Let me just preface this particular post by saying two things. First, I am NO EXPERT. Second, this is how I did it and it worked for me . . . .
pretty well 🙂
Over two years ago after a few months of researching the wonders of Chalk Paint I picked my very first project. And my Lord was it a doozy. I had been looking for a new ( read: old, secondhand, something I could actually afford) table for my dining room for over a year when I wondered in to my neigjborhood Salvation Army and lost my mind. Long story short, I found a gorgeous table and five chairs that was NOT in my budget. So I stalked the store for a few weeks until they marked it down TO my budget ($120 from over $200).
Next , I stared at it in my garage for a couple of weeks and perused Pinterest like the antidote was in it. I’m not at all kidding. This was a huge project and I was only going to do it once. I wanted to make absolutely certain that I was picking the right color for this table and five chairs. And it took me a few weeks to settle on one. I chose Annie Sloan Old White and I have never regretted it for a second.
I took a drive out to my local Annie Sloan stockist to buy my first quart of paint ($38) and clear soft wax ($25) and ended up spending an hour in the shop talking to the very nice lady who sold me the paint.
My next purchase was my paint brush that I still use to this very day. It’s a 1 1/2 inch angled Purdy sash brush from Lowes for $10. It took me a couple of weeks to paint, wax and reupholster the chairs ( less than $20 for fabric).
Then it was time to tackle that 80 some inch long table. The painting of the base took me over a week (and then I gave myself a little break ) and thats when I bought myself my very first power tool: an orbital sander. In terms of my buisness I still think it was the best $40 I ever spent.
If your thinking I’m going to recommend doing this for your first project you are wrong. I’m being totally honest when I say that this was way too big of a first project, but this is how I fell in love with painting furniture.
I told you that to tell you this: when I finally finished the table and five chairs I was more proud of them than I had been of anything in my life. I was also board out of my mind. I had been so absorbed in fixing up this furniture that I LOVED, I had somehow managed to fix another problem in my life.
My almost crippling grief over my Mama’s death.
As I painted, for hours and hours and HOURS I relaxed and allowed my self to actually process (for lack of a better term) all of the things that were swirling around my mind and heart. So I continued to paint. As I would finish each piece I would tuck it safely away in my garage and take another break. The pieces that
I chose to revive were other people’s castoffs.
Like this desk I got for free on the side of the road and stuff I found at Thriftstore.
At this point in my illustrious painting career my absolute top buy in was $20 and it took a REALLY nice piece for me to spend that $20. I stuck religiously to that rule. I’ve never gone in to debt for paint, furniture, fabric, tools or anything else related to my little Side Hustle of a buisness. Instead I’ve been quite content to allow this thing to grow organically.
And 2 years and 2 months later I’m happy I did it that way!
So here is my absolute best, honest advise for anyone else out there who thinks they want to try the furniture flipping trade.
I mean this from the bottom of my heart!
Do not go into debt!
Set a starting budget and STICK TO IT at all costs. I mentioned earlier that my max buy in in the beginning was $20. Now, over two years later it’s only $50. Once I had my basic supplies together I pretty much gave my self a $20 per week budget for everything in the beginning. And if I didn’t use that $20 I chipmunked it away for the next week.
Ask Big Daddy.
Immediately start reading your local Craig’s List FREE section and check it multiple times a day. Enlist people you know to help with pickup in their neigjborhood to save time and gas, ect.
Here’s an example of what FREE turns in to:
Don’t buy/ paint just anything. Stick to timeless, classic wood furniture and equally timeless and classic paint colors.
Don’t buy $38 quarts of paint for a small end table. When you buy a $38 quart of paint you are married to it until you scrape it clean with your
Purdy sash brush. I LOVE Annie Sloan paint but it is pricey. I prefer to get a couple of sample pots of Annie Sloan to try the colors out on smaller furniture first
before I go for the quart.
Explore lesser expensive GOOD paint brands. Case in point, Americana Decor chalk paint at Michaels or Joann’s and for God’s sake use a coupon! This is really good paint. Also, Ace Hardware sells Amy Howard chalk paint and I get a good coupon from Ace a couple times a month in my mailbox. Don’t try to use every color in the rainbow, stick to classic and fairly neutral ones for a while.
Think whites, grays, blacks, even the pale blues.
You get the idea.
DO NOT buy more pieces at one
time than you can comfortably paint in a weekend.
I am dead serious. There is nothing worse that a stack of junk mocking you as you try to get your groceries in through your garage, except that Evil Eye from your husband when he can’t get to his Harley.
God help us all.
To start with, this is a great rule of thumb. This is not a race, it’s an art. Besides, every single human in your house did not sign on for this ride.
Do not move in to any place you where have to pay rent for a while. Use free outlets like Craig’s List, Facebook yardsale pages and friends and family to advertise what you have for sale. Make sure that each piece you turn out is the best it can be. And nobody in this has EVER gotten $500 for there first pieces. Please be humble and start with a conservative price. You have to start somewhere and work up.
Build your customer base.
If you noticed in the title this it’s Part One of what I hope will be several post on this subject. Again, this is only MY experience. But I promise you it is tried and true.
Up next I have a plan of attach for how to sell your first piece.
Without crying your eyes out.
Blogs I love!