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What to Consider Before Installing a Mural

You’ve decided that you want to install a mural—that’s great! There are quite a few things to consider before you can post a picture of your completed mural on your website or social media feeds.


This guide is designed to help you to have the best mural installation experience possible.  We’ve included questions you should consider before the design process begins, how to assess your selected location, and how to develop a project budget. 


Once you’ve walked through these steps, it’s time to find an artist to collaborate with you! We’ve created a Muralist Directory on this site that includes a variety of artists with a wide range of styles, many working in Northeast Minneapolis.


Spend some time thinking about the appearance of your mural in advance of engaging a muralist. Here are a few questions to answer:


  • Why are you installing a mural and what is the purpose?

  • Who are you installing this mural for? What is the intended audience?

  • What do you have a vision for the mural? What do you imagine it looks like? For example: is it a landscape, a graphic, people centered, text heavy, colorful, etc?

  • What don’t you want or cannot be in the mural? *


* The city of Minneapolis has a sign ordinance that states that a mural cannot be used to advertise a business or a business’ products. For example, a coffee shop cannot install a mural that includes a giant cup of coffee.


Assessing the location of your mural is really important. Gathering the information in advance will help and artist plan and prepare for the installation:


  • Where is the mural site located? What direction does it face?

  • What is the length, width, and height of the mural site?

  • Is the mural site ground level or elevated?

  • What is the mural site substrate (concrete block, drywall, stucco, siding, aluminum etc.)?

  • Is there a utility apparatus present (like an electrical line) that will require services technicians to make a site visit to secure or move it?

  • Will the surface be primed in advance?

  • Will the artist have a level surface to work? Will scaffolding or ladders be needed?

  • Will the artist have access to sinks and/or bathrooms on site?


Lastly, work in advance to shape a project budget. Below are a few things to consider and anticipate:


  • How much is this mural going to cost? It depends on a lot of factors; how big it is, how high, how detailed the artwork is, and what work needs to be done to prepare the existing surface for a mural. A fairly straightforward mural (ground level, primed surface) will cost around $10—$20 per square foot.

  • Future maintenance. To keep your mural looking its best, you should set aside funds over time to touch-up the mural every few years.

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