How much does it cost to paint a wall mural?
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Wall Mural Painting Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
A custom wall artwork makes a beautiful statement and allows a homeowner to really make the space their own. Wall murals can brighten up any room and be used outside as well as inside. They can be a fun addition to a child’s room, family living area or backyards. For those who love entertaining, a wall painting is sure to spark conversation with guests, and earn the appreciation and interest of neighbors. A wall mural can be used to make a room have a more aesthetic appeal, generate conversation concerning a cause you care deeply about, or pay tribute to someone or something special. A popular choice is a large mural painted on an accent wall in the living room. This draws the eye and becomes a focal point in the house.
On average, homeowners spend between $4,000 and $6,000 to install a wall mural. Most homeowners spend around $4,800 for hand painting a 200 sq.ft. hand-painted indoor piece with a medium level of detail and sealant, including sketching fee and wall preparation. On the low end, you can have a hand-painted 100 sq.ft. artwork and finished painting with minimal detail and two colors for around $2,000. On the higher end, you can have a 400 sq.ft. highly-detailed ceiling wall mural with sketching fees, wall preparation, and a sealant for $26,000.
Wall Mural Painting Prices
|Wall Mural Painting Cost|
|National average cost||$4,800|
Mural Painting Cost per Sq.Ft.
Most painters offer mural painting services at $20 to $40 per sq.ft. for a painting with medium-level intricacy. Although it may seem that the larger a painting is, the more expensive it would be, that is not always the case. Most artists will have a size minimum of somewhere between 100 and 160 sq.ft. The price normally directly correlates to how detailed the painting is, not how large it is. A small artwork with intricate details could cost more than a large painting without much detail. A work could cover a small space on the wall of a room, an entire wall, or an entire ceiling.
A simple piece without much detail would cost around $10 per sq.ft., whereas an intricate and detailed piece would cost up to $75 per sq.ft. For a 200 sq.ft. work, which is $2,000 for a basic design and $15,000 for a highly detailed design. Medium-level intricacy would obviously fall somewhere in between. Each artist has their own threshold for intricacy. The more colors used, and design elements desired make an art piece more intricate. The low end of the ranges in the table accounts for a less intricate design, while the high-ends are for a more complicated and intricate wall piece featuring multiple design techniques, colors and paint materials.
|Size||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|100 sq.ft.||$2,000 - $3,000|
|200 sq.ft.||$4,000 - $8,000|
|300 sq.ft||$6,000 - $12,000|
|400 sq.ft.||$8,000 - $16,000|
|500 sq.ft.||$10,000 - $20,000|
|1,000 sq.ft||$20,000 - $40,000|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$30,000 - $60,000|
Wall Mural Cost by Type of Paint
Murals cost between $3 and $100 for materials depending on the medium used. The best type of paint to use for a basic work is acrylic. An artist can use latex paint for the underpainting base layer, as this paint is cheaper. An eggshell finish is the best choice as satin and semi-gloss would be too shiny and flat paint cannot be scrubbed. For outdoor pieces, or those on stone or brick, a high-quality acrylic, mixed with an acrylic polymer is the best bet. Spray paint may also be used. Some materials require sealing, which is typically incorporated in the cost. If it is not, it costs about $2 per sq.ft. to seal your artwork. You may also want to pick a decorative finish to complete the design of the wall artwork. Faux finishes are decorative paints created by mixing a glaze with paint to create the desired look. This costs between $2 and $20 per sq.ft., depending on the technique used. It is also important to use high-quality paints that will not fade quickly. Below is a table with the most common types of paints used for artworks and how much you can expect to spend for each of them.
|Medium||Paint Cost (Materials Only)|
|Sharpie||$3 - $10/paint pen|
|Airbrush||$5 - $15/4 oz. bottle|
|Spray Paint||$5 - $20/12 oz. can|
|Oil||$20 - $70/gallon|
|Acrylic||$20 - $100/gallon|
Sharpie Wall Mural
These paint pens average $3 to $10 each. Sharpies are popular permanent markers and pens, but the brand also carries special paint pens for wall pieces. This is a unique way to apply small amounts of paint to wall murals. The oil-based paint markers are much smaller than other paint varieties and are used for minute details, fine shading, and textured areas. With the right technique and a few applications, a Sharpie wall works mixed with acrylics looks great. Typically, the oil paint works best applied atop an acrylic foundation. This type of paint adheres to walls, wood, plastic, and stone and absorbs lightly into the materials.
The average cost is $5 to $15 per 4 oz. bottle. Airbrush painting uses a stream of compressed air to push the paint out and onto the surface smoothly. The airbrush spray gun can be used with different size nozzles for small details and large-scale murals. Airbrush is popular because it allows artists to focus on fine details and create realistic artworks. With a light and airy feel, airbrushing is great for subtle shading and shadow illusions. It absorbs well into the wall but is still light enough for more painting. Acrylic paints work best for airbrush painting. Keep in mind that airbrush paints are sold in much smaller quantities than other wall paints.
Spray Paint Mural
The average price for spray paints is $5 to $20 per 12 oz. can. Spray paint comes in aerosol cans and is applied using a small nozzle within the can. Commonly used for graffiti and urban street art, spray paint can create eye-catching pieces with the proper application by an experienced artist. Spray paint looks light and airy and feels smooth to the touch. It may not absorb as deeply as traditional oil or acrylic paint, but it still is one of the preferred choices for murals, especially in public spaces. It can be used for home artworks too. It’s best to apply spray paint over an acrylic or oil base. Different paint varieties are suitable for wood, plastic, metal, and glass.
Oil Paint Mural
Expect to pay an average of $20 to $70 per gallon of oil paint. Oil paint is a good choice for long-lasting indoor or outdoor works. These paints come in larger quantities, such as gallons to cover wider walls and big blocks of color. Oil paint retains its color well and absorbs deeply into the surface for comprehensive paint coverage. It takes longer to dry than other paints, allowing artists to be creative and change shapes and colors as they experiment on the wall. Oil paints are good for wood, metal, canvas, and a lot of other materials too. It can also be a base before smaller airbrush or spray paint features.
Acrylic Paint Mural
The average price for acrylic paints is $20 to $100 per gallon. Acrylic paints come in a wide range of colors and finishes, much like oil paints. Compared to oil paints, acrylic requires slightly less maintenance and can be thinned with just water instead of chemicals. Acrylic paint is preferred by many painters as it's incredibly versatile and can be used across a range of surfaces for a smooth, sharp finish. Acrylics can take just a few minutes to dry, so artists need to be pretty sure of their work before applying the paint. Acrylics are also known for their fantastic lightfastness, which means they won’t fade over time after being exposed to light.
Wall Mural Cost by Type
Depending on the type of artwork you want to be painted, you can expect to pay between $20 and $75 per sq.ft. for the various types. There are four major types: UV, Stained Glass, Hand-Painted, and Graffiti. Hand-painted and graffiti are the most common types, usually hand-drawn by a muralist on an interior or exterior wall. UV pieces are luminous after dark, perfect for children’s rooms. Stained glass painting is similar to stained glass windows found in churches and is usually painted on home windows or doors for decor and to make windows semi-transparent. Here is how much you can expect to spend based on the type you choose.
|Mural Type||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Hand-Painted||$15 - $50|
|UV Mural||$20 - $60|
|Stained Glass||$20 - $60|
|Graffiti||$30 - $75|
Hand-Painted Wall Mural
The average cost for hand-painted work for children’s rooms is between $15 and $50 per sq.ft. You can expect to pay $3,000 to $11,000 for a 200 sq.ft. room, depending on the level of detail and the painter you hire. If you just want a cute painting that is pretty generic and does not require a lot of customization, a general painter in your local area may be able to do it for you. It’s easier to find someone to install a hand-painted piece than to locate a talented spray paint artist who can do your artworj. This is why spray based artworks come at a higher cost. If you have a set vision that requires multiple designs and very specific details, it may be better to choose a specialist in children’s murals who can meet your needs. Young kids love the sight of a colorful, creative artwork that encourages their imagination and represents some of their favorite things. There is no end to the possibilities for children’s murals, whether it’s a favorite princess or superhero, an outdoor scene, or their animal friends. Finding a children’s room mural artist really depends on what you want.
UV paint is best used indoors and averages $20 to $75 per gallon. For a 200 square foot UV project, expect to pay $20 to $60 per sq.ft. It may cost $4,000 to $12,000, depending on the artist you hire and their expertise and price point. A UV piece is made using specialized UV paints that give off a glow effect in the dark. These illuminating artworks transform what looks like blank walls during the day into bright, neon works of art at night. Not all artists offer UV painting, which requires specific UV paint that is fluorescent in the dark, unlike other materials that give off the same appearance all day long. UV paint is affected by the amount of light in a room as it absorbs the invisible UV rays and then reflects the light.
Stained Glass Mural Painting
The average cost for window painting is $20 to $60 per sq.ft. or $4,000 to $12,000 to cover a 200 sq.ft. project, depending on the company you choose, their skill level, and the complexity of the design. Window paintings are another option for enhancing the look and feel of a home. They require special materials and an experienced painter who can appropriately apply paint over your windows. Think of it as very similar to stained glass windows. You can also have the walls surrounding windows painted for an artistic addition to any room. Acrylic or tempera paint is normally used to paint glass windows or their surroundings, which people like for the bright bursts of creative color inside and outside.
Graffiti Wall Mural Painting
A low-detail piece that includes one or two colors of traditional graffiti costs about $30 per sq.ft. A medium-detail piece that includes full-color graphics costs about $50 per sq.ft. A high-detail piece that includes photorealism costs about $75 per sq.ft. Graffiti artists are in high demand for their unique, modern features. Their smart street style can be used to make a meaningful artwork that stands out. Creating art with an aerosol is a rare talent and costs more than a traditional mural.
Mural Painting Cost by Technique
According to the technique applied, you can expect to pay between $1 to $40 per sq.ft. There are a variety of techniques used to paint this type of artwork. Most techniques are pretty standard and will not incur an extra fee. Applying several coats of oil, acrylic, or airbrush paints should not change the overall pricing. However, more complicated techniques, such as trompe l’oeil, may cost extra. Overall, the total cost of a 200 sq.ft. indoor project of medium intricacy is outlined in the table below. Keep in mind costs may go up if you have a complex design that requires several different techniques instead of just one or two basic application methods.
|Technique||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)||Cost for 200 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Stipple||$1 - $5||$200 - $1,000|
|Sponging||$3 - $5||$600 - $1,000|
|Glazing||$4 - $12||$800 - $2,400|
|Stencils||$5 - $30||$1,000 - $6,000|
|Vintage||$15 - $30||$3,000 - $6,000|
|Faux Finish||$20 - $30||$4,000 - $6,000|
|Trompe L’oeil||$30 - $40||$6,000 - $8,000|
Stipple Wall Texture
Stipple texturing is relatively inexpensive, around $1 to $5 per square foot, so if you prefer an entire 200 sq.ft. work to be stippled, it may cost $200 to $1,000. Stippling is a popular technique used in this type of artwork. It adds detail to a piece by first painting one color onto the wall, then adding another color. While the top paint is still wet, the artist will dab the wet paint to allow some of the base coat to show through. This technique could, for example, add depth to a field or meadow.
Sponging a Wall
Sponging costs around $3 to $5 per square foot, so a 200 sq.ft. project may end up costing about $600 to $1,000. Sponging is an easy technique that can add texture by using a sponge to apply paint. It is widely used in landscape pieces, particularly when creating trees or skies. Once the base is applied, a sponge can be used to produce amazing patterns and looks on a budget.
Wall Paint Glazing
The cost to apply glazing is approximately $4 to $12 per sq.ft. on average, so the cost to glaze a 200 sq.ft. piece would be $800 to $2,400. Glazing is a technique that adds dimension and shading to an artwork. It is done by mixing acrylic paint with a glazing liquid. Glazing is more common in medium- and high-level designs that require greater intricacy and detail.
Wall Mural Stencils
Using stencils usually costs between $5 to $30 per square foot, so your 200 sq.ft. project would be between $1,000 and $6,000, although it may be less if only a section of the work needs to be stenciled. Stenciling 6 is another easy technique when the artist will either tape or hold a stencil on the wall and paint in the stencil. This is great for borders or adding letters and shapes to an artwork. Stencils are popular for fun and playful pieces in children’s rooms or living areas, and may be used to make animals or people.
Vintage Wall Mural
The average cost for a vintage artwork is about $15 to $30 per sq.ft. or $3,000 to $6,000 in total to cover 200 sq.ft. Adding a vintage look to a wall, or antiquing, is a technique that makes a painting look old. It involves mixing a color such as siena or umber with a glazing medium and brushing the mixture onto the wall when the paint is still wet. This is a cool option if you want a retro look without using wallpaper.
Faux Finish Mural
Adding these extra materials is more complicated than a standalone piece, explaining the slightly higher average costs of $20 to $30 per sq.ft. If you want a fully faux finish work that is 200 sq.ft. in size, plan to pay around $4,000 to $6,000. Faux finishes may be used to comprise an entire piece or just a part of it. An artist may create faux brick or stone, plaster, linen, or other looks.
Trompe l’oeil Mural
Expect to pay $30 to $40 per square foot or more, depending on the complexity. A 200 sq.ft. project may cost you $6,000 to $8,000 or more on average. Trompe l’oeil is painting objects that look as realistic as a photograph and exist in three dimensions. These paintings make it look like objects are actually in the room and coming off the walls. Requesting an artowork in this style will undoubtedly come with a higher price tag due to the necessary attention to detail and the extra time it takes to produce work of this caliber.
Wall Mural Cost by Type of Surface
A mural painting ranges between $10 and $40 per sq.ft., depending on the type of surface upon which the artwork will be painted. They can be painted on many different surfaces. The wall construction in your home will affect your total costs. This is true for both indoor and outdoor home options. Each surface type has its own peculiarities, so you and your painter will need to determine the surface type before painting supplies are purchased. When in doubt about the ease or difficulty of painting on a certain wall, consult your artist or painting company. Here are some of the most common surface types and the average costs for painting a 200 sq.ft. piece on them.
|Surface Type||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)||Cost per 200 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Drywall||$10 - $25||$2,000 - $5,000|
|Plaster||$10 - $30||$2,000 - $6,000|
|Stucco||$10 - $35||$2,000 - $7,000|
|Concrete||$15 - $30||$3,000 - $6,000|
|Glass||$15 - $40||$3,000 - $8,000|
|Brick||$20 - $35||$4,000 - $7,000|
|Wood||$20 - $35||$4,000 - $7,000|
The average cost for a drywall painting is $10 to $25 per sq.ft. You should budget $2,000 to $5,000 to finish a 200 sq.ft. project. Drywall is one of the most common materials for constructing interior walls. It’s relatively easy to paint on as long as you use at least a coat of primer first. Drywall is smooth and can be painted in large strokes with a roller or brush thanks to the even surface. When painting a drywall painting, just be aware of the wall’s location in relation to windows and doors. The more sunlight that streams through and hits the wall directly, the more maintenance and protection your mural may require to minimize wear and tear over time.
The average cost for a plaster painting is $10 to $30 per sq.ft. or $2,000 to $6,000 for a 200 sq.ft. painting. Plaster is similar to drywall and is another popular material for interior walls. It provides enhanced insulation and better fireproofing. Plaster blocks sound and prevents mold growth very well. If you have plaster walls in your home and would like to paint an artwork on them, keep in mind that the surface should be cleaned before starting, and a few coats will give you vivid color. If you can choose a wall with less direct sunlight, your painting may last longer.
The average cost of a stucco painting is $10 to $35 per sq.ft. or $2,000 to $7,000 for a 200 sq.ft. painting. Stucco walls are made of sand and cement, so this porous material typically requires a little more preparation before painting. The slightly textured surface can be used to create big, bold paintings for inside or outside living areas. Oil paints work well for stucco paintings, but they may require future touch-ups as they are less resistant to sun exposure and the elements than acrylic paints. Special masonry latex paint may also work.
Concrete Wall Mural
Concrete works cost $15 to $30 per square foot on average, or $3,000 to $6,000 for a 200 sq.ft. project. Concrete pieces are commonly found in cities and parks, but you can bring this artistic flair right into your home. Whether it's a concrete in the garage, basement, living room, bedroom, or backyard, you can bring these walls to life with a painting. Keep in mind that concrete is porous and needs to be primed before painting. Eggshell acrylic paint is commonly used for a fully washable work that’s easier to maintain.
The average cost for a glass piece is $15 to $40 per square foot or $3,000 to $7,000 to finish a 200 sq.ft. interior artwork. Glass walls are more unusual than other types, especially if they are decorated with a dynamic piece. As these walls are incorporated into more modern designs, the demand for these types of paintings across them is increasing. Acrylic paint is good for glass surfaces, and there’s a wide range of colors to consider. These paints also hold up better against direct sunlight that may bounce off of the glass wall.
Brick Wall Mural
The average cost of brick options is $20 to $35 per square foot or $4,000 to $7,000 to cover 200 sq.ft., although it depends on the artist and the complexity of the final design. Brick walls can be enhanced with beautiful paintings. They look best when used with thinner paints that can seep into the crevices for a bright, bold look. The density of bricks makes them a bit trickier to cover fully with paint, so a few coats are usually required. Before painting on brick walls, consider the location and how much sunlight it will receive. Brick pieces may not last as long when in direct sunlight.
Wood Wall Mural
If you wanted to paint a 200 sq.ft. piece across wood walls in your home, the average cost would be around $4,000 to $7,000, although it may change based on the artist you choose and their preferred materials. Wood is a natural material like brick that requires extra prep time for a painting. These walls give off a natural, rustic look that can be enhanced with the right materials, such as primer and oil or acrylic paint. It may take a few coats to cover wood walls, and a little bit of extra prep makes the average price around $20 to $35 per square foot.
Wall Mural Cost by Location
You can expect to pay around $10 to $65 per sq.ft. depending on where in your home you want an artwork painted. Most people prefer to have a wall painted inside or outside their homes. However, some prefer much more unique locations to be painted, like windows, fences, or ceilings. Muralists tend to paint these areas to create a 3D illusion. For instance, fence paintings may have flowers painted on them to blend in with the garden, while a ceiling may have clouds or tall trees to create the illusion of being outdoors. However, the design you choose, whether it is realistic or abstract, is up to you.
|Mural Location||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Indoor Wall||$10 - $40|
|Outdoor Fence||$20 - $40|
|Outdoor Wall||$20 - $45|
|Ceiling||$30 - $65|
Indoor Wall Murals
The cost to paint indoor works ranges between $10 and $40 per sq.ft. depending on the material of the wall. To paint a 200 sq.ft. wall, you can expect to spend between $2,000 and $8,000. They can be painted on various materials, including drywall, plaster, concrete, brick, wood, and more. Indoor wall options are cheaper to paint than outdoor walls or ceiling ones because they are safer and do not require safety equipment or lifts.
Outdoor Fence Murals
The average cost for an outdoor fence work is usually $20 to $40 per sq.ft., so a 100 ft. fence would cost between $2,000 and $4,000. Another popular option for eye-catching artwork is outdoor fence options. Just about anything can be painted on a fence. Some neighborhoods really appreciate the addition of outdoor fence artworks. You will need to check with your preferred painting company to see if they offer this or not. Many companies do outdoor fence pieces in addition to indoor works. The main difference between a fence and a wall painting is the materials on which they are painted. Outdoor fence pieces are usually painted on wood fencing but may also be done on brick or metal fencing. Acrylic paint or spray paint is best for outdoor fence options, while there are more options for oil-based paints on indoor pieces.
Outdoor Wall Mural
Outdoor works cost $20 to $45 per sq.ft. Outdoor works tend to cost more than indoor ones because of several factors. An outdoor artwork will be exposed to the elements and needs to be protected accordingly. It is important to make sure the surface is in good shape before painting the piece, which protects it in the long run. Aside from being bigger than indoor ones, the paint used for outdoor wall pieces needs to be of higher quality to withstand the elements. To paint the artworks, painters often have to use lifting and safety equipment which adds $50 to $120 per day to the cost. When the painting is finished, it needs to be sealed, which is about $1 to $2 per sq.ft. of the cost. Some materials like wood, brick, and stucco require extra time to prepare them for painting, adding to the time needed to paint the piece and increasing the cost.
Ceiling Wall Murals
Simply enough, a wall mural is painted on a wall, and a ceiling one is painted on a ceiling. They cost between $30 and $65 per sq.ft. A ceiling artwork is more difficult to paint and will therefore cost more. Additional equipment, such as scaffolding or a lift, is usually required. The same paint is used for both wall and ceiling pieces. Spray paint is rarely used on ceilings. Sealing is rarely required for a ceiling pieces since no one should be touching it. Some artists charge extra per hour for working under extraneous circumstances. Others may charge more per sq.ft. Equipment rental charges will also be incurred. It costs about $120 a day to rent a lift or about $50 a day to rent scaffolding. If the equipment is needed for a long period, weekly or monthly rates would likely be a better deal.
Mural Painting Prices by Paint Brand
Depending on the brand of paint used for the painting, you can expect to pay between $15 to $160 per gallon. One of the main factors in how much installation costs is the specific type of paint and the brand you choose. The paint quality affects the finished worj and determines how long the it lasts. It is important to use high-quality paint. Artists typically include paint costs in their quotes because they have brands they prefer to use. Some artists accept client requests for certain brands, while others may work exclusively with one type. Here are some of the most common paint brands and the average cost per gallon.
|Paint Brand||Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)|
|Chroma||$15 - $30|
|Pelaka||$20 - $30|
|Blick||$20 - $35|
|Liquitex||$20 - $40|
|PPG||$25 - $50|
|Nova Color||$75 - $100|
|Golden||$80 - $120|
|One Shot||$90 - $160|
Chroma Mural Paint
Chroma paint averages $15 to $30 per gallon. Students and teachers in art classes often use Chroma paint to test their skills. This paint is popular with its range of water-resistant paint products that are bright and bold in color. There are acrylic and matte options priced reasonably for homeowners who want an artwork on a budget. This paint can be used indoors or outdoors and is great on surfaces like concrete and wood.
Pelaka Mural Paint
Homeowners pay $20 to $30 per gallon on average for Pelaka. It is another affordable paint brand focused on non-toxic, water-based hues that attract attention for good reasons. From light green and pink to orange-red and chrome yellow, Pelaka paints are used to set the foundation for a quality indoor or outdoor work. This paint is versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including wood, glass, and rock. It can also be applied using a roller, sprayer, or brush.
Blick paints cost $20 to $35 per gallon on average. You can get acrylic, watercolor, and oil paints from Blick. If you need to prime the wall before you begin painting, they sell primers and gessos perfect for creating a blank slate on which to paint the piece. They also have varnishes that could protect the artwork once it's completed. Blick paints are known for their strong pigment and smooth texture, making them suitable for a permanent work.
Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint
The Liquitex acrylic paint price is between $20 and $40 per gallon on average. This brand has a long history in the painting industry, having invented water-based acrylic paint in the 1950s. The company continues to offer a range of acrylic paints that are suitable for this type of painting. These paints retain artistic brush strokes for a beautifully textured finish.
PPG paints cost $25 to $50 per gallon on average. Their 100% acrylic paints provide adequate coverage and awesome color on murals. Seen as a leader in the painting industry, PPG has the highest revenue of any coating company in the world. These acrylic paints are designed to last with super-strong adhesive properties, so they really stick to the wall and stand out brightly against the surroundings.
Nova Color Mural Paint
Nova Color paints are made with a pure acrylic binder of the highest quality, supporting the higher average price of $75 to $100 per gallon. This brand specializes in acrylic paint, which works well for all the stunning details on custom work. They are known for iridescent, pearl, and scenic paints, all great materials for landscape works inside or outside a house.
Golden Mural Paint
Most homeowners pay $80 to $120 on average for a gallon of Golden Mural paint. Golden Mural is a trusted choice for higher-end paints. The heavy-duty pigments in these paints make for a dynamic finish on artworks. The company also makes varnish gloss, isolation coats, and acrylic topcoats with UV protection.
One Shot Paint
A gallon of One Shot paint costs $90 to $160 on average. One Shot is an experienced producer of painting products founded in 1948. They offer many different painting products such as waterproof art and poster topcoats, background enamels, and fluorescent colors. They also have tinted black and white paints and priming materials.
Average Labor Cost for Mural Painting
The average cost to paint a mural is $4,800 for a 200 sq.ft. one, depending on the complexity of the design. Most of this cost, or around 75%, are labor costs, or $3,600. The remaining $1,200 (25%) is the cost of the materials used in the process. Most painters charge a per square foot rate. However, if they charge an hourly rate, it is usually around $50 to $100 per hour. It is possible to save some money by hiring an artist who is still in school or just starting out, but a professional has the training and talent needed to create beautiful art for your home.
Pricing includes all materials. If lifts or scaffolding are needed, that adds extra costs. The cost to rent a lift for a day is about $120. Down payments are usually part of the installation project. While the amount depends on your painter’s preference, the industry standard is around 50%. This payment may include the sketch fee, initial work, and materials. Then, the painter is covered for the cost of buying the materials and designing the artwork, even if the homeowner backs out.
So how much do muralists charge to paint in your home? Well, the cost depends on the time it takes to complete an artwork. This depends on many things, including the size, subject, if scaffolding or a lift will be needed, and if obstacles must be worked around. Most paintings can be completed in 40 hours (one week). Smaller, uncomplicated works take less time. Large, detailed murals take more time. Prices vary depending on your location. A piece in a New York City apartment costs more than in a house in Houston, TX. Hiring a muralist from out of state will also be more expensive because travel costs also must be paid.
Mural Painting Process
Before painting the surface, the painter usually designs a sketch of it on a piece of paper or electronically. To do this, they usually charge a sketching fee that ranges between $500 and $1,500, depending on the design. It can also be charged as a percentage of the total cost. To start painting an artwork, the muralist first prepares the surface and area to be painted by cleaning it and filling holes or fixing patches. Then, they prepare the design by sketching it on the wall, using a projector to trace the design, or painting a grid with chalk or watercolor pencil. Next, the artist prepares the paint and supplies before applying a base coat on which the artwork will be painted. With this, the wall is ready for painting.
The muralist needs to have good ventilation when painting to ensure the paint fumes can be released. Discuss with the artist about a ventilation plan. They will apply several layers of paint to create the artwork. Time will be needed between coats to let them dry. The artist steps back every once in a while, makes sure everything looks good, and paints over the parts that do not look good. When the artwork is done, it may need to be sealed to protect it. This is especially important with an outdoor work that needs protection from the elements. After all is done, and the work is completely dry, it is time to clean up, uncover furniture, and move everything back.
Wall Mural Design Cost
Expect to pay $500 to $1,500 for a design depending on the project size and complexity. Each artist may have their own variation of the design process. It is a good idea to meet with an artist to tell them what you are looking for and see if their experience and style match your vision before hiring them. Ask to see a portfolio and check out references before hiring someone. It is typical for an artist to ask for a design deposit before beginning work on the project, usually around $1,500. This should cover the cost of a sketch and revisions if needed. Most artists can create a digital mock-up of the design on a photo of the room before starting the painting process. You may skip or modify the design process if you already have the design done yourself.
Something else to keep in mind with design is that it’s common for painting companies to charge a non-refundable design sketch fee, incorporated as part of the project cost. Before painting the piece, some painters draw it out on paper so that homeowners can confirm that the design meets their vision. This sketch takes a few hours. Painting companies and artists want to make sure they are paid for their work even if homeowners change their minds on the final artwork. Expect your painter to have limits on how many sketches you can do. A maximum of three sketches with two rounds of changes is pretty standard. Check with your painting company to determine their policy.
Proper maintenance actually starts before the painting begins. Expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour for maintenance. Proper wall preparation and cleaning is essential. Using quality paints is also important, as well as using a sealant, varnish, or other top coat. Be sure to ask the artist about proper cleaning and maintenance techniques for the work when it is finished. These will differ depending on what type of paint was used. Acrylic paints can be cleaned with a light brush or cloth soaked in soap and water. Oil paints require white spirit or turpentine to clean as they can be damaged by water. Keep an eye on your wall for specks of dirt and dust, which are bound to happen even if you keep the room spotless. Light cleaning is recommended at least once a year, but you can confirm with your painting company or artist with their preference based on the combination of materials they used. Sometimes a mix of degreaser, bleach, and primer 5 can be used to get dirt, mold, or mildew off. However, you may want to call your painter back in to assist with maintenance, just in case.
Wall Mural vs Wallpaper
A mural costs $20 to $40 per sq.ft. for materials and labor. Wallpaper rolls cost $3.70 and $8.20 per sq.ft. Wall murals and wallpapers are two great ways to decorate walls, but they require a different level of work for each project. These artworks are great because you can completely customize them with a low, medium, or high level of intricacy and an endless array of colors. They are also unique and eye-catching. They set your house apart from others on the block. The main downside is the amount of work required to prepare the wall and install the painting. Unless you’re just painting a few coats of solid colors, wallpaper is easier and cheaper to install in most cases. Unlike paint, wallpaper does not chip or peel.
|Wall Covering Type||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Wallpaper||$3.70 - $8.20|
|Wall Mural||$20 - $40|
When looking at home painting, the lightfastness of different colors and materials is very important. Lightfastness refers to a material’s ability to withstand fading from sunlight exposure. The more lightfast a certain paint is, the stronger and more vivid it appears even after a lot of direct sunlight. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM and the British Standard (B/S) are the two rating systems used to evaluate lightfastness in paint pigments.
Some paint products have the lightfastness included directly in the product information, but you can also ask your painter to confirm how the pigment rates on the lightfastness scale. Keep in mind that blues are known to fade earlier than other colors. If your paint is rated ASTM I or ASTM II, it is the most lightfast, while ASTM III is the least lightfast and more likely to fade in the light sooner than others. On the B/S scale, aim for a rating of six to eight, which is the best for exterior painting. A rating below six on the B/S scale has poor lightfastness, so it’s best to avoid those products. There are also opacity ratings for oil, acrylic, latex, spray paint, and all other paint types. For example, yellow latex is one of the most translucent paints and requires three or four coats to minimize the opacity.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Outdoor Mural Sealer
Expect to pay an additional $1 to $2 per sq.ft. for applying a sealer or clear coat. Outdoor works definitely need a sealant applied to protect the painting from the elements. There are cases when an indoor work could also benefit from a sealant or protective top coat. For example, if the artwork will be in a very sunny location or if people or objects might regularly brush up against the mural.
Textured Wall Mural
Pre-mixed textured paint starts at about $50 per gallon, and powdered texture starts at about $5 per 10 ounces. This creates the look of stone, sand, or other faux finish. This is a popular method used in trompe l’oeil works. Texture may be added to the paint to create dimension and character. An artist may use this technique to accentuate certain parts of the artwork. The artist will either purchase premixed textured paint or packages of powdered texture to add to regular paint.
UV Blocking Glass Windows
If you have a mural facing any windows, it may be worth investing in UV blocking glass windows, which average $5 to $12 per sq.ft. Depending on the position of your artwork, the painting company may suggest installing UV blocking glass windows, which can prevent excessive exposure to sunlight. These window coatings are an extra layer of protection, made from sun-resistant materials that minimize how much sunlight and UV rays enter the room.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits and licenses. Permits and licenses are generally not required, especially those on private property. The only exception would be if the painting will be located in a public place.
- DIY. This project can be DIY, but the best option is hiring someone who is trained. Painting an artwork not only takes artistic talent, but also knowledge of types of paint, wall preparation, technique, and sealing. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, be sure you do your research before starting.
- Alternatives. Alternatives to a painted work include a premade piece that can be applied to the wall like traditional wallpaper, a wall decal, or a peel-and-stick painting.
- Requesting references. Be sure to ask to see a portfolio and ask for references before hiring a painter. It is appropriate to have a consultation with an artist to make sure your visions match.
- Weather considerations. The weather will need to be taken into consideration when painting a mural. This is especially important for outdoor ones. It is not a good idea to paint in extremely cold or hot conditions. Temperatures should ideally be above 45°F, not only when the paint is applied, but also for a few hours after when the paint is drying. Paint will also dry too fast and potentially crack on a hot day when temperatures soar to 90°F or 100°F.
- Additional equipment and accessibility. Be aware that accessibility affects cost. There will be additional charges either per hour or per foot for painting on ceilings or around obstacles. If special equipment such as lifts of scaffolding are needed, those will be extra charges as well.
- Quality of paints. Chat with the artist about the types of paint they are using. It is important to use high-quality paint that will not peel or chip.
- Mural wallpaper. Instead of having someone free-hand paint a mural, you can opt to have an artwork printed on wallpaper and affixed to your interior wall.
- Moss mural. Another option to consider if you want a piece without using toxic paints is a much more natural option known as the moss mural. They allow you to have an eco-friendly work that can grow on its own.
- Estimates. When it comes to getting a wall painted on the interior of your home or office, it is best to get estimates from several painters. Compare the estimates and ask questions about the differences in prices to vet candidates and choose the best option.
- What kind of paint is used for a wall mural?
Artists will often use latex paints for underpaintings and then use acrylics for the fine details. Multiple coats are usually needed for long-lasting color.
- What is a wall mural painting?
A painting is a large piece of permanent, original artwork that is painted directly on a wall, ceiling, or other surface. Murals are fully customizable and can include a variety of colors, designs and textures, whether it’s based of a certain artwork or totally abstract.
- How do you prepare a wall for a mural?
Walls need to be cleaned, holes need to be filled, the wall should be smoothed, and the area should be primed if not using self-priming paint for a base coat. In addition to prepping the wall, the room should also be prepared by covering the floor and any furniture.
- How long does it take to paint a wall mural?
An average mural should take about a week (40 hours) to paint. Small, uncomplicated pieces will take less time and large, complicated ones will take more time. The more time required, the higher the price tag to complete a home artwork. Many painters charge a non-refundable fee to cover a few hours of sketching work before the final design is approved, and the mural painting begins.
- Can you paint on walls with acrylic?
Yes. Acrylic paint is most commonly used for the fine details of a mural. This paint is popular for home artwork because it dries quickly and resists water damage.
- What is the difference between a painting and a mural?
A painting is generally done on a canvas and then hung on the wall. A mural is painted directly on the wall. Both options can be commissioned and customised, although general paintings are smaller than murals and may cost less depending on the artist.
- How do you paint a mural on a brick wall?
First, clean the wall with a hose or power washer and then with a sponge and liquid cleaning solution. Once that is dry, the wall needs to be primed. When that is dry, the painting process can begin. You can also hire a professional interior wall cleaning service to come in before your project for about $600.
- How do you cover a wall mural without painting it?
The best way to cover a mural without painting is to hang another artwork across it or install temporary artwork. You could also use stretchy textiles, artistic fabrics, or even bamboo blinds to cover them when you don’t want them to be visible anymore.
- What are mural rights?
Mural rights refer to the legal rights and protections for works in a public space. These rights give artists legal recourse if their work is vandalized, damaged, or otherwise destroyed. These rights commonly apply to the artwork you see on public buildings and neighborhood walls and in parks. The rights for the work usually remain in the artist’s hands, but in some cases, they may be transferred to the owner of the wall.
- How do you protect a mural painting?
To protect a painting, it’s best to apply a protective varnish or similar substance to prevent wear and tear. It’s also important to avoid running heavy machinery near the artwork and keep pets or little kids from scratching the paint if possible.