IF you have an overhead the lettering will be super simple, just print out what you want, and paint it up there. Not everyone is so fortunate enough to have one. I will try to simplify the process so that even the most beginner of beginners can feel confident enough to do their own walls.
Supplies that you will need: nice flat or round brush for lettering (depends on letters as to which you will need), yard stick or retractable tape measure, plum line marker (or chalk line marker), blue painters tape, chalk (just like what you would use on a chalkboard is fine), pencil or pen, paper, a computer is helpful but not a must, and some patience.
Go to the computer and see type out whatever saying it is that you envision on your wall, set it to center it on the page. This way, when you go to print...everything should be spaced out evenly for you if you are doing multiple lines or verse. Before you click that print button on the computer, there are some questions that you really need to ask yourself. Hopefully you already know where on the wall you want this painted. But - How formal is the room? Are there high ceilings? Is the room dark or light?? These questions all have to be answered, remember on a past project when I said that the project only turns out as good as your prep.
Let's take the questions one by one. How formal is the room? We need this information to pick our font. If you are doing a playroom, then something like Bradly Hand or Curlz might be nice, or even a very basic Kindergarten alphabet. A playroom can be done playful, fun, whimsical, and then decorated accordingly. Again, in keeping with that theme, what colors are in the room? Do you really want to take the time to do something that won't grow with the room and is so primary that you have to redo it in a year or two? Just things to consider. If that room is already dark, maybe you need to paint a band of color around the room to put the lettering on. If the room is formal, you could even paint it in gold or a regal rich color that is used somewhere in the room for decorating. Oh, we missed the height of the walls... IF they are vaulted and the room is huge, you don't want to do little six inch letters eleven feet off the ground. You would have to be on top of them to read and then get neck strain. Would it look good to come down a foot or two if the ceilings are high? If it is a dining room, think about doing the letters about five inches or so and putting them at chair rail height. Just things to consider before you get started, and the process will be a whole lot easier.
The process. Find the center of the wall you want your lettering on, mark it with a small piece of tape. Go print out your words on the computer and do it actual size, this will make it SO much easier! Take your chalk and mark the bottom line of where you want your letter to sit, measure how far that is from the ceiling down. (The reason that you measure from the ceiling down is because walls are seldom really squared, so don't measure from the floor up.) Now, mark across the wall every three feet or so at that same measurement. Take your chalk plum tool and pop a straight line to do your writing on. Some folks are fine to just start at the first of the sentence and start painting, you don't have to be that daring. IF you need to put the painters tape on the chalk line so that you can see it better and feel more confident, then do it now. Take your papers from the printer and tape them up under the taped line so that you know exactly where each letter goes. No guess work here, you see it, and you paint it. Now, you should already know what color paint you want to use, and I just use that craft paint from the craft store. Which brush? Are you doing calligraphy or a letter that looks like it was done on a typewriter? Then use your flat to get those flat sharp edges. Doing something more free and whimsy, then use the round brush. What size brush? Well, I don't know what size your letters are, so you are going to have to experiment a bit at this point. But, you can practice on paper, so don't back out now! Look at the fattest part of the letter, your brush has to be able to do that large of a line. Also, look at the thinnest part of the letter...you might need more than one brush. Practice on paper!
When I do a wall, I work from the inside out. Yes, working backwards from the center to the left, and forward from the center to the right. This will help to ensure that it turns out even. IF you are going around the room, BE SURE that you are not breaking up a word at the corner. There should always be a space at the corner, it is just more pleasing to the eye and a lot easier for you to paint for the first time.
Ok, go do your painting. Don't use your money on vinyl letters that stick on the wall when you can do it yourself! It is so much more fun to tell people that you did that project yourself and that you would be more than happy to teach them how to do it too. Be sure to share your "writing on the wall" experience with our readers. Did I leave anything out?? Please feel free to post questions and comments.
I am posting a photo of what I did in my bedroom.
Here is the mock up that was done on the computer so that I had a road map of sorts to follow.