Frequently asked questions about Neil's murals, and other artwork, services

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What services do you provide?
  • Mural Painting
  • Trompe L'oeil
  • Children's Book Illustration, layout and design
  • Logo Design, Web graphics, etc
  • Home decorating and consultancy (South Devon)
  • Artwork for just about anything!

Read More about my Services here

How much will it cost?

Please contact me to discuss your idea or project, and I'll happily work out an estimate or quote.

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. One day is equal to 7 hours work time. There is an additional charge for fuel 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 usually fix the price at an agreed amount for most projects, for an agreed amount of work, so there are no surprises.

There is a nominal charge for the initial planning and sketching stage, costed at £6 per hour.

A deposit of 25% of the quoted price will be required to book your slot in my calendar.

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

2022 examples

Example 1:

A mural commission in Guildford, Surrey that I think will take 6 days will be quoted at £1500, plus fuel cost and any unusual expenses.

Example 2:

A project in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, estimated to take twelve days will be quoted at £3000, plus fuel cost and any unusual expenses.

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 am based in Devon but travel nationwide for commissions, also internationally, for instance the USA or China. Europe is still ok, even since Brexit!

Can you work abroad, for example in the USA?

I am happy to consider all work opportunities abroad, including the USA, Dubai, China etc, and have done so on occassion.
A work visa will usually need to be acquired before working abroad.
For the USA I would actually like to come to the state of California or Florida for a year's mural painting work, and bring my family, for a little life experience (much better than a holiday!). That way I can apply for a longer work visa which will work out much better value. 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 (Dulux Trade) 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 water-based household paints.

I can add a more coats of varnish if you want to make your mural even more durable, but I would need to add the cost of the extra varnish, and charge a little bit for my time.

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 or phone screen 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?

This isn't all that easy for me, I only have a small working space at home, however If you might like a canvas mural, please contact me, or call me by telephone if you prefer (+44 7817 911 379) to discuss how viable the proposed project is, and agree on a price for the work and worldwide shipping.
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?

New or old plaster is okay, though 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 or two coats 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.

For exterior murals new render or old render made good is fine, prepped with an appropriate primer.

What surfaces can you paint on?

Plaster, old paint, wallpaper (not vinyls), wood, mdf, glass, tiles, brick, all-sorts really. Most surfaces will need to be primed or at the least washed first so it's ready to accept paint, I can advise on ways to go about this.

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, and me, understand what the finished mural might look like, I often submit sketches or composites created on the computer, for you to peruse, and show examples of my previous work. There will be a charge for this sketching stage. 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 best to complete the work during a period when the premises is empty, or closed.

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. Must note though that since the introduction of the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) there is a charge of £100 per DAY for me to move my old camper within the zone. To get round this I sometimes travel into London by train to work and bring a selection of my gear in a suitcase and on these occasions accomodation will need to be arranged. Most often though, and ideally, I stay on your driveway for the duration of the job in my van.

How do you like to be paid, Do you accept credit cards?

Payments must be made by electronic balance transfer (BACs) or by standing order for larger jobs. Cash is also acceptable. I cannot accept cards for payment.

Can't pay all at once? Have the work done and pay in instalments, no problem. Get in touch for a chat I'm happy to discuss any options that might work for you.

Will the paintings last?

Yes, especially the interior murals. 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. Exterior murals can fade over time in direct sunlight, though will last longer if more expensive paint is used.

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 travel of a considerable distance is involved 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 25 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 or composites based on any ideas discussed, then, once these are approved, I begin drawing the image out by hand on the wall. Then I start painting! I have more recently been using a projector to speed up the process, especially for characters. 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!