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GETTING STARTED

Want to add that artistic touch to your home or business, but aren't sure how?

Take a look through my gallery. There are samples of all types of painting- extremely detailed murals, subtle textures, simple borders, and wild use of color. I constantly tell my clients: "There is no right or wrong answer," it all comes down to the individual's taste and the ultimate effect you want to create.

Think about the statement you want to make- are you looking for something elegant to enhance the other furnishings in the room? Do you want this project to be the focal point of the room? Do you want a mural that will take you somewhere else… like Tuscany, the Caribbean, or Las Vegas? Still not sure?… I can offer plenty of suggestions.

Consider the Space. Will it be one wall, or the entire room? A ceiling? A privacy wall or door? Not every room lends itself to a big, lavish mural- too many windows and doors can make it difficult to create that scene you might have in mind. Choose a room that has plenty of wall space that won't ultimately be covered up with furniture, pictures, bookcases and the like. Focal point is important too- will you be able to see the painting from several angles? For smaller spaces, you might want to consider some decorate effects- such as stripes, polka dots or faux textures.

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Find an Idea. Maybe you have a room in mind, but aren't sure what to paint? I would be happy to provide you with ideas and themes, but here are some other great resources for finding inspiration:

  1. Website such as Google, Pinterest and Instagram are chock full of photos!
  2. Children's books, especially if you're looking to paint a nursery or Childs room.
  3. Art Museums/Books can give you ideas as to color schemes and various styles
  4. Home Decor / Architecture magazines
  5. Fabric, Home Goods & Craft Stores; you'd be surprised how many ideas come from bedding, curtains or dishware!
  6. Catalogues, both in print and online. Pottery Barn and IKEA catalogues tend to be the most popular for getting ideas.
  7. Your local library; from books about Colonial Williamsburg to English Gardens, inspiration is everywhere, and yes, they even have books about murals!

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Budget. Know just how much you want to spend on a project. You can have a colorful eye-catching creation for a few hundred or a few thousand dollars all based on the final design you want to create. If you let me know of your budget ahead of time, I can suggest design ideas that will look great without being way out of the ballpark.

Also, consider other factors that may effect your overall budget, such as what other work needs to be done to the room - new carpeting, fixing damaged plaster, re-wiring?

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Time Frame. Think about the time frame in which you would like to have the project complete. Is there a big event coming up in which you can showcase your new painting to friends and colleagues? If so, best get started as soon as possible. Total turnaround for a project- from the moment you first contact me to the actual completion of the artwork can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months, depending on its scope and my schedule.

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Personalize it. Every project has a story and I can probably tell you the story behind every one that I've painted!… Perhaps not visible in my gallery are the dozens are extra touches that make a painting yours. When painting murals, often times I add family pets into the scenery as well as birthdates, names, and meaningful landmarks. I have incorporated names into an antique vase design and even hidden a ‘lost shaker of salt' in a beach mural for visiting guests to find!

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Contact me and we'll get started!

1. Measurements & Site Visit. Call or email me to discuss your project. I have many years of experience and can give good advice. Sometimes I can give you an estimate without seeing the space, but other times I prefer to see the space in question. Initial appointments are free of charge within a limited mileage of my Alexandria Studio.

2. Proposal & Estimate. Once I have the all the information I need for your project, I'll give you an estimate based on the scope of work we discussed. You will receive a price for the overall project as well as a materials estimate.

3. Contract & Deposit. Next, if you agree to the terms and pricing and would like to move forward, a signed contract and 50% deposit is required prior to working.

4. Conceptual Drawing. For some projects, I will create a detailed final sketch before beginning the painting. This final sketch will incorporate all the design elements we discussed, taking into consideration placement of furniture and color schemes. Though not as detailed and drawn to a much smaller scale, your final sketch will give you a good idea of what the final mural will look like. Sometimes clients want to modify their final design- that's perfectly OK with me! It doesn't hurt my feeling to say you want to make changes or do not like the way something looks. I'm a professional who understands that everyone has their own sense of style. I just want to ensure you are 100% happy with the final result.

5. Let the Painting Begin! Once the final sketch is approved and any changes discussed, it's time to start painting. It's fun to watch a mural come to life. It's a layering process that doesn't always look pretty at first. But as the colors come together and details are added, the walls seem to take on a life of their own! Visit my blog to see many samples of this transformation process. Typically most residential work takes between 4-5 days to complete, but sometimes longer based on the complexity of the work. However, when I begin I project, I like to work consistently to complete it. I don't take on several jobs at once- so my time and attention are all yours!

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FAQs

How long does it take to paint? A mural can take anywhere from 8 - 80 hours, depending on the size of the mural and the amount of detail required. As a rule of thumb, an 8 x 10 ft space will take on average about 10 - 15 hours, or 1.5 - 2 days. Faux finishes may take longer based on the technique. The average time for a residential room is 4 days. But ultimately, the work isn't complete until the customer says it's exactly what they wanted.

How much do you charge? Price is based on the overall job, not on an hourly rate. I will make an estimate based on the design and skill/time needed to complete the work to my strict specifications. Materials are typically not included in the price quote. Again, if you have a budget in mind, it's best to tell me ahead of time so we can design the perfect project to suit your needs without overspending.

What do you paint with? For interior painting, latex and acrylic paints are typically what I prefer. These paints are durable, fast-drying and hold their vibrant colors. For certain projects, I might recommend a protective coating of polyurethane to guard against high wear and tear- such as kitchen areas and playrooms.

What about trademarked characters?  I prefer to paint my own designs and not trademarked characters; that way you are getting an original work of art and I take pride in putting my signature on each custom creation. Due to copyright laws, trademarked characters are not allowed to be painted in public spaces, or even shown on a website, without proper consent. For children, it's better to be broader in scope. For instance, paint a forest theme for a Winnie the Pooh nursery or an under-the-sea scene for the Little Mermaid.

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Copyright 2017 Amy K. Tubbs |  Murals By Amy  | Serving Northern VA, MD, DC  | 703-587-2610