How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Mural or Trompe L'oeil?

Typical Range:

$724 - $1,822

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 180 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data































  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Published January 10, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Average Mural Painting Cost

the average cost to paint a mural is $10 to $50 per square foot.

Mural painting costs between $724 and $1,822 on average, and most people pay around $1,243. However, there are several factors that determine the cost, such as: painting size, project location, the artist's experience and extra budget considerations like consultations, sketches, wall preparation, scaffolding and the artist's minimum fee. The best way to price a mural is to talk to a muralist near you.

mural painting cost calculator

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National Average $1,243
Typical Range $724 - $1,822
Low End - High End $300 - $3,000

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 180 HomeAdvisor members.

Mural Pricing

"Working back and forth between the artist's and client's vision takes some time. Expect to go through a couple of versions of the planned mural before landing on the final product. Creating a timeline of when different parts of the process need to be complete is helpful for both parties. Also, each mural artist works differently with different materials--understanding how and why the artist creates can go a long way in making sure he or she is a good fit for the project."

- Jessica Forrestal, a Professional Artist, Denver, Colorado

Murals cost somewhere between $724 and $1,822, and people spend an average of $1,243 to have them painted. Your price may be lower or higher depending on:

  • Size

  • Level of detail

  • Location (indoor/outdoor)

  • Accessibility

  • Wall preparation

  • Wall material

  • Travel

  • Weather

  • Safety and equipment

  • Painting style (hand-painted/spray-painted)

  • Preservation (sealing)

  • Muralist's rate (experienced painters can charge up to five times the average)

Mural Cost Per Square Foot

The average cost per square foot for murals is $10 to $35. Less detailed paintings by less experienced painters will run at a lower rate than more intricate paintings by experienced muralists. Extremely high-detail projects by in-demand artists can cost as much as $50 per square foot.

Mural Cost by Square Foot
Size (in square feet)Low EndHigh End

Note that the artist's rate per square foot may decrease as the size of an outdoor mural project increases, depending on the level of detail.

Wall Mural Pricing

Interior wall mural pricing runs $10 to $35 per square foot or $50 to $100 per hour. You'll pay more for higher levels of detail and experience. Your rate depends on:

  • Size

  • Level of detail

  • Artist experience level

  • Ease of access

There are a number of other factors that might add to your cost:

  • Wall preparation: If you need to repair holes and apply a base coat, expect to pay several hundred dollars for this additional service. Some artists don't do prep work, so you'll need to hire an interior painting professional. Learn more about the cost to hire painters.

  • Travel: Expect to pay a daily fee or increased rate if the artist has to travel outside of their regular service area.

  • Wall material: Porous wall materials, like wood, require extra time and preparation.

  • Safety and equipment: Expect to pay a higher rate or extra fee to rent scaffolding or ladders.

The Best Way to Price a Mural is to Compare Quotes From Local Artists
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Outdoor Mural Pricing

Outdoor mural pricing runs $10 to $35 per square foot or $50 to $100 per hour, like interior pricing.

There are several factors that might add to your cost:

  • Wall preparation: If the wall needs repairs and prep work, your artist will charge several hundred dollars to prepare it. Some artists don't do such work and you'll need to hire a local exterior painting professional.

  • Cost of outdoor paint: Outdoor paint tends to cost more because it is more durable and weather resistant.

  • Level of detail needed: Outdoor murals are often larger and have less detail than interior ones.

  • Safety and equipment: A large outdoor mural may call for extra equipment and safety measures, like scaffolding and a painting assistant.

  • Wall Material: Porous materials, like wood, brick and stucco, require extra time and prep.

  • Weather Conditions: Your artist may need to factor in weather-related costs. For instance, they may lose several hours, even days, due to high winds, extreme temperatures or moisture. Expect your contract to include provisions for compensation over delays and issues with weather.

Hand-Painted Wall Murals Pricing

Hand-painted wall murals cost $10 to $35 per square foot or $50 to $100 per hour to paint. Hand-painting is the most common style of painting murals on all wall types. Tracy Weil, another Denver-area artist, says that an exterior hand-painted mural like the one photographed below runs about $7 to $12 per square foot.

large, hand-painted outdoor mural

Spray-painting is a different skill from hand-painting. A spray-painted mural might range higher, from $30 to $75 per square foot, depending on:

  • Demand for spray paint artists in your area

  • The artist's experience level

  • Level of detail needed Muralists who specialize in spray-painting typically cost more because it's a specialty skill without many opportunities for training, which makes these artists more scarce and in-demand. This may change over time as more classes come available.

Mural Painter Cost

Mural painters charge $50 to $100 per hour or generally $10 to $35 per square foot, depending on their experience and the intricacy of your painting. You might pay closer to $50 per square foot for a master painter.

There are several things to know about how muralists charge:

  • Consultations and Sketches: Artists may or may not charge for their initial consultation, but expect to pay for initial sketches. Sketch fees average $600 to $1,500, or a percentage of your mural cost.

  • Minimums: Many muralists set a minimum project size, typically somewhere between 100 and 200 square feet. Consider commissioning a canvas painting for smaller projects.

  • Extras: Most artists charge extra for things like scaffolding and wall preparation.

  • Payments: Artists typically ask for a 50% down payment on the work in advance to cover materials and potential cancellation costs. Be sure to sign a detailed contract before you make any payments. Learn more about what a contract should include.

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Preservation Expenses

The cost to seal and preserve a mural is $100 to $200, depending on size. The artist typically builds this rate into your total mural cost. Here are a few factors that affect the lifespan of your mural:

Type of Paint

A high-quality paint will make your mural last longer. For example, house paint fades within three to five years, versus artist-quality acrylic paint, which can last decades. Some top brands include:

  • Nova Color

  • Liquitex

  • Blick

  • Golden

  • Winsor & Newton

Type of Sealant

Sealant or varnish type is just as important as paint type. For example, urethane makes surfaces easy to clean, but it performs poorly in direct sunlight. Also, several varnish manufacturers offer products with UV inhibitors (look for UV Protective on the label). Talk to your muralist to find the best varnish for your project.

Sun Exposure

Whether indoors or outdoors, sun exposure causes fading. Indoors, minimize sun exposure with window coatings that block UV rays. Outdoors, plan your mural so it's shaded most of the day or plant shade trees.


Pigments are rated according to their lightfastness by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the British Standard (B/S). You can check for the lightfastness in the product information, or consult with your painter.

  • ASTM: ASTM I and ASTM II are most lightfast; ASTM III is least lightfast.

  • B/S: Rating of six to eight is best for exteriors; below six not lightfast enough.

Example Mural Price

Check out this large, hand-painted interior mural at HomeAdvisor HQ done by arist Jessica Forrestal. This white-and-black mural on a gray wall showcases simple home improvement themes (like screws and outlets) that stretch across dozens of feet and two floors. According to the artist, a project like this usually runs $27 to $30 per square foot. Photos below.

full view of 2-story interior mural painted in Denver, CO
parial view of hand-painted indoor mural
partial view of wall mural
partial view of large mural
Still Have Questions? Ask Local Artists About Your Mural Project.
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How much do muralists make?

On average, muralists make a little less than $50,000 annually, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Muralists fall into the category fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators.

How much should mural pricing be for beginners?

A beginner muralist will charge $10 to $15 per square foot for their work, depending on the level of detail and time needed for the work.

How long does it take to complete a mural?

Completing a mural can take anywhere from one day to several weeks, depending on the size, weather and complexity. For a simple, 100-square-foot project, the artist might take one day. A more complex mural of the same size could take one to two weeks.

Do murals need planning permission?

Murals dont usually require planning permission, and you don't need a permit for an interior mural. Most exterior murals only require the building owner's permission, unless the building is historical or is restricted by an Home Owners Association (HOA).

However, there are instances where the rules are unclear and a mural might come under scrutiny. Here are scenarios you might encounter:

  • The building changes hands and mural rights are debated

  • The mural contains an ad and requires advertising consent

  • The painting doesn't complement the area aesthetic and an association complains

What are mural rights?

Mural rights are often determined on a case-by-case basis. If a property changes hands or an association has a complaint, they might pursue an individual ruling. That ruling may or may not serve as a standard from there forward. As for your rights once you've had a mural done, discuss copyright with your artist if you plan on making future changes and include any copyright claims in the contract.

Do street artists get paid?

Street artists are professionals and do charge for their work. They get permissions before they put their art on buildings.

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