FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Neil's mural painting
and other artwork services.

 
Please click on a question to show the answer, and again to hide.


What services do you provide?
 
  • Mural Painting
  • Trompe L'oeil
  • Home decorating and consultancy
  • Website design and implementation
  • Web graphics
  • Illustration
  • Artwork for just about anything!

  •        Read More about my Services here


    How much will it cost?
     

    Please contact me for an estimate or quote for your project or idea.  If you live local to me, or are on a modest income, you may be offered a nice discount. I also offer discounts to charities, schools, hospitals, care homes, youth groups etc, and local authorites.

    I offer quotes for most jobs, or estimates for more complex work, and these are based on how long I think the work will take, calculated using an hourly or daily rate (Jan 2016 - Currently £225 per day). One day is equal to 7.5 hours work time. There is a 30p per mile charge for one return journey in my campervan to your location. Any unusual costs specific to the job, like campsite pitch rent, equipment hire or the London LEZ charge will need to be added also. Please note that all paint, wear & tear on my equipment etc, and a coat of protective varnish on your finished mural, is included in the quoted price.

    I am happy to fix the price at an agreed amount for most projects, so there are no surprises. If I go over by a day or so then I will often wave this and give this extra time for free, and if I finish quicker than expected I'll offer a discount.

    Example1:

    A mural commission in Guildford, Surrey that I think will take 5 days will be quoted at £1125
    minus any discounts, plus £102 fuel and any unusual expenses.

    Example 2:

    A project in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, estimated to take three weeks will be quoted at £3375
    minus any discounts, plus £129 fuel and any unusual expenses.
    If I go over by a day or so then I will often wave this and give this extra time for free.


    All prices are quoted in UK Pounds (£ Stirling) Rates for my other artwork services are available on request.




    How long will it take to paint the mural?
     
    For hand-painted work, a simple mural may take only a day or two, a complex mural painted on one wall can take on average between 4 and 10 days, and a room mural takes somewhere between 10 and 30 days to complete. More complex designs and larger rooms take longer, so the costs can range from a few hundred pounds for simpler designs, up to many thousands for complex whole room designs. For fixed budgets I offer a fixed quoted price for my time which I promise not to exceed even if it takes me a little longer, so there are no financial surprises.


    What is your schedule and roughly when can you start?
     
    Please contact me to check my schedule and availability.


    Where do you live and what area do you cover?
     
    I offer my mural painting service anywhere up to about 250 miles from where I live, in Ashburton, (Dartmoor) in Devon, although I will consider all enquiries, and will travel even as far as the north of Scotland or Ireland if it's worth doing. Work abroad equally also considered.


    You offer discounts for local work. What area qualifies?
     
    By "local" I mean Ashburton, Totnes, Buckfastleigh, Newton Abbot and other parts of South Devon and Dartmoor.


    Do I qualify for the lower income discounts?
     
    A simple guage is this: if you need to ask then you probably do qualify! Basically, if you find life a bit of a financial struggle, then I'll offer a discount up to 50%.


    Do you offer discounts to anyone else?
     
    I also offer discounts of up to 50% to charities, schools, hospitals, care homes, youth groups etc, and local authorites.


    Can you work abroad, for example in the USA?
     

    I am happy to consider all work opportunities abroad, including the USA, and have done so on occassion.

    I would actually like to come to the state of California centred around San Francisco for a year's mural painting work, and bring my family, for a little life experience (much better than a holiday!) Please let me know if you would like me to come and work for you in the USA.


    What sort of paint do you use, and is it safe for children?
     
    I use a blend of household matt emulsion (standard Dulux) and artists' acrylics. These paints have a low VOC content, are low odour and are very durable, lightfast and washable (using warm soapy water and a soft sponge). Included in the price is a coat of acrylic based flat matt varnish for increased durability and easier cleaning, and this varnish is also low VOC. These paints and varnish are not completely free from chemicals I should add, I wouldn't recommend spreading them on your toast (!), but they are low odour, and essentially the same and therefore as safe, as your regular household paint.

    If you want even more durability for your mural, so it will last a VERY long time, I can upgrade to Dulux Trade, or Dulux Diamond at extra cost.


    How do you make the colours look so bright?
     
    The paint I use is System 3 acrylics, which have bright and strong pigmants, mixed with white emulsion which makes for some lovely bright colours when you want them, so the colours do look lovely and bright on the original murals. They tend to look a bit brighter when viewed on a computer though, due to a cinematic effect caused by the way the colours are displayed, ie. with a backlight on computer monitors and TVs. Paint does not have the same kind of light source, and must reflect light. I adjust also the images on the computer to make them look as close to the original artwork as I can. Lastly, monitors tend to vary from one model to the next so the brightness and colour may vary considerably on different monitors.


    Can you paint these murals on to material for shipping abroad?
     
    I can supply smaller murals handpainted on to canvas for shipping if you prefer, painted in my Dartmoor studio (my shed!) using only acrylics (no house paint). I will need to know the size required and the subject matter, so I can work out logistics and feasability. If you might like one of my canvas murals, please contact me, or call me by telephone if you prefer (+44 (0) 7817 911 379). We will need to discuss how viable the proposed project is, and agree on a price. If you want me to go ahead, then you will need to send a deposit of 25% to me before I start. Once this payment is cleared I will go ahead and do the work. I will send periodic photos of the mural's progress via e-mail to you, and once the mural is complete I will send you photos of the finished mural. Then you will need to send me full payment and, once this has cleared I will send you the mural. The canvas murals are painted purely with flexible acrylic paint, not emulsion, so the paint will flex when rolled for shipping. There are additional costs for murals for shipping abroad, these are listed as follows:

  •  Material - this varies with respect to size, and typically might be about £40
  •  Postage and packing - £call for a quote - canvas murals are large and heavy!


  • The best way to install a canvas mural is to have it stretched over a large frame by a professional framer, then hang it on brackets or long screws fixed to the wall. Murals could also be installed on any wall exactly the way wallpaper is installed, using easily available materials (wallpaper paste, and the wall surface should be sized first).  Using an experienced decorator would in my opinion be essential for this kind of install, to achieve a neat result.  One great thing about a mural painted on canvas is that it can be taken down and taken with you if you move - even a pasted canvas could be steamed off the wall with minimal damage as steam does not harm acrylic paint. These murals can be shipped to anywhere in the world with an address. (So the Sahara desert is out!)
         Also, I can be shipped anywhere in the world to come and paint your mural for you, personally!


    What currency are you using to quote the prices?
     
    All prices are quoted in United Kingdom Pounds (£ Sterling)


    Prior to mural painting what type of preparation is required?
     
    Ideally the walls should be new plaster, dried thoroughly, which has been sealed with plaster sealer, then given one coat of thinned white matt emulsion to prime the surface, (paint : water ratio about 80 : 20), and then one coat of normal white emulsion. Good condition lining or wallpaper can be painted over with just one normal coat of white matte emulsion. Vinyl wallpapers are unsuitable and should be removed and the walls relined.

    Old plaster and painted plaster is often ok to paint on but should be made good and primed with one coat of white matte emulsion. A wall painted with a colour may also be a suitable base for me to work on. Preparation of walls can be done for an additional charge, and this will be charged at an agreed rate.


    What surfaces can you paint on?
     
    Plaster, old paint, wallpaper (not vinyls), wood, mdf, glass, tiles, brick, all-sorts really.


    How do we know what the finished murals will look like?
     
    We can discuss ideas in the beginning and get a feel for what is wanted. To help you understand exactly what the finished murals will look like, I will submit sketches if required for your edit and/or approval (there will be a charge for this, redeamable if the commission is completed), and show examples of my previous work. Once approved, a firm price will be quoted, or an estimate for larger (i.e longer) commissions. This way you will have a pretty good idea of what the end results will look like and what it will cost.


    Do you do Murals for businesses?
     
    Yes, please get in touch for a competitive quote..


    Can you paint while we do business or will we need to do it after hours?
     
    I can do either, I can work during normal business hours, where I do all I can to minimize the disruption, or I can work irregular hours. Ideally though it's to complete the work during a period when the premises is empty.


    While doing the work, will you need to arrange accommodation?
     
    Not usually, I have a motorhome, so as long as I can park within striking distance I will not need any other accommodation. Most often, and ideally, I stay on your driveway for the duration of the job. (Applies to UK, Ireland and Europe only), otherwise I can stay in a nearby campsite, but will need to charge if I do this.


    Do you accept credit cards?
     
    Credit and debit cards are accepted in the online shop, as well as Paypal. I cannot accept cards for payment for the hand painted murals, payment must be made by cash, or by electronic balance transfer (BACs). For larger jobs a standing order will be required.


    Will the paintings last?
     
    Yes, Acrylic and emulsion paints are very durable and lightfast, and should last for many years. I also coat the mural in a layer of acrylic matte varnish, which makes for easier cleaning, and extends the mural's life. I've been in business now painting murals for over a decade, and my earliest murals still look like new. The bathroom and swimming pool murals are also still like new, with negligable humidity damage.


    What if the mural is damaged?
     
    If something happens due to accidental damage or due to neglect, I can repair it at a cost. I can also repaint on new walls and features added into a previously painted room, and maintain a consistant look.


    Do you charge a consulting fee or charge for estimates?
     
    No, I do not charge for consultations or estimates. If a considerable distance away I would expect the client to bear the cost of my travel expenses.


    How long have you been painting?
     
    I started painting when I was 25 years old and have been painting now for over 20 years. I began drawing from a very young age, as do many of us, and really applied myself to learning how to draw in my teens. I went to Chelsea School of Art when I was eighteen, and have continuously produced artwork since then. My mural painting career began in 2002.


    Can you tell me a little about the creation process
     
    First I do some mock up sketches based on any ideas discussed, then, once the sketches are approved, I begin drawing the image out by hand on the wall. Then I start painting! If the mural to be painted contains a 'sky' I usually paint this first, not only because it is the most distant background, but also because it creates a good ambiance for me to work creatively in. I use a mixture of white emulsion and acrylic colours, and use brushes to apply the paint to the walls, using as many coats as are needed to create a good quality finish. This provides a very durable surface, and sometimes an extra coat of acrylic matt varnish is applied on top for added protection. Often I will need to mix up many colours before painting a particular area, and generally mix up 3 tones of a similar hue to allow me to create the illusion of shadow, and add highlights last. Sometimes a full range of gradiated tones is needed for detailed work. It takes a methodical approach to create a quality mural, and persistence, and then before you know it, it's done!


     
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