Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post from The Magic Brush, Inc. - "What Determines The Price of Painted Furniture"

I recently read this post from Facebook from "The Magic Brush, Inc.". What she says is SO important for both buyers of painted furniture and makers of it that it needs to be said over and over again.

 Most buyers do not understand what goes into each piece. Hopefully, if even one reads this post, they can educate those around them as to what we do and how the price of what we do reflects that. 


 Thank you again to Jennifer for writing and posting this piece! 


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  Painted furniture is all the rage.

 You know it. I know it. Every Red Apron customer and First Friday shopper in Kansas City knows it.

 The blogging world knows it. Pinterest knows it. Every thrift store knows it which is why they have raised their prices (read about it here).

 Repurposing and repainting is in!!!!!

 Every once in awhile (thankfully not often), when I am selling a piece of furniture or working at The Red Apron (where I sell most of my painted items), I will hear someone make the comment that "for that price... I can paint one myself". Most people aren't being hateful.....they are just merely thinking painted furniture sometimes costs more than they think it is worth.

 Or sometimes they are being hateful.

 Either way it bothers me.

 Perhaps there are times when some things do get overpriced.

 But for the most part, I think most painted furniture is UNDER PRICED. There.... I said it. I think alot of the prices need RAISED.

 I just don't think most people realize what goes in to painting a piece of furniture.

 So, I am gonna break it down for you! Not to be nasty in any way....just to help educate people.

 Let's say I have an end table/nightstand for sale like the one picture above for $100 (which I really do have for sale) .

 I bought it for $25.

 But before I bought it, I had to find it. Which meant driving to 10 garage sales that day with nothing good at most of them. Driving from one sale to another store to another sale, etc. I spent money on gas and my TIME is worth SOMETHING.

 Then, after I found the cabinet, I bought it and lugged it home (thankfully this piece fit in my vehicle, but with larger pieces...I have to call in the hubby for help!).

 Then we had to clean it.

 And do any minor repairs to it (ie: drawers sometimes don't slide. Backs sometimes need re-tacked on. Legs sometimes need screwed on tighter. Sometimes it reeks of smoke. Sometimes cracks need repaired.)

 And then we had to sand it.

 And prime it.

 And paint it.

 And if we didn't have the paint for it, we had to drive to the paint store and get some.

 And stencil it or glaze it or distress it or topcoat it. Or, on the piece above....we added metallic paint to the trim.

 Then we gotta go to Hobby Lobby to purchase new pulls for it (you know I don't mind that part).

 And put the piece back together.

 Then we tag it for the Red Apron sale (which means MAKING a tag) or list it on Craigslist or both.

 We then have to load it and haul it over to the Red Apron.

 And unload it.

 And take pictures of it.

 And post it on Facebook for sale.

 Then we wait and hope we have found the happy medium between "what we have invested in the piece in both time and money" and "what we hope to make out of it".

 Every repurposed store takes their cut on the sale of the painted items/furniture that sell. It's how they make their money and how they pay their bills . So, they get their cut of the price of the piece once it sells (and I will add that the Red Apron's cut is VERY reasonable and less than most stores).

 Then don't forget that Uncle Sam gets his cut of the sale too. Because I LIKE staying out of jail.

 And THEN.....finally then.....I get my cut.

 So that piece of furniture you thought was priced too high...is worth every penny. When I think of how much time we spend on some pieces of furniture and what we made on it......ouch. I wanna cry. The piece above probably broke down to me making less than $10 an hour.

 But we paint furniture cuz' we love it.

 And there is much joy in the hunt of finding furniture for me.

 So please...... hear my heart. I LOVE it when people are brave enough to take on a piece of furniture themselves!!!! There is great pride to be had by picking up a paint brush and making a piece pretty all by your little sweet self!!! I encourage you to paint your own pieces. I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will tell you all of our painting secrets. I will walk you through all of the steps!!!!

 But please.... don't ask us to come down on our prices of painted furniture. And please don't make us feel bad for pricing pieces the way we do.

 Cuz' it makes me cry inside.

 And I'm an ugly crier.

 Not a Demi Moore pretty kind of crier. 

But more on a rubbing-snot-all over-my-sleeve kind of crier.

 So.... if you know someone who is trying to make a living off of painting furniture....support them!

 They are NOT getting rich painting furniture. Believe me.

 They do it because they love it.

 And for goodness sakes will someone pleeeeeeeeease buy the stinkin' gray nightstand I am showing at the top of this post?

 I want it out of my garage.

 It's $100. Firm.{wink.wink.}

 Much love to you!

Many Blessings, jennifer

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