I have found that rarely does the client have any idea as to what they really want in a mural. Why? Because of the quality of the murals they have seem in the past. See, in a nutshell, they only know what they know. That's why we like folks to at least browse the gallery, to see what we have done for clients in the past, so they can see what can really be done with just paint! So who designs the mural? Well, for the most part, we do, but not without a lot of information from the client. We're good, but we do need direction. And a few well-placed questions usually give us all the direction we need!
Usually, and I will say "usually", no. See, most murals, at least the ones that WE do, are pretty detailed. So much, in fact, that most mortar joints simply "disappear." Especially on large walls. Small ones, or walls that will be viewed from up close, might have to be designed differently, but rarely do the jpints have to be filled. We pay quite a lot of attention to details, even the joints themselves, so that they aren't "skipped over" in the painting process. Now, if some joints are really old, or really deep, then we have to talk. But there are some things you can do even then. But I can't tell you here. I have to save SOMETHING for when we get together!
Brick walls, just like concrete block walls, are a blast to paint on. And they really don't have to be treated at all! Oh, sure, it depends upon what kind of paint is being used, but that's something to be decided upon in the design process. It also depends upon if they have been painted before, how old they are, what kind of shape they're in, etc. But unless they're falling out of the wall, they should be good to go.
Hmmm... interior or exterior? Painted concrete block or brick? Drywall? Canvas? Full sun? Shade? Does it get really, really hot? Cold? Does the wall seep? Or leak? See, this can be a pretty difficult question. OK, let me rephrase that. The question is really simple, and even the answer can be really simple. There are just a whole lot of questions that need to be attended to before we can give you an honest answer. I will say that there are paints out there now that have amazing longevity. All things being equal, your exterior mural should last at least 15-20 years before it starts to show signs of fading. Longer if you treat it with a topcoat. A whole lot longer if you use certain paint products. Interior? Keep it clean and away from 3 year olds, and it should last forever.
Would a mural be cost effective? Painting a mural directly on the wall might not be the best idea. But painting a mural on canvas would be brilliant! See, by painting a mural on canvas, you can have it installed on the wall with strippable wallpaper paste. That way you can simply peel it off the wall when you're ready to go!
Actually, I find that getting multiple bids on a mural is like getting multiple bids for a car by shopping at different dealerships for different models with different features Ð but wanting the lowest price! We have built a reputation for absolutely the best quality, an amazing ability for attention to detail, and most of all, our concepts and mural designs are creative, imaginative and one of a kind. You will never achieve the same results from anyone else. We make it a point to provide our clients with exactly what it is they are looking for, even if they didn't realize what it was when they started! Everything we do is built around our client's needs and wishes. It is something that simply cannot be duplicated.
Mostly, we use acrylics. That is, water-based paints. That would be for interior or exterior projects, drywall to stucco, concrete to brick. The technology for acrylics has developed tremendously in the last few years, making the longevity and color-fastness far superior than what it used to be. That being said, if an exterior wall is constructed of unpainted concrete or brick, then I would use silicate paint. Would probably last until the building collapsed. Or longer.
Actually, they are both hand-painted. One is simply painted on site, while the other is painted in our studios, transported to the site, and then installed. The project design itself determines whether or not we use canvas. If it is a simple wall, with not many architectural elements, then we could probably use canvas. If the design entails a strong perspective, or if there are numerous cutouts, such as windows and doors, then I would probably paint it on site. Of course, we're talking interior projects here. Exterior murals are for the most part ALL painted on site.
Actually, that simply never happens. Why? Hey, it's only paint! You don't like it, I'll just get a big roller and turn the whole thing white again! Seriously, we work hand in hand with our clients on the design, making sure that they are happy with the mural on paper before we ever lay a brush on the wall. We keep the client updated during the painting process, making sure the client approves all stages of the mural. If there are any concerns or changes that need to be made, then they are taken care of during the painting stage. That way there are no surprises at the end. No grand unveiling, no "Aha!" moments. Everyone knows exactly what to expect. Just the way it should be.
Great question. So great, we've dedicated an entire section to it. Follow the links and you will probably get more info than you were originally expecting!