Hiring a mural painter on a budget requires a balance between price and experience. Mural painters are artists and expect to be paid accordingly. Many mural painters estimate their prices based on an hourly pay rate and then convert that charge to a square foot price. Hourly rates can range from $20 for small-town new artists to well over $100 for well-known artists in major markets.
The size of your mural will affect the total cost. Many mural artists charge a minimum fee no matter how small the mural. As the size increases, so does the time that the work takes, which raises the price. Some muralists prefer a particular size range and charge a premium for works much smaller or larger than their comfort zone. Larger murals also require the use of ladders or scaffolding, which may raise the price.
Mural painters generally charge according to the level of detail in the mural. Detail is a subjective term that may encompass the number of paint colors, the complexity of the design and the painting techniques that are involved. Some murals can be painted with any level of detail while other designs are, by nature, very highly detailed. Ask your mural painter to show you photographs of different levels of detail to clarify what to expect.
Base mural prices are for works painted on a flat, easily accessed wall or a piece of canvas that is later mounted. If the location is difficult to reach, or requires the artist to fit into a tight space or work around cabinetry or other obstacles, the artist may charge a premium. Murals in stairwells or on ceilings almost always command high prices.
Many mural painters charge a fee for sketches, although this is normally deducted from the final price of the mural. Changes to the mural that require new sketches may add an additional fee. Prepping, priming and base coat painting the wall, if required, also cost extra. Muralists may charge more to work around furniture, pets, children or other obstacles. Travel expenses are usually charged by muralists from out of town.