The Business Of Home Murals: Ten Steps To Getting Started

Cropped shot of a businesswoman giving a presentation in the boardroom

Many artists start a home mural business by accidentally falling into it. If they were to be intentional about starting the business, they could build their business more quickly and sustain is as long as they wished. These steps will help guide you through starting your home mural business.

Step 1

Build your portfolio: You will need at least 10 to 20 high quality photos of completed murals you have painted. These photos can be used in your portfolio book as well as on your website portfolio. You can also use the photos to make flyers and brochures.

Step 2

Gain experience: You can do this of course, while you are painting building your portfolio. Paint murals in your home, in the homes of relatives, and even on large plywood panels if you cannot find a wall surface to paint on.

Step 4

Improve your skills: Purchase books and take classes to help you improve on any area that you don’t feel comfortable. You need to be able to transfer the mural to the wall, paint it in a realistic to semi realistic manner, and work quickly and efficiently

Step 5

Set a price: Most mural artists biggest problem is charging for their work. There really is no need to starve to be an artist. A new muralist starting out should make at least $30.00 an hour. Within a year or two, you should be making $50.00 an hour. Most clients however, prefer to be charge by the square foot. You will need to determine how long it takes you to paint a mural, and then charge accordingly.

Your mural prices should look something like this:

~Low a low detail mural $3.50 per square foot

~For a medium detailed mural $5.00 per square foot

~For a detailed mural $7.00 a square foot

You should have examples of what you consider low, medium, and high detail. You should also charge extra for ceilings and any painting you will need to do on a ladder.

Step 6

Decide on a specialty: Once you have made a good number of murals, you will have an idea of what you prefer to paint, and who your style is most suited to. If your painting style is realistic, then you might want to do architectural murals. If your style is more cartoonish, then you might want to work on kids rooms. If your style is more impressionistic, you might want to stick to floral vignettes. If you have lots of patience and are detail oriented, you can add faux painting to your services.

Step 7

Give it away: To get your first mural job, your work must be visible. You may get some work just by showing people the work you have done in your home, but to increase the chances of others seeing your murals, you will want to paint somewhere very visible. Volunteer to paint a mural in a childcare center, hospital, or school. Leave behind some business cards to hand out if anyone inquires. Give away a few “gift” murals to friends as baby shower or open house gifts. You do need to be careful when giving away murals though. It is often harder to work free than for pay. Be firm about what you are giving, set limits, and set specific times when you can do the work. Control the situation.

Step 8

Promote your work. Get written referral statements and permission to use you previous (even free) clients for references. For your promotional period, you can discount your work by 25 – 50%, but make it clear how long your promotion will last. After that time, charge your full prices.

Step 9

Always (whether as a gift, volunteer mural or otherwise) have your clients sign a written contract before you begin painting. It should spell out how much you are charging. The agreed upon size and boundaries of the mural, a detailed drawing of the mural that should also be signed, and how much you will charge if changes are requested after the fact. It should also state how long you the artist expect to take to complete the mural and the hours you are planning to work. Most importantly, the contract should include a required down payment or material fees should you be painting the mural for free.


Be prepared: Use high quality artist and exterior acrylics paints. Bring drop clothes, makes sure you have all the brushes you will need, cleaning supplies, measuring tape and yard stick, stencils (If you use them), a step stool or ladder, etc. Make carrying your supplies easier by using a couple of 5-gallon buckets. Also, remember to bring your camera and music as well.

The above-stated are the steps that will be beneficial for getting a business started. If you can try these out, then the business will have a bright future.