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The 8 Best Paint Products (for murals & more)

When I started out as an artist I used the cheap materials. Cheap paint. Cheap canvas. Cheap brushes. Over time I have experimented with different materials and realised that not all paints are created equal! I am always asked about what paint products I use, particularly for murals. So here are my preferred paints (for murals and canvas), in no particular order.

Haymes I like to use Haymes Exterior paint for a number of different reasons. It's a really good quality paint. It is self priming which saves me time painting an extra base layer. I rarely have to paint more than two layers when I used to have to paint a undercoat and 2-3 layers of cheaper paint brands. Time is money! Haymes is an Australian owned brand. During covid and the supply chain issues, Haymes always had the paint I needed. They have sponsored so many community projects I have worked on over the last few years. They happily top up the paint when I have under estimated the amount we needed. I ran into some reps at a Haymes paint shop in Brisbane (again, buying more paint for a job I had under-estimated the paint quantity) and they were so lovely and popped out to the job site to have a look-see. I felt 'seen' by the company. Oh and it lasts a long time on exterior walls!

Montana My favourite spray paint. I will always use MTN94 and Montana Black on exterior murals. It lasts (except the neons - neons do not last outside). It covers well. It doesn't cost the earth (about $9/can). The colour range is good for my style of art. I can order directly from MTN online or from Amazon and have all the colours at my finger tips. My local paint shop, Paint Right where I buy Haymes and Resene also stocks MTN. Easy! I like their range of spray can caps too.

I have had some pretty horrible experiences with spray paints in the past. I won't name the paint brands, but I will tell you my stories...

One paint brand had a rep that convinced me it was as good as the other brands. That he had tested it on their roof and it didn't fade. Naive me believed him. This was during covid when there were supply chain issues. This brand happened to have a great range of colours and all the stock I needed. So I bought it. Within two weeks the colours started fading on the murals I had painted. Three murals! I had to go back and re-paint the murals as the paint faded to white. That is not only embarrassing but it cost me a load of money and time. Yes. I called them and told them and they said it was a 'bad batch'. It was not. I checked with other artists and they all curse the brand. I only ever use this paint in my workshops as I have excess stock. I would never touch a wall or artwork with this paint.

The second story I have is with a different brand. I was using their paint - it is good quality. The warehouse was local. We had received a grant to bring four Indonesian female street artists to Brisbane. We organised for a trip for all of us to visit the spray paint companies warehouse. A bus of 8 female creatives arrived at the warehouse. Checked out the murals in the space by a bunch of rad muralists (all male). When I asked them why they only sponsor male muralists they fobbed me off. When I asked them about a female street artists they had done a little work with, why they hadn't officially sponsored her. They said it costs them money to sponsor people, and it wasn't their plan for now. That was 6 years ago. Nothing has changed. If they don't support women artists (at all), then I won't support them. On top of that, I have a client who does not allow their paint to be used on their mural projects due to their support of illegal graffiti. So it easier just to say 'no' to that brand.

Ultimate Haymes Anti Graffiti

This isn't really a paint, but it is a product. For public and school murals, this product is a must. I have worked with some horrific anti graffiti products that are as thick as covid-boogers. If you are going to put the time into this mural, it's worth spending the time to protect it from graffiti. I have written a whole blog about this product and how wonderful it is over here.

Global (AKA Eraldo Di Paolo) This paint brand is now called Eraldo Di Paolo. This is sold by (and as far as I know, produced by) Riot Art and Craft and also Amazon. I love the smell and the range of colours. I only use this paint for canvas work (not murals). It can be a bit pricey, but if you wait for a sale you should be able to grab some colours for 50% off! You need to move through the product pretty quickly too. The tubs of paint that I've had for over a year tend to go mouldy and super stinky (as most paint does). I use the black for every single canvas work I do. It's smooth and thick and the smell! Yum. Don't eat it though.

BLK 3.0

This is a new product my brother bought me for my birthday. The blackest black. Oh it is heaven, but it costs an arm and a leg so I'm scared to use it too much. I ran some tests on it and popped all the results over here on my blog.

Liquitex Gouache

I have only been playing with Gouache in the last year. I have been using it on mini canvas works. The coverage is stunning. So thick, smooth and bright. I adore it. If only it didn't cost $20-$25 for a tiny little tube of it. I'd love to use it for bigger canvas works, but I'd be using 4-8 tubes per painting. I don't sell my work for high enough to recoup costs. I buy the tubes from Eckersley's or Amazon and as much as I'd love to buy more, nope. I will just mix the colours with what I have.

Posca Pens Probably my favourite supply. I think I have about 100+ pens spread throughout my house, car, trailer and studio. The pens cost between $5-$15 which seems expensive but they last a long time. I use them to sign my murals and artworks. I use them to write my tiny little writing on canvas works. They fix stencil work (filling in bridges). They create that last bit of detail that really makes the artwork pop. I know when I use the Poscas, the work is almost done. They work well on murals too. Oh Posca pens - I can't go to Officeworks without leaving with a few of them.


Second to Haymes is Resene. I adore Resene exterior paint. The colours are amazing. I like to do a fancy little mix. I choose the colours I want from the Resene range and have them mixed up in Haymes paint! The best of both worlds. Resene is a New Zealand based company. It is a little bit more pricey than Haymes but it is such a smooth, thick and bright product. I was given a little pot of it to use on a mural project once where all the artists had a communal supply of paint. I fell in love instantly. I understood immediately why artists pay the extra money to use this paint. I've never turned back.

This list isn't the 'must have' list of paint products. It's a great opportunity for you to test out products and figure out what you like best. For example, I am always having debates with the guys that paint the silos about which paint is better,: Haymes or Taubmans (which is the brand they use). Then other arguments with other muralists around which spray paint is better - I have one friend who swears by Loop. I've tried it and still prefer MTN.

What products do you use that you adore?

NB. This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products or services that I genuinely like and trust.


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