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When my first piece of furniture sold I couldn’t believe that not only did she LIKE my work, she actually just PAID me money for it! WHAT?! Oh my gosh, that feeling you get when you make money selling your first piece…I was pretty hot stuff!
Just like that, I was hooked on painting furniture for profit.
At first I was completely content making 30 bucks over what I spent on a piece of furniture, in fact, I thought that I was making great money! I didn’t really consider what my profits actually were after time and expenses!
As we became more successful we realized that we needed to step it up in business and in our pricing!
If you’re just starting out painting and selling or if you’ve been in this for a while but you want to increase your profits, you’re going to want to read this!
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1. Have a Professional Business Page
First impressions are key to keeping a customer. I personally wouldn’t consider buying a piece of furniture labeled “Re-finished Furniture Painted in…ect” if it was simply listed on a local garage sale page or Craigslist WITHOUT a direct link to the persons business page or website. Unless they were selling it dirt cheap. Then I’d buy it, and flip it, and sell it! I do, however, buy my unfinished furniture that way, because I do plan to buy it for dirt cheap!
My sister and I have a Facebook Business Page, I highly recommend it. It’s free and takes minutes to set up, it’s super easy to use and you can always set up a website later when you’re raking in the big bucks! Here is how to start your Facebook business page.
2. Buy Quality Furniture & Paint
I’m a garage sale, Craigslist, thrift shop buyer. I love finding a good deal! Unfortunately, some “good deals” ended up being duds that got thrown in the burn pile.
If you buy furniture that is needing a lot of work, smells funky, is not real wood, ect… you will probably end up frustrated and the piece will either never get finished or you’ll just hate it when you’re done.
My husband is a handyman, but there have been times where I have bought something that even he couldn’t fix. I’ve bought furniture that I tried every trick and product and the smell still wouldn’t come out. All these problems cost you money and eat away at your profits.
Always look over the entire piece before you buy it, check for bubbling from water damage, peeling veneer, open drawers/doors (every single one), I have been known to sniff the furniture (trust me on this one, totally worth the weird looks). Assess the work needed and determine if it’s worth it.
Just as important as the furniture is the quality of your paint. Cheap paint may sell you a few pieces of furniture, but the durability just isn’t there and customers wont come back and your business will eventually die.
There are so many gorgeous and easy to use quality paint options available that come in a variety of prices. I created this post of Top 5 most popular paint brands for flipping furniture that I recommend taking a look at, it will help narrow it down for you and give you a place to start!
3. Staging & Photographing Your Furniture
Business didn’t really blow up until I understood the emotional response photographs can produce. When my sister and I first started working together painting and selling furniture we would photograph all our furniture outside, at that point I knew next to nothing about staging or photography.
It wasn’t until we discovered the Flipping Furniture For Profit 12 Step Course by Rebecca Hansen Groskreutz that we really started making serious profits, it’s full of amazing information about every aspect of furniture flipping, I highly recommend that every serious Furniture Flipper take this course! It’s been over a year since I took it and I still go back to it as she adds new content and resources all the time!
Virginia’s Note: Rebecca just launched a mini-series of brand new courses that are super inexpensive and contain all the information you could possibly need in each topic! You can check out her Ultimate Guide to Staging & Photography course which features 65+ pages of incredible full color photo galleries and tutorials from the all the best Furniture Flippers out there!
Now, before you get upset, I LOVE outside pictures of furniture, the natural lighting and elements make pictures so pretty! BUT, customers need to be able to envision your beautiful piece in it’s intended location, not out in the yard. They need you to help them see your piece in their home, where would they put it? what would they use it for?
Use a light, neutral colored wall, a space with good natural lighting and/or if you don’t have natural lighting or need more you can purchase photography lighting right here, it’s surprisingly inexpensive and you’ll feel like a professional photographer!
Lighting is super important when trying to photograph your furniture, you want the color and overall look of the piece to be exactly what the customer will see when they pick it up.
It’s also important to stage your furniture according to its style and purpose, you don’t want modern/contemporary decor on your distressed Farmhouse style antique buffet!
You can check out my Pinterest board Styling Painted Furniture To Sell for some great inspiration to help get you started!
These are 3 simple steps that are the foundation of a successful furniture painting business, you are setting the stage for success and attracting QUALITY buyers not low ballers and spammers.
You may think that with the market saturated with furniture flippers under pricing their pieces, you’ve got no chance of improving profits.
So far from the truth!
There IS a market for painted furniture no matter your location, you just need to take steps to stand above your competition.
People WILL pay top dollar for quality painted furniture, you just need to be the one they buy it from!
I’d love to hear from you! What has been your biggest struggle when it comes to actually SELLING your re-finished furniture? Location? Price? Competition?