This is one of the most frequently asked questions in the industry, and the most debatable.
The price of a graffiti or street art wall mural that is 3 metres by 4 metres, ranges from $3,000 - $5,000. What dictates the price is dependent on a variety of factors, namely, the quality of the materials being used and the labour requirements. When we are calculating your quote, these are some of the factors we take into consideration to determine the price:
The use of undercoat / primer is incredibly important. There are many surfaces a mural can be painted onto, such as, colourbond, sheetmetal, timber, MDF, canvas, brick, render, plasterboard and cement sheeting. The choice of undercoat / primer will differ depending on these surfaces. As an example, colourbond and sheetmetal are quite glossy and slippery and require what is known as 'ultra adhesive primer'. Plasterboard on the other hand is very absorbent and can even be primed with a top coat that has a primer included in the paint such as Haymes Solarshield.
Did you know that Haymes is now the only Australian family-owned and manufactured paint company? Most paint brands are manufactured overseas. We support and purchase Australian brands like Haymes, the use of these products provides us with the reassurance of quality control. We engage in consultations with Haymes paint specialists and representatives to discuss the quality of their paint and to keep updated regarding new products on the market. Additionally, we want to give back to our local economy and supporting Australian-only manufactured paint is our way of doing this.
Spray paint cans range from $4 - $15 each. There are stark contrasts between cans that are lower in cost and the higher-end spray paint. Low-cost spray paint generally has far less durability, has a watery consistency and does not allow nozzle change during the painting process, which is required for finer details in the artwork. On the other hand, a high-end, acrylic enamel-based spray paint, like MTN 94, is manufactured and designed specifically for graffiti/wall mural artists. These artist series spray cans come in both low and high pressure. Low-pressure cans are used for small, fine detail sprays and high-pressure cans are used for larger areas allowing for fast coverage. Additionally, these artist series cans allow you to use different nozzles, which work similarly to the different pressures of a spray can, allowing for small and fine or larger dramatic sprays. The MTN 94 and other artist-based spray cans also boast ultraviolet properties which aid in the longevity and protection of your wall mural.
Quality paint brushes are a must for smooth consistent lines of paint around the frames and recesses of your wall. A cheap paint brush will be firmer and wirey, causing unevenness when cutting in and around these spaces. Further to this, Low-end paint brushes do not 'hold' their bristles. These bristles can detach from the brush and stick to the newly painted wall which leaves an unsightly finish. Roller sleeves have a very similar issue, the use of lower end roller sleeves can result in a rough finish and leave small fibres in the paint, causing noticeable furry fibres across your mural. Removal of these fibres requires sanding the wall and re-applying the paint which is both costly and time-consuming.
Protection of a wall mural is crucial, we apply an ultraviolet clear coating to all of our work once it is complete. The application of a high-quality UV coating protects the artwork from the harshness of the sun and allows the removal of vandalism and proper cleaning of the mural to maintain its vividness. The use of low-end anti-graffiti coatings only allow the removal of vandalism up to 2 - 3 times before the artwork itself suffers. Our product of choice is a high-quality 2PAC anti-graffiti coating that allows any unfortunate vandalism to be removed up to 12 times before needing to be reapplied. This coating is quite expensive costing around $1,000 for 10 litres of product and requires a power mixer and proper diluting before being applied.
Even something as simple as a roll of masking tape can add up. Masking tape ranges from $3.50 to $16 per roll for a superior product. The use of higher-end masking tape protects against peeling off existing wall paint, leftover glue residue and ensures that clean paint lines are achieved.
At Graphic Enhancement, we pride ourselves on our level of professionalism and carry costs that are associated with running and maintaining a reputable business. We have a current business name and ABN, liability insurance of up to $20 million, an active website and all of the required tools and equipment to complete our projects. We maintain a professional attitude throughout and have a profound knowledge of the industry, including an exceptional knowledge of wall surfaces and their requirements.
We also hold all necessary licenses, which include; Yellow cards for operating elevated working platforms, such as scissor lifts and boom lifts, Construction industry white cards which allow us access to a construction site and Working with children’s checks to work in an environment with minors. When hiring a mural artist, these are important things to take into consideration.
Each wall mural is bespoke and unique to our clients. We use the latest computer software; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, which we pay for on a monthly basis. We take days or weeks to sift through hundreds of images to piece together a design tailored to the client’s brief. Once we are happy with this brief, we send across an artwork PDF for approval or for the client to request modifications to the design. This can occur across multiple sessions- we want you to be 100% happy with the approved design. Once the design is finalised, we then paint your artwork and are fastidious in ensuring that we match the design, sizing and colours.
Certain projects will require safety protocols, which increase the price of the project. Some of these protocols include:
Some wall surfaces require preparation before our artwork can be painted. Most surfaces require light sanding to allow better adhesion of the undercoat/primer and to rid the wall of any imperfections. Exterior walls sometimes require cleaning, which can be as simple as a light wipe down with sugar soap/warm soapy water, or may require a high-pressure wash, including a pre-foaming solution to break down excess dirt and grime.
We are excited to service Victoria and Australia-wide. However, our home office is based in Melbourne. Any jobs that are further than 2 hours from our home office require us to stay overnight. In our quotes, we charge the client for overnight accommodation, fuel and meal allowances. This usually costs around $250 - $350 per night.
As you can see, the pricing of wall murals can vary considerably. If the artist you have selected for your project provides you with a cheap estimate of cost, it may be worth asking if they have included any of the above-mentioned items in this estimate. Given the information provided in this blog, it could be worthwhile enquiring further about the quality and choice of the products they plan to use for your mural.