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MURAL FAQs

Find answers to your frequently asked questions about hiring a mural artist in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

  • Is the design included in the cost of the mural?

    • Usually the design cost is included. If you sign a contract and are committed to working with the artist, the mural cost includes the design fees which include 2-3 sketch ideas. Once the sketches are presented to the client and the client chooses a sketch. The artist provides a mock-up with color. This is not a full rendering nor is it a painting. If the client requires a full rendering, there is an added cost of design time charged by the hour ($50 per hour).

  • What if I have the final design but I decide I want to go in another direction?

    • If the client decides that they want to go in a completely different direction once the final mock-up with color is provided, then the design process will need to start over. The artist will then charge a by the hour rate for added design hours ($50 per hour).

  • What if I have a small budget and a big wall? Can you work within my budget?

    • Usually, the answer is yes. We can create a design that does not cover the whole wall, but will still look impactful and stay within a small budget. We do have a $3000 minimum for mural projects due to the minimum hours it takes for the planning process, design time, set up, equipment, supplies and potential travel costs.

  • Why do I need to sign a contract?

    • The contract protects the client as much as it protects the artist. You should always work with a formal contract for any project so that both parties understand what the expectations are and that there are no misunderstandings in pricing, timing, design, etc.

  • I work for a corporate company that does not allow me to sign your contract, but we have our own contract. Are you willing to work with another company’s contract?

    • Yes, we are flexible and are willing to work with a client’s contract as long as it still covers clearly the expectations of each side and the pricing.

  • Why do I need to pay a deposit?

    • The deposit secures your project on the schedule. It also goes towards design time that the artist spends on your mural and goes towards purchasing the supplies and equipment needed to paint your mural.

  • How does the payment process work?

    • We send a contract that the client and artist signs. The invoice for 1/3 down deposit is then issued. Once the contract and deposit is made, the artist moves forward with the design process. We are able to accept payment through cash, check, Zelle, Paypal and Bill.com.  Once the mural is completed and the client has given their approval a final invoice is issued and payment is due upon receipt.

  • What if my company has a Net 15 or Net 30 payment process? Can you work with us?

    • Yes, we can work with your company with a Net 15 or 30 since we realize some large companies only pay out within a Net 15 or 30. If there are ways to turnaround payment upon completion, it is very much appreciated by the artist, since we are not a large company that can float for 30+ days waiting for a check to come.

  • Why do I need to answer so many questions in order to get an estimate? I just want to know a general cost?

    • If you are working with a reputable muralist who wants to give you the closest accurate estimate, they will always ask you questions before giving a quote. Artists need to know the size of the mural, timing, location of the project, if it is interior or exterior, if the mural will require scaffolding or lift to access, what type of wall it is (texture, brick, cement, wood?), what condition the wall is in and if you have potential design ideas. All of these questions effect the pricing. It also is very helpful to provide photos of the wall and if you have an idea board, to share it with the artist.

  • Okay, I get why you need that information, but I am just looking for a range of pricing. Can you tell me a price range?

    • Yes, prices typically range between $20 - $40 per square foot. In addition, pricing can increase if the design is complex and needs a lot of brushwork or if the mural is in a hard to reach area that requires special equipment, etc.

  • Is there a price break if I provide equipment, supplies or lodging (if travel is needed)?

    • Yes. Any savings that the client provides, the artist can take out of the original cost for the mural. For example, if a lift is required and normally the artist would need to rent a lift for $500 a week, then $500 will be taken out of the mural cost to the client.

  • Are there extra costs included in the mural price for travel?

    • There are not extra fees for travel within the greater San Francisco Bay Area including the Sacramento area and San Jose Area. Basically anywhere that is within driving distance does not include travel fees. Travel fees are only added in if the artist needs to pay for overnight lodging.

  • Are muralists willing to implement another artists design?

    • It depends. First let me say that if you have another artists design, they need to be involved and give their permission for you to use their design. Some artists are willing to implement another artists design in those cases. We do have experience working with interior and graphic designers who have very specific designs which we have implemented. In those cases the artist/designer has provided the artwork, color palette and other specifications for the muralist.

  • Will you work with volunteers to paint a mural as a community project?

    • Yes. We love being a part of the community and sharing our knowledge with anyone who wants to learn more and actively participate in the mural process. What better way to feel ownership over a new piece of artwork in the neighborhood, than to have people paint side by side. The artist can create the design based on community feedback, and install the outline for volunteers to paint. Then in the final process, the artist will fill in details and clean up lines.

  • How long does it take to complete a mural?

    • On average, smaller murals (under 300sq/ft) in easy to reach areas can take 2-3 days. Larger murals (500 - 1000 sq/ft) can take 5-7 days. This is very ballpark and assuming that the design does not require a lot of brushwork.

  • What do muralists need while they are on-site installing the art?

    • Muralists will need to have access to water & drain to clean brushes. A bathroom and a place to load/unload supplies and equipment and place to park. It would be an added bonus if the client had a safe place to store supplies and equipment. If a lift is needed, then access to an electrical outlet to recharge would be needed.

  • Are you insured?

    • Yes. We are insured and can provide a certificate of insurance and additional insured documentation for the duration of the project.

  • Should the wall be prepped and primed before the muralist starts the project?

    • Yes. The wall should be ready to paint. This could be done by hiring a handyman or if you are a DIY type, take it on yourself. If you go the route of asking the artist to prep the wall, you are potentially paying a lot more for it. This can take a day or two out of the overall  install schedule due to needing to wait for the sealer and primer coats to dry. If you are starting with an untreated cement wall, the wall will need 2 thin coats of sealer before adding the primer. Additional days added into easy but time consuming prep does not usually make sense to hire an artist to do.

  • How many years will my mural last?

    • There are factors that play into the longevity of a mural. Typically a mural will last 10-15 years, but can last many more if taken care of properly. If the wall was properly prepped and there is no water leakage and the wall is not directly facing direct sunlight most of the day, the mural just on it’s own with a quality top coat will last many years. However, if the wall is in extreme weather, the mural can fade over the years. If the wall is not sealed properly and moisture penetrates through, the mural may flake. For exterior murals, a quality top coat UV protectant is highly recommended.

  • What weather conditions are required for exterior mural installation?

    • Ideal weather conditions are above 50 degrees, dry and not really windy. Humidity and rain can prevent the proper drying which prevents proper adhesion and bonding to the substrate. If it’s too windy, particles can fly up and adhere into the wet paint creating unwanted “texture”. If you are in a location where your wall will go through extremes in temperature there’s a potential for the wall to expand and contract and over time, and cracking may occur.

  •   Is installing a mural worth the money?

    • Yes, we believe that murals are worth the money, however, we are clearly biased on this opinion. When done well and keeping the location and community in mind, murals can completely transform a space for the positive. Large scale artwork can brighten areas like alleyways and underpasses and can bring community together to give a sense of place to a location.