Calaca Kitchen

Posted: 15th July 2018

Fresh Creative Co was commissioned by Calaca Kitchen, a new Mexican restaurant in the heart of Uplands in Swansea.

The brief was to replicate their logo (a traditional style Mexican sugar skull, a symbol synonymous with the Mexican day of the dead festival) in large scale on the shutter that covers the front of their restaurant. Alongside the shutter we were also asked to paint a two sided hanging sign to hang outside the front of the restaurant. This sign was to be painted on a corrugated metal sheet and include the name of the restaurant, as well as the sugar skull logo and a couple of chilli pepper adornments. Calaca Kitchen is a great little restaurant. You can take a look at their website at or on their facebook page at


The first part of this project we approached was the hanging sign. The client already had the metal substrate cut to size so we took a trip up to the restaurant to collect it and took it back to the Fresh Murals Co. headquarters to be painted there.

We used One Shot sign painting enamels and Mack signwriting brushes to hand paint the sign on both sides before finishing it off with a coat of clear varnish to keep it protected from the elements. It’s always an extra challenge to paint on a corrugated surface but the sign came out looking really great. We can’t wait to see it hanging in place!

Next came the shutter which, also being a corrugated surface, again provided its own challenges. Firstly we calculated the size we would need to scale up the image to, before then vectoring the logo in Adobe illustrator so that we could affect the transformation without losing any picture quality. We then separated the image into four vertical sections and imported it into our cutting software which we then used to send the files to our plotter which scored the different sections onto paper for us. We finished off these cuts by hand leaving us with four stencils which, when aligned next to each other on the shutter, would combine to create the finished image.

Once on site we hung dust sheets between the shutter and the shop front to make sure that the window was fully protected from any paint that managed to find it’s way through the holes in the shutter. We then calculated the central vertical line on the shutter and began to apply the stencils. We did this one at a time working from the inside out using spray paint. We used a spirit level to ensure each piece of the puzzle remained straight and level and took extra care to make absolutely certain that the individual stencils lined up correctly with each other.


If you’re looking for some great tasting authentic Mexican food in Swansea then you absolutely can’t go wrong with a trip to Calaca Kitchen. Their food is great, their staff are friendly and helpful and the restaurant has a great atmosphere to it.

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