Isbell Arts

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is pricing determined?

2. What does a mural cost?

3. How long does it take you to complete a mural?

4. How long have you been in business?

5. Are you insured?

6. What differentiates you from other muralists?

7. What kind of murals do you paint?

8. What styles/subjects can you paint?

9. What kind of materials do you use?

10. What, if anything, must I do to prepare the surface?

11. How do you protect the mural and the surrounding surfaces?

12. How long will it last?

13. What about special projects such as signs, furniture, props?

14. Is there anything you don’t do?

15. I think I want a mural, but I’m not sure exactly what I want. Can you help me figure it out?

16. What is the process like?

17. What forms of payment do you accept?

18. I want a mural. How do I get started?

1.The cost of a mural is based on the size of the space covered and the amount of detail in the subject and how long it takes to paint it. A flat project fee is set before beginning. All of the time to produce the artwork is factored into the final fee, such as the design time, travel time, painting time and consultation time. Years of experience help to estimate all of this. Nancy does not work hourly, sometimes she can paint really fast, and sometimes needs more time. The client should not have to be concerned with that, one less worry. Also there is no charge for any standard supplies- paint, brushes, dropcloths, etc. - these are materials necessary to do business and you shouldn’t be shouldered with the expense. However, should your project require a special item such as gold leaf, the least expensive option will be found and added to the total cost or you can supply the material.                                                                       

2. While mural projects vary, on average a mural is $2000-$4000. Click PRICING to give you a ballpark figure on pricing for average spaces. Each project is different and an accurate estimate specific to you will be provided before any work begins.     

3. Nancy Isbell is an artist/painter with over 25 years experience. She is expert at providing this custom art service. The average mural takes about 2 weeks to complete, however each project is different.When a project is larger than she can finish in a reasonable amount of time she has available experienced professionals to help.

4. Isbell Arts was formed in 1980 by Nancy Isbell after working for years as a mural artist for a large restaurant chain owned by Foodmaker Inc.

5.There is no special insurance. There is a simple straightforward, mutually exclusive contract which spells out the scope of the work, the fees, materials, payment schedule and any other special concerns. 

6. Personal service and one of a kind design individual to your needs, experience, a personal guaranty that your project will be completed to your satisfaction. Nancy can paint in a wide variety of styles if necessary to suit your needs.

7. Nancy has been in the business a long time and welcomes small and large projects, interior and exterior, residential and commercial and murals on canvas/wood/vinyl/wallpaper (portable murals). In addition to standard murals Nancy has also done special projects such as painting and restoring carousel horses and animals, paintng photography backdrops and props, sculpting and producing props for restaurant decor, so please inquire.

8. Nancy will work in any style you choose, should it be realistic, trompe l’oeil, watercolor, impressionist, etc. Regarding subject matter, anything can be can reproduced that is not protected by copyright.

9. Nancy uses non-toxic latex house paint in either satin (most surfaces) or semi-gloss finish (recommended for restrooms and kids’ rooms) for most projects. Archival acrylic (recommended for exterior work) for pieces with high-sun exposure to maximize mural life is usedd ( Novacolor). Where the surface has been previously painted with oil based paints Nancy is equally skilled at using oil based (alkyd) paints. Plastic and canvas drop-cloths and a variety of brushes, sponges and cheesecloth are also used.

10.The walls should be freshly painted or spot-checked. Painting basecoats can be done by Isbell Arts but to keep the price down it is recommended that the client have that already done. If not freshly painted please have the wall(s) cleaned with TSP if it’s especially dirty, dusty or cobwebbed, and move any furniture at least a few feet away from the walls.

11.Clear coats or sealants are not used since these usually yellow, crack or compromise underlying paint quality (despite claims they don’t) over time. The gloss agent mixed in to the latex will protect most murals for many years. “Kids Room” paint is just high-gloss so that you can clean kids’ marks from it and isn’t worth the additional expense in our experience. Fine art materials can include gloss coatings and this would be more realistic for a portable mural. Everything is taped off and dropclothed that might reasonably get paint on it.

12. An interior mural should last until you decide to paint over it, and an exterior mural is subject to fading in certain colors and in high-sun areas (for example, the color red and purple/violet is likely to fade within 5-10 years). We’ll work with you to select materials and color schemes that are more likely to withstand the test of time in these cases.

13. Isbell Arts is always happy to consider special projects! It can be difficult to find a “specialty painter” for some ideas. Some examples of projects painted are signs, sets, theatre props, furniture, stairs, railings, ceilings, closets, kitchen cabinets,wood panels, event decorations, bed sheets, T-shirts, windows, cars, carousel animals, fabric, canvas panels framed with wood….pretty much anything that can take paint is an option.

14. Nancy also is able to incorporate airbrushing when needed into a mural design. Small faux painting projects, such as one or two rooms are also welcome. She prefers to paint ceilings on a portable surface and have it installed onto the ceiling.

15. Isbell Arts is happy to help you decide on an appropriate piece that will integrate well with the décor & color scheme of the rest of your home/office/restaurant AND fit into your budget.

16. The Custom Art process is as follows:

Step 1. Initial Meeting: Make an appointment to go over your ideas, select color swatches, discuss details and gather site information.

Step 2. Proposition: Nancy prepares a rough sketch to show you what it should look like, gathering relevant images for details. Three versions of your idea at 3 price points (plain, moderate, highly detailed) are prepared, if applicable or desired, so you have some options.

Step 3. Deposit If you’re happy with the proposition, select an option and decide to move forward, you make a deposit and Nancy makes a final design for your approval, and schedule the completion dates. If you are not pleased with the rough sketch, she will re-draw it and start over at Step 2. If this process becomes extensive, a fee may be applied for a re-draw at our discretion.

Step 4. Paint!

17. Payment is accepted by personal checks, cashier’s checks, cash, money orders and credit cards.

18. Call or send an email! It’s helpful if you can provide the general dimensions of the space and a general idea of the theme images you’re looking for. If you have examples of what you would like/not like to see, that helps too. Thanks for looking at my site! I look forward to working with you to provide a beautiful mural you’ll cherish for years to come. You can also fill out my Custom Art form and I will call or email you.