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How much does it cost to hand paint pine furniture?

Listed under Blog, hand-painted furniture Posted Mar 30 2012

I regularly receive emails or phonecalls out the blue asking me – “How much do you charge to paint pine furniture?” That’s a hard question without any context.

The easiest and least confusing way for a quick and accurate answer in pounds, shillings and pence is to send a photo of each piece via email. Wherever you are in the country, there is a furniture painter local to you who can help you out.

Starter for 35.

As an idea of costs involved with furniture painting:

Materials required to paint a single colour on a single item will cost around £35. Plus or minus £5, that is the sort of price you can expect to pay for 1 litre of premium primer and 1 litre of eggshell paint, or if you want the Annie Sloan look, 1 litre of chalk paint and clear wax.

(As a ready reckoner, 1 litre of primer and / or topcoat is the minimum quantity you can buy and is plenty enough to complete a single 3-drawer pine chest of drawers or an average wardrobe, or a pair of simple bedside tables.)

If you want to muck about with colours and double distress items, or mix and match to get just the right shade, or if you need some masking tape or plastic to protect the floor, allow £40-£60 for materials from your decorator merchant or store.

Even trying to save money by buying DIY paint, the bill is still going to be in that ballpark. If you have spare paint in the shed, your materials cost will obviously be less than £35 a piece. However, going either of these routes, you couldn’t expect a pro to paint furniture for you with DIY or 2nd hand paint and stick by the results.

So for arguments sake, work on the basis that £35 is the basic material cost for one-off chest of drawers.

The absolute minimum price a professional furniture painter would be able to charge for their services, to come to your home to paint a one-off item of furniture should equate to a day’s labour.

Is spraying cheaper/

You could find a paint shop to take a single item of furniture to, but the costs are shifted from labour to the overhead to run a work shop. Also, be aware that the choice of spray v brush is more a case of factory perfect finish v traditional hand painted. So a lovely old piece of furniture sprayed up to look like a John Lewis factory product may not give you the result you want.

Is spraying pine furniture in situ quicker and therefore cheaper?

Not for a one-off item in the home. Spraying is an alternative application method to hand-painting, and is quicker in terms of getting paint onto a surface, but it doesn’t mean you can avoid going through the basic trade practice of preparation, priming, painting and / or waxing. And as above, the finish looks different to hand painting.

Is furnitue painting good value?

Even where pricing is always accurate and fair in terms of time allowed and materials costs, I find the reaction to a furniture painting quote is varied and depends on how much you value the piece of furniture you are thinking of painting.

Shock horror, thats a rip off, no way – no how, to an instant yes please when can you start.

Cost effective use of a professional furniture painter

1 – Furniture painters One of the most cost effective approaches to furniture painting is to have several pieces painted by a professional at the same time. A large bedroom suite of good quality can easily cost £000’s to replace, probably with something not quite as well built. A new lease of life from your furniture painter is in the hundreds.

As an idea of the savings of scale I have just completed a substantial pine bedroom suite comprising a large wardrobe, a 2-door wardrobe with 3 drawers below, and a 6-drawer dresser. Individually that would have cost about £300 per item to paint, for labour and materials, but as an ensemble, it came to £650 for 3 items.

So if there is sufficient good quality furniture to require several full days of work, the cost of painting is good value. If you want to throw your money away, call in a professional to paint a suite of flatpack furniture.

2 – It is also cost effective to call in the services of a professional furniture painter if you have a single item like a wardrobe, that is well made and would cost several hundred pounds to replace, or is a family heirloom of high personal value to you and you cannot replace it easily. About £300 to paint is good value. Again, in comparison, £300 to paint a flat pack wardrobe, isn’t such good value.

Email photos for a free appraisal. Pricing is consistent, but depending on your perspective, you may be surprised in a nice way, or you may be stunned in a negative way.

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