There is a new Annie Sloan furniture-painting book out which has inspired me to start a few new furniture painting projects despite it being freezing cold out in my "workshop". I am also thinking that these sorts of projects could add a good diversification to the brocante business ideas. Suppose I could turn out four pieces a week. If they cost £50-100 each to buy, but sold for £200, that would be £400-500 gross profit per week. Sounds a bit unlikely that I could make this each week, but where is the error in this analysis?
So my three new projects are two cupboards I bought recently from Haynes reclamation yard and a chest of drawers that I bought some while ago. All three are earmarked for France, but they do provide practice for the business idea and allow me to assess accurately how long each piece takes to finish and what paint costs, etc, I should factor in.
This first cupboard is a fairly large piece that I plan to put in one of the new bathrooms in Les Petits Chats. It has a number of interesting features in its panelling and round its base. There are two long drawers at the top left and right, and a large main cupboard. I was not able to remove the fittings on the door handles which was a shame, and means that there will inevitably be some paint on these when I've finished.
My plan was to sand this down, prime it and then paint it in Farrow & Ball Oxford Stone paint. I was not looking to distress this piece but instead produce a good-quality, smooth paint job.
After the primer coat
During the first top coat. Oxford stone is a rather nice greenish-grey.
After two coats of top coat but awaiting the doors and drawers.
Overall, this item cost £68, has required about £4 of primer and £6 of top coat. It has taken about 6 hours to process, spread over four days. If sold for £200, the profit would be about £120 or £20 per hour - though the "work" does have some hobby aspect to it as well, so the hourly rate should be considered to be a bit higher than this.
This is a smaller, but much heavier cupboard. It has a carved trim round the top and sides and the top actually lists up to reveals a wide open surface. Again I am thinking of this as a bathroom peice for France.
I decided that this one should be painted using Annie Sloan's Chateau Grey, a very greeny grey. Then afterwards I am going to decide whether to give it a light wash over of a paler colour - probably a watered down mix of Old White and Paris Grey.
For this one, I was able to remove the hinges and fittings - which should make it a much cleaner finish.
Post painting - door hinges are to be reattached and the whole thing still to be waxed.
This piece cost £88 and has used about £6 of paint so far. It does need a new plywood back though, so a little more cost to incur. Time taken was a little quicker than the F&B project
This chest of drawers was bought a couple of months ago for France but I have only recently decided to go ahead and paint it. The other chest I bought the same day is going to be kept unpainted at it has a rather nice patina on the drawers and top.
I decided that this would also be painted in F&B Oxford Stone.