Mark Mittlesteadt Central Wisconsin, Marathon County, Lincoln County Premier Artist and Muralist 2nd Nature Creations LLC Facebook 2nd Nature Creations LLC Linked In

Pricing and FAQ's

What do you charge?

Our base price is $20 to $30 per square foot. Depending on how far away the work site is and the level of detail involved the price can go up or down. A typical 8 ft. high by 10 ft. wide mural costs between $1600 and $2400 to produce. Add in long distance travel, overnight stays and such and the costs can go higher.

I've been creating artwork for 30 years and have built a reputation for producing high quality, imaginative and inspiring work for my clients that have always been satisfied customers.

Considering the pricing of contractors such as "painters" who may charge almost as much as I do just to paint your walls one solid color, transforming your room into an inspiring, relaxing environment may be considered a real steal and certainly a great value.

Our prices vary depending on the work that needs to be done. Unlike a painter who will paint a wall one color, there is so much more that goes into a mural; from it's initial design to planning it out on the wall and painting in various levels of detail. None of which includes the cost of supplies, materials, paint or travel expenses. We are talking about a work of art.

But unlike a traditional painting, murals are permanent works of art. There is a lot involved in making a mural be something that stands the test of time. It isn't something a simple coat of paint will fix if it's isn't done with the kind of careful planning, thought and passion I bring to a project. You may choose a muralist who offers lower prices, but you may be less than satisfied with the results. Remember murals are permanent. This is not the place to get the cheapest work done, but rather to think of it as an investment in your lifestyle or business.

A common issue facing institutions are budgetary concerns. Most every mural I've done for the public has been funded almost entirely by donations and/or grants, having little to no impact on the institution's budget. There is money available.

If cost is a major roadblock, we can try to arrange some kind of payment plan for you. Our goal is to use our talent to inspire you and others. We can find a way to make this happen!

So where do I start?

So perhaps you've been thinking of having a mural done in your home, office or institution (such as a school, church, etc.). The very first thing we need to consider is the purpose of the mural. Murals are more than decoration and unlike a traditional painting cannot be moved to the other side of the room if your interior design needs change.

What affect are you trying to have on the environment of the room? Do you want a more calming, relaxing environment, or do you want something exciting and vibrant that brings the energy level up?

As an example, you may want a relaxing tropical beach scene on a bright sunny day with Palm trees swaying in the breeze so that everytime you walk into the room you just feel totally calm and at peace. Or...maybe you have a game room with a pool table and want a busy, energetic pool hall scene to make you feel as if you walked into a crowded pool tournament.

OK, I kind of know what I want but I'm not sure exactly...

Once you have some kind of idea what the room's purpose is then we can discuss what kind of mural will enhance that feeling. I like to be in the room with my clients and see how they view the room, how they think about it and get a feeling for not only the layout of the entire room but the people who use it. So we'll need to set up a consultation. If possible I prefer to meet my clients, and see the room in person, but if it is long distance, then typically we can exchange e-mails back and forth with photos of the room and ideas.

It is very important that the mural be completely integrated with the rest of the room so that it feels less like a painting and more like part of the overall environment. I can easily come up with a dozen ideas for you during an initial consultation.

I love the ideas, so what do we do now?

Once we have the basic ideas worked out, I request a non-refundable deposit in the amount of half the total cost of the project, which pays for materials and my time to work out the design completely prior to working on-site. The deposit also ensures your reserved place in my schedule for the time we agree upon.

What I then do for you is take photos of your room (or use photos you provide) and take my composition and superimpose it over your wall to give you an idea what the mural will most likely look like finished. Keep in mind that these are one of a kind, hand painted murals and they will not end up looking exactly like the composition. It is merely representative of the idea. Most often new ideas spring to life during the process.

Below is an example of a mural I did for a client in a dental office. I went to their office to do the consultation. They wanted a "jungle" theme in their waiting area for their younger patients and the children of their older patients. They also wanted it to have the look of older animated movies so that the scene and animals were a bit more like cartoons rather than realistic. The animals in the scene needed to have a playful look about them as they played with various dental tools and such.

I took photos of the room, offered up some ideas and this is what I started with...

The blank wall of their waiting area...

dental office waiting area

Then I went back to my studio and gathered up as many jungle photos as I could find and arranged them into a scene to fit on the wall, knowing I had to leave places for the animals to be added later...

The wall with my idea superimposed over it (remember they wanted it to be less realistic than this)...

Dental office waiting area with mural idea

They approved the composition and we discussed a few more details about it, and then I went onsite to paint the mural. It should be noted that during the process of painting the mural, all of the dentists and their employees, as well as the patients that came in and out every day, really enjoyed talking with me and watching the mural develop (and I enjoyed it too!). Some came back to check it out even when they had no appointments scheduled! Think about how much a mural attracts business!

The mural was completed...Here's a few pics of it. Some parts of the composition were rearranged or enlarged or taken out completely to fit where the animals would be...

dental office waiting area mural completed

And a few detail shots of it...

dental office waiting area mural

The lemur is squeezing a tube of toothpaste, squirting paste all over while he swings from a tree branch. The iguana and chameleon on the log have big white smiles and the chameleon also has a toothbrush in it's curled tail.

dental office mural detail space inserted dental office mural detail

The snake has braces. The leopard has a bright white, Chesire cat-like smile.
The Toucan is lining it's nest with floss and the Macaw is brushing his beak.

What kind of paint is used and how can we care for the mural?

We only use low VOC, water based Acrylic latex. It has virtually no odor, water clean-up and is non-toxic. We care about the environment, not only yours but the planet's. We have very little waste after the mural is completed.

We care about your home or business and we make every effort to not only keep your environment safe and clean, but to be as non-intrusive as possible during the process. Most people find the process of the mural painting to be as enjoyable as we do though.

Once we are done and everything is cleaned up you'll be able to enjoy your new environment immediately. Depending on the desired application and room, we use either an eggshell or satin finish as large wall murals are difficult to view if any type of glossier finish is employed, which creates glare spots. Murals are easily cleaned up with a damp cloth.

DO NOT use abrasives of any kind, or a scrubbing action with even a damp cloth! In general, murals we paint will last as long as the place they are painted in so long as they are not physically damaged. Outdoor murals, or murals exposed to direct sunlight may require a UV varnish to be applied to prevent fading.

How long does it take to paint a mural?

Obviously, the size and amount of detail will greatly determine how long it takes to paint a mural. Generally a typical wall mural (about 8 ft. X 10 ft. with a moderate amount of detail) takes approximately one business week (5 days) to complete from start to finish.

What I typically do is focus most of the detail on those parts of the mural that will recieve the most attention, rendering it as more artistic and aesthetically pleasing as well as giving the scene a focal point of interest. This lets the mural fit into the room without appearing as nothing more than just a very large painting.

There are three stages to complete a mural...

The first stage I call "Blocking in". Depending on the scene depicted I will either paint the entire wall a very dark color (the darkest overall color chosen from the scene's pallete) or I will use a larger brush and loosely "sketch" in the larger areas. It's a little disconcerting for people who see me paint one for the first time. They see their wall being covered in paint and for the first day or two it looks nothing like they are expecting it to. It's just part of the process.

The second stage I call "Refining". It's where I take these big, blocky, unknown shapes and start to turn them into something recognizable. This is the most fun stage for me where i can be looser with my brush strokes and there is a bit more free form to it and I can get my body into it more. At this stage I just let the shapes on the wall "speak to me" and I just follow where it leads me. This is also where the public begins to see it take shape and begin to understand what the first stage was all about.

Depending on the size and scope of the mural, by about the 2nd or 3rd day, the second tage is pretty much complete, although often times I will make some changes as I go along. Often I will see some interesting shapes or patterns developing in my brush strokes that weren't in the composition. So I just go with the flow and enhance them more.

Third and final stage is what I call "Detailing". Nothing fancy involved with this. It's the most tedious part of mural painting. It's just taking the refining stage a lot further. By the time I get to the detailing stage the mural is almost complete. I'm now just making more accurate brush strokes with smaller brushes, putting the finishing touches to it.