Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been painting murals?
Since 2002. The 2002 - 2003 school year was my last year at Sheridan Art College. I'd been putting myself through school by working at a garden centre during the summers. Alas, tuition increased annually while the number of work days over the summer did not. So I decided, I was an Art Student after all, to put my money where my mouth was and placed an add in the local paper. As it turns out I was good at it!

How much does a mural cost?

The cost of a project varies greatly depending on many variables including size, subject matter, technique location... Since every project is different, quotes cannot be based per area. Painting services start at $400 for up to 8 hours, plus $50 per hour there-after. If you compare the cost of hiring professional wallpaper installer or basic interior painter you might be surprised at how reasonable a mural can be. Unlike wallpaper or a plain paint job, your end product will be “one of a kind” and “made to order” just for you. I strive to stay within my client’s budget, taking pride in painting quality murals at affordable prices.
See mural pricing for more information

How long does a mural take?
When it comes to painting, the details make all the difference, not the size. A 12″ x 12″ still-life can take just as long to paint as a 12′ x 12′ wall, therefore quote will not be provide based on square footage. Simplified characters and shapes are not necessarily faster either. With smooth line work irregularities stand out. Also, solid colours devoid of brush marks frequently require either a base coat or multiple coats, especially for translucent colours. When perfectly flat colours are not required, my naturalistic painting painting style not only speeds things up, the looser mark making can describe a lot of detail with little effort. I strive to stay within my client’s timeline and budget, taking pride in painting quality murals at affordable prices.
Here's an example of flat vs natural painting techniques

How far will you travel to paint a mural?
I'm located in Mississauga, Ontario. For private murals in homes I'll travel to most of Toronto and surrounding area. After the first 25km the rate is 20 cents per kilometer. I've painted in Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Georgetown, Brampton, Toronto, Markham, Aurora... even as far as Cold Water and Peterborough.
For commercial projects the rate is 50 cents per kilometer.

How do you transfer the image onto the wall?
I use several techniques for placing an image on the wall.  I can use projectors for lots of detail that has to be spot on.  I use a gridded drawing system when projectors are not an option due to location, access to power or lighting conditions.  I use stencils when it speeds things up, like when there is a lot of text or when slapping simple logos in place. I also draw free hand with Crayola Chalks when rendering dimensional elements like plants and animals, objects and commercial characters. While I prefer the Crayola technique because it allows me to play with scale and placement in unique spaces, (also the chalk is either absorbed into the paint or easily wiped away)I always choose the method that yields the best and quickest results.

Do you do Disney characters?
No. First there is the matter of copyright - those images already belong to someone else. You may have seen the Harry Potter / Spiderman painting in my portfolio. These were actually licensed re positional wall clingers. I just painted the landscapes in which they were set. Popular cartoon characters are generally easy enough to find and buy. Plus, they are trendy. In today - Out of style tomorrow.

Do I have to do anything to get the walls ready for you?
If you are thinking more along the lines of trompe l'oeil work in which the background wall colour will also be exposed, then you might want to consider applying a new coat of paint to the wall. I will be glad to do this base painting, including any prep work such as spackling and minor sanding, but it may be more cost effective for you if you chose to do the prep work yourself.
If you plan to have an entire wall painted with a mural from floor to ceiling, then it probably isn't necessary to put a fresh coat of paint on the wall. The exception would be if the present wall colour is a dark colour. Then it might need to be primed with a lighter colour so it will not show through in the mural.
Outdoor murals are another thing. They involve taking the necessary steps to eliminate any dirt and oxidation on the walls so the paint will stick effectively to the wall.

Can you paint on walls that aren't smooth?
Most definitely! I have painted on textured surfaces, wood paneling, concrete blocks, bricks, stucco and wood paneling.

Can you paint on furniture?
Yes. Sanding and priming raw wood takes a lot of time and a lot of primer. You may want to do this work yourself to make the project more cost effective. I also recommend sealing all furniture after they are painted to improve durability. Use two coats of sealer on furniture because of the wear and tear that furniture receives. Children's furniture especially needs to be sealed. Doors should also be sealed because of the wear and tear on them.

Can I wash the mural?
You can wipe down the murals with warm water using a mild soap. If you need to wash down the walls regularly, it is best to seal the mural with a clear acrylic sealer.

How do I preserve the mural?
Although many people feel they should put some kind of sealer on top of the painting, I do not necessarily recommend it in many situations. Sealers often add more shine which detracts from the artwork. They can also discolour the work. Most of my murals are painted with interior latex paint. Latex paint is as washable and durable as your own wall paint. The paint on many of the public murals actually holds up longer and better than solid walls because of the mix of colours in the mural. They tend to hide the dirt and grime from normal wear and tear and finger touching. If you feel the need to put a sealer on top of the mural, I recommend a dull or matte finish of acrylic latex polyurethane. This is a water based latex finish made especially for the latex paint. I do not recommend oil-based polymers because they tend to yellow and discolour the artwork. I do charge extra for the sealers as they are sometimes costly and do not store well.