. They grabbed everything they could find around the school — including brooms, rags, sponges, and more — and gave the walls a good scrubbing!
Once the walls were nice and clean, the students used painter’s tape to outline where the murals stopped and the walls started. This proved to be an important step, as it prevented the bright colors of the murals from getting on the rest of the school’s walls!
After the section to be painted was marked off, the teens got to use their brushes and rollers for the first time and apply two coats of primer. Participant Kelea explained the process,
“We started our first painting session, meaning we applied primer to the walls. This first painting session was pretty easy. All we needed to do was tape down the sections we weren’t painting and cover the ground and chairs with plastic so paint didn’t get on them.”
After the primer dried, the group worked together to create a grid on the walls. Each mural was divided into two sections, and those sections were divided into nine equal parts. This grid system made it easier for the teens to translate their designs from paper to the actual walls. Once the designs had been stenciled onto the walls, the teens were ready to paint!