Denise from Salvaged Inspirations wrote the post “How To Price Your Painted Furniture” that was super duper popular a few weeks ago. We gave her a call and decided to pick her brain for you—to help you be more successful in your current business. (Or your dream business that you are considering starting!)
What types of furniture are most popular with your customers? Dressers, hutches, dining tables, desks, head and footboards. I think you can have success selling any of these, people use these. Two toned furniture- a stained top with a painted bottom, I find that’s very, very popular. Rather than painting it one color, or staining it, mix the two. Shabby chic, distressed, and French provincial are very popular styles. If you’re painting or reselling a type of furniture that really inspires you I think you’ll find your market, and your buyers.
Which types of furniture are most profitable? Larger pieces- with a little more detail or customization are most profitable. And, it takes me the same steps to paint a night table as it does to paint a dining room table, and the large piece is more profitable. If I customize furniture by adding trim, unique hardware, or change out glass for chicken wire or a mirror- do something to make it stand out from the norm, those pieces are most profitable and sell quickly. Do keep in mind your initial expense for piece. I’m always on the lookout for a piece at a great price. A dollar saved is a dollar earned. It takes SELF CONTROL. Sometimes its very, very hard, but ask yourself, are you going to make money off of it?
Where do you find the furniture you re-do? Many times a client will bring me a piece- from a family member like an in-law and it will have sentimental value for them, but not match their décor. I’ll restyle it so they can use that in their home. I also find pieces at yardsales, thrift stores, flea markets, the Restore run by Habitat for Humanity… I love buying at the Restore- all proceeds go back into the community. I love reusing for the environment. Many of my favorite pieces have been curb-shopped. We have times in our community when residents have permission to put large pieces on the curb and the city comes by and picks them up. I look for sturdy, well built pieces and I stop and load it into the back of my van. Those are my favorite pieces. The transformation is amazing, and I’m a big believer in reusing– I love it! I love giving something life that might have ended up in the landfill.
How do you decide what paint color to use? I get color inspiration by looking a the piece and envision what it will be. I try to let the furniture dictate what color it wants to be. The size, the shape, the detailing can help me decide. I get very inspired by my surroundings. I’ve been inspired by the fall foliage lately. Everyone is inspired by color daily, it has the power to change your mood from good to bad. It can feel intimidating to choose a color, I like to keep in mind- it can always be changed. If you’re stumped- use a photo editor or free online editor- take a pic, upload it, and try on different colors and see what you like best. That’s a great tool for people who are visual. I do use that on occasion. If a piece of furniture is not speaking to me- I use an editor. (For further tips here’s her blog post on exactly how to use an editor to preview different colors.)
What do you wish you had known when you were starting out? To start and run a healthy successful business, you can’t do it all on your own. You need people to make it work. I’m the type of person who has a hard time asking for help, I try to be self sufficient and do everything on my own. Having a support team is crucial, I can’t lug a solid wood dresser up a flight of stairs by myself. In a new venture you will doubt yourself, so connect with encouraging people. Clients, customers, repair people, even competitors can be great supporters, and you should support other entrepreneurs too, the community is so important. Now, I realize accepting a helping hand is not a bad thing, its actually empowering. Sometimes it is hard to reach out and ask for help- but you can’t be an island.
Huge thanks to Denise for giving us some of her time, and being open enough to answer our questions. Happy painting to everyone! Please write in and let us know what you want to hear about next!