It’s probably the thing that I get asked the most, how much does a hand painted mural cost? And what are the comparison costs with a printed mural or wallpaper?
Well, as you would expect, the answer is not straight forward, there are many factors that determine the price of a mural, here are a few.
How big is the mural? You would not believe the number of times I get ‘it’s an average sized room’. Trust me, there is no such thing. The size of the mural is a key factor, as it stands to reason that it will take much long to paint 100sq.m. than it will to paint 10sq.m.
What is the wall made from? Now you might wonder why that is important, but if your wall is outside and is bare brick or breeze block, it will take longer to paint than a flat plastered interior wall. Getting into all those cracks and crevices takes time.
How complex is the design? Simple designs will take much less time to paint, whereas complex, detailed designs will take much longer. As a general rule, characters (where a likeness is required) and lettering are more time consuming, so keeping these elements to a minimum will keep the costs down. Most experienced mural artists will be able to paint to budget, tailoring the design to fit your pocket.
Where geographically are you? Your artist will need to get to you, so the distance you are from them will have a bearing on the overall cost of your project. Which is why the search term ‘mural artist near me’ is popular.
Where, access wise is your mural? By that I mean, will your artist need scaffolding or a scissor lift to access the site where it is to be painted? Are they qualified to work with these pieces of equipment? Will they need to squeeze themselves into tiny spaces or lie down on the ground to paint (yes, that does happen). These factors will mean the mural takes longer to complete and therefore is more expensive, as well of course, as the cost of the access itself. It’s why stairwell murals always carry a premium.
What paints are required to complete your project? The type of paint used has to be suitable for the substrate, and the area being painted. Exterior paint for exterior walls, metal paint for the side of a bus etc. Using spray paints may be quicker, but the fumes and VOCs (the nasties in paint), meant a significant deterioration in air quality where these painted are used inside. Spray paints should only be used outside or in transitory spaces, where no one will be spending any significant amount of time.
There are also other things to consider when determining the cost of a mural. Is there preparation to be carried out to ensure the wall is ready to paint? There is no point in paying for a mural to be painted on a wall that is in a poor state of repair. You may need to do some remedial work to ensure the wall is ready for mural. At Charlotte Designs we guide our clients through this process.
Will the mural need protecting? In high wear areas such as public spaces, schools or care homes, we recommend a protector is applied to ensure maximum longevity against graffiti or wear and tear. Anti-graffiti products are very good, but can be expensive and should be factored in to the overall cost, if applicable.
Do you have your design ready to go, or do you need help with that? An experienced mural artist will be able to guide you through the process, ensuring that your mural works with every element of the space it is to occupy and the audience it is to serve. Does your artist provide a design service and visuals for you to check the design will work before painting? This all takes time.
For many, there is a trade off of cost against experience. A simpler design may mean that an experienced mural artist is not necessary, whereas if the design is more complicated, or the location or audience have particular issues, then a more experienced artist would be a better option. It is also worth considering that an experienced artist will be able to work quicker and to a higher standard than a less experienced one. So, you might be getting a cheaper day rate, but it might take them many more days to complete your project.
Generally, there is little difference between a bespoke printed mural, and a painted one, once hanging is factored in. Painted murals tend to last longer and of course, don’t end up in land fill, so something to bear in mind there.
Most entry level mural artists will charge around £20-£30 per square metre, plus materials, up to the most experienced charging upward of £100 per square metre. But like anything, you get what you pay for, and my advice would always be to get the best you can afford, as unlike many items you buy, if you don’t like it, you can’t send it back!
Consider the size, complexity and audience of your mural
What are the consequences if you don’t like what you get?
How important is the sustainability element?
Don’t be afraid to ask for drawings
Be sure you know how much things will cost in total