I usually do not include pricing information in my articles about refurbishing furniture because everyone's demographic is different. Yesterday I did offer a purchase price for a desk I bought and I have received many emails asking for advice regarding pricing. 

The majority of my blog followers are US residents and across the board all of our demographics are way different. I encourage everyone to understand their own market and establish who their customers are without comparing to someone living elsewhere.

How many of us read a post and start to compare what is written to our own lives and abilities. Plz use common sense when information is offered and rely on your own judgment for decisions.
What makes us unique also makes us noticeable!!

Now that being said … I don`t feel as if I have strict rules regarding prices however I will offer some general thoughts.

I value my time so furniture that needs repair needs to be extremely cheap … $5 to $20 I spend countless hours fixing broken furniture and I want room to compensate for the time.

Look around you, ask fellow colleagues in your area for advice, and do your own research. Hard work always gets you there.

Over time you get to understand what your market will bear for certain pieces and how much you can put into pieces. This is going to be trial and error for many starting out.

A perfect example of different demographics ...

I had just finished painting and upholstering some dining chairs and when I advertised them a US follower suggested my asking price was outrageous because she got the same chairs for half the price where she lived. My asking price was $110 each, the same price I sell most of my chairs for. The deal she was fortunate to get was in the US, where fabric costs are less, paint costs are less, shipping costs are less, and so on. I also live in the most expensive area of Canada.


Here`s a hypothetical example of how much goes into a piece, I say hypothetical because with every piece there are a large number of variables.

I pay $20 for a single nightstand at a second hand store.
I add legs to this night stand costing anywhere from $20 - $40
A can of ASCP cost $56 here in Canada so take into account the cost for paint
A can of AS wax cost $39 here so add another cost for the wax
I use a paint sprayer so there is equipment costs and electrical
Supplies and tools used – wood, saw, drill, screws, nails, appliques, filter, water, paper towel, brushes, sandpaper, filler
Hardware usually needs to be added at a cost of $10 - $20 
Depending on the amount of work it can take up to 8 hours over 2 days to finish.
And lets not discount my camera, computer, Internet, and all the time needed to photograph and post on line. I ask $200 for this nightstand, averaging all costs out I might get paid $100 for all the hours I put into redoing this piece of furniture.

And my final and most important note on the subject of pricing ...
You must know when to walk away from a purchase if you don`t want to lose money.
There is another piece waiting around the corner.


Pin It Now!


  1. You are so right! Just so you know, we would have charged $250 labor for that nightstand and charged the client for the supplies. We only paint our client's furniture - I realize you are selling yours. I am just agreeing that you are more than justified to sell it for that price. There is so much that goes into painting furniture. It is hard work. We are in the Dallas, TX area. I have seen people charge less, but I don't know how they make any money. Maybe they do not have to pay labor for helpers? Anyway, thank you for the inspiration! :)

  2. You're spot on with pricing advise, only those that have invested time, resources and money will really understand what really can go into a project. That's part of the reason I try not to garage sale locally. Someone sees me purchase an item for $10, and resell that same item for $100 and they're shocked. Only thing is that they don't realize I might have an additional $40 invested into supplies, plus tools, time, etc. Then of course it didn't help when our local paper did an article about us and said "every item is found for free and sold at 100% profit". Really?!?!

  3. It is nice to hear your take on it. The time and supplies are quite a consideration. You do beautiful work!

  4. I loved this post and only wish the people reading it were customers. As bloggers, furniture refinishers, vintage resellers our world seems large with the mass of people painting furniture but, is in fact quite small in comparison to the people who are unaware of the cost of chalk paint, wax, time requirements etc. I live in Ontario and do quite well with pieces I refinish but I do get a lot of people who think it takes 1/2 hour of painting and voila like a machine spit out a perfect piece. That nightstand is great in this photo.

  5. Thanks for the breakdown on pricing Kristy. You do us all a great service. I never realized what a difference in costs between CA and the US.

  6. I love all your customized pieces. Don't know where the complainer lives, but where I live in Texas your prices are better than the prices people are asking for less quality stuff. Thanks for sharing all your projects, they are so inspiring.

  7. Hi Kristi - I've been a follower of your blog for the past year and love all that you do. I live in the Montreal area and can relate to the higher costs we pay for Chalk Paint, etc. because of the Duty that is added to our prices. Your prices are not at all exaggerated at all. If you were to compare what stores charge for a wood chair, usually in the range of $175.00 to $225.00 each, your price is actually a bargain. I guess as a blogger, sometimes advertising what a great purchase price we got, and maybe posting the "before" pictures, sometimes may not be in our best interest, especially if we are reselling the piece. Unless you have done this type of work, you cannot relate to how much work is involved from the time you purchase the piece of furniture to the final step when you press "publish".

    Mary @ Orphans With MakeUp

  8. I think another really important thing to consider is the fact that there are a lot of people out there selling whatever they craft and they have no idea of what their costs really are. They often do not value their own time and are just turning product to make a buck. Sad but very true. I am a quilter. I most often make 36" square baby quilts to sell. On my most generous day, I would not sell one for less than $125. I look on Etsy and see them priced from $40 on up. I use quality fabric, quality batting and I do excellent piecing and quilting (if I do say so myself!) My quilts are easily worth $125 but it is sometimes very difficult to have a customer understand why my quilt is worth more than $35 they pay for one made in China and purchased at a big box store or one they find on Etsy for $60.

    For furniture restorers, I do think you do yourselves a huge disservice by ever publishing anything on your blog that would indicate you found a great piece on the side of the road or purchased a great piece for a few dollars. Anyone who restores or upcycles furniture knows bargain stock is easily acquired. Talk among yourselves and don't let the general buying public have any idea. They will never understand the cost of other materials or your time.

  9. I wish everyone could read this, because you are spot on!

  10. I enjoyed reading this post as I struggle with pricing my home made things. Many people do not appreciate the time you put into making anything. Surprising really, because if they are working they would not accept less than say $10 an hour for a wage, most making even double that. I have seen sites and woodworkers that tell you to take your supplies and multiply by 3 to get a price. Ridiculous! I often use FREE pallet wood and less than one dollar for a little paint and glue. So do I charge $3 for something? My Union Jack sign I just made took me over 2 1/2 hours just to paint, not including stripping the pallets, cleaning up the edges, glueing, etc. Some people want to pay about $10 for a sign like that, I have it priced at $50. The thing is really, finding the right buyers as they will appreciate the time and originality in products. Your blog is full of beautiful creations that cannot be duplicated. You are an artist and should not worry about those who just don't get it.

  11. Boy! I hear Ya!! Pricing is one of the hardest things to do and one of the most difficult! I stress over it, but you can only get what is allowed in your area and everyone's area differs a great deal.
    Thanks, I love to hear on blogs just what I'm thinking!
    Long time follower of yours, love your blog!

  12. Hi Kristy,

    Been following your blog for a few months now and I love the original works you create. When I say original works, I mean art.

    If someone complains about your pricing because he or she cannot see the value in what you have created, then that is not someone you would want to do business with anyway. Your art is beautiful and seeing though your blog the amount of work, care and love that go into each piece, it is worth every penny. Unfortunately, we live in a world where craftsmanship is slowly dying. Thank you for helping to sustain it. For me, I would rather pay $200 for one of your gorgeous, original, character nightstands than $100 to IKEA for a disposable, pressboard piece of garbage that is the same as my neighbour's. Keep making beautiful art and those of us that appreciate it will keep on buying it, with a smile on our face.




Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Your first stop for vintage hardware