Erin Tajime Castelan home | contact

creating a mural

What to expect of the mural painting process I offer:


  1. Someone calls or e-mails me regarding their interest in a Mural.
  2. We have a conversation about the desired image, and the wall(s).
  3. If it is one wall and the client can give me digital photos and accurate measurements of the wall to be painted and the surrounding areas, along with some digital examples (or scanned photos) of the kind of images the client would like on the wall so I know the level of realism, or detail that is desired. Then I can give a pretty close estimate via e-mail. Generally, I can give a more accurate estimate of costs after I see a location and take into consideration all factors including convenience of location and the commute getting to the site.
  4. We meet in person at the site of the desired Mural. I take photos and measurements, assess the space for color and any issues regarding the surface; traffic of people, pets, cars, etc... and I find out where I can safely securely store my supplies for the duration of the project and short term when I take a bathroom or meal break to assure no one gets into the paint.
  5. I then draft a rough estimate along with a written proposal describing in as much detail as I can the parameters of the project, along with the projected timing, and image considerations, the rough quote may or may not include a rough B&W pencil or pens image, as a brief indication of what is possible.
  6. This is submitted for review and approval.
  7. Direction per wall is selected by client.
  8. Information is relayed to me via e-mail, phone or snail mail.
  9. Discussion of the possibilities between me and client.
  10. I rework the quote to include any changes, or to fit needs.
  11. I Submit new clarified quote to client, including projected work schedule, timing, and payment terms. Along with a rough sketch or mock up.
  12. If further layout presentation, designing, or color mock up is needed prior to a signed contract with a paid 30 – 50% deposit; then designing hours will be billed at $75/hour with a $150 deposit. NOTE: If a cap on those hours is necessary then a separate contract will be drafted for that process.
  13. I Submit a contract, that gets signed and dated by me and the client.
  14. Once a payment for the deposit is received by me, I order needed supplies for primer, varnish, paint, brushes, rollers, tape, tarps or brown masking paper - if needed. During this time I finalize the design and create the necessary mock up images in paint or collage of photos; which get submitted for approval.
  15. This designed image gets signed off by client or over-seer.

Work begins like this:

  1. I bring supplies and locate safe storage for supplies, for long and short term safe storage.
  2. Non painted areas near the Mural walls are taped and masked off. Floors are either tarped where I am working or thick brown paper is taped to the floor with blue tape.
  3. Walls are thoroughly washed, scrubbed and rinsed.
  4. Walls are patched and blemishes are repaired and prepared for paint.
  5. Walls are primed with 2-3 coats of water based Zinsser primer.
  6. Layout is drawn to the wall in chalk. Outlines are painted in if there is risk the images would get rubbed off before painted.
  7. Images painted on the wall; background, mid-ground, foreground. As per agreed in contract. If there are any issues or concerns that would constitute a significant change: something being repainted to accommodate the client’s new wishes (different than what was agreed or after a design and mock up was completed and signed off), then work done to accommodate changes will be billed as an additional charge @ $75/hour. This new work and additional fees will be presented and signed off by client for go ahead.

Finishing up:

  1. When painting is complete, painted images are approved by client or spokesperson.
  2. Then the images gets 4-6 coats of acrylic varnish applied to the finished work. 4 coats if glossy finish is preferred; 2 more if a satin (less shiny) finish is desired.
  3. It takes about a day per large wall to take care of any touch up and to remove the tape and tarps and clean up.

Average timing for a 200 square foot mural (approximately 10' x 20' or 25' x 8'):

(Many residential walls are smaller than this, and free-form less planned murals can happen much faster because there is little or no layout time.)

Quote: 1-3 days
Mock-up: 1-3 days (color painted)
Detailed Layout: 1–3 days depending on level of detail required
Prep: 1-2 days
Paint: 3 days - 3 weeks depending on level of detail
Seal: 1-3 Days must dry about 2-4 hrs between coats
Touch-up/Clean up: 1-2 days
TOTAL: 8 – 37 work days per mural depending on level of detail.