Wednesday, August 13, 2008

. . . displayed more furniture

Here is a cute little table that I painted white, then distressed around the edges. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Another small table, painted the softest pale green and aged on the rim.

Yet another small table. . . probably the artsy-est thing I painted. It has a chocolate-brown base with a khaki glaze, then daubed with actual artist paints to give it a mottled look.

And the last table, a really nice piece that is black lacquer. This would actually work in many homes, mine included. In fact, it has been spending time in my computer room.

So I thought I was done with furniture painting for a while. . . wrong. I received another delivery of stuff yesterday: an armoire, a repro drysink with a copper lining, a pine cabinet, two rocking chairs, a record cabinet . . . and a few more things. Some will be fun to paint . . . the record cabinet is definitely a POS and I can only improve it, no way to screw it up. But I have been going balls to the wall on this stuff for a few weeks now, and I want a break to do something different. . . like maybe some art? And I think there is a photo journey coming up in the near future, like maybe tomorrow?

Here's a dilemma, and I need someone to think like the owner of this furniture place: He wants me to decide how I will be paid for the furniture pieces that he buys (at deep discounts from the end of estate sales) and that I repair and paint, like the pieces I've shown you today. It would not be reasonable to charge him on an hourly basis, because I had a huge learning curve. I would like to figure out some sort of percentage of the sale price, which would provide me with an incentive to keep the cost down . . . it's that percentage that is my problem. What would be a reasonable amount?

For instance, if he paid $20 for something, and he sells it for $200, would it be reasonable for him to get back his $20 and then we split the difference 50/50? The problem is that I won't know for sure what he paid for any piece, and although I trust him, I don't want to be a dope, either. Maybe just 50/50 on the sale price? My thinking is that had I not repaired and painted the piece, he would not have been able to sell it for much more than he paid for it. Of course, I have to assume that the piece will sell, and I will have to wait to be paid until it does sell. That's another incentive for me to do good work, but then there's the time-value of money, too. Anyone out there in cyberspace know anything about this kind of calculation? Suggestions are not only welcomed, I'm begging for them.


self taught artist said...

I have no clue, but wondering could he show you receipts for what he paid? then you do the 50/50 like you said?
good for you, sounds like you got yourself a business right now!

Mary Buek said...

Paula, I guess I was wondering if 50-50 was too big a percentage for me, but the more I think about it, the more I think it's fair. I have some the world's greatest minds working on this subject. . . my lawyer daughter, my finance son and my business/computer guru sone-in-law. I bet they come up with some convoluted plan that would fit a B-school model. I just want easy.

Laura said...

I don't really have much of a clue either (pricing is always hard for me!), but I'd say 50-50 is definitely fair to him. YOU did all the work. Will be interested to hear what your "great minds" come up with.

self taught artist said...

yeah 50/50 seems steep at times but then if you are taking days to sand and paint etc. and he is (at least it sounds like it) maybe buying this furniture on the cheap side and marking it up big time you should get half. I kind of agree with the whole enjoy it thing. Grow and learn from it and initially be glad you are even getting money for it. I sometimes feel that way about the gallery reality I am not getting much after I subtract my costs, an $800 piece, half goes to the gallery and subtract my time and money you get the picture. I try to push that out of my head and just be glad I'm building a little following.

Mary Buek said...

Laura and Paula: I was kind of thinking along the lines of a gallery, too, like figuring the piece of furniture is the canvas. The artist pays for the supplies, etc. and splits the sale price 50-50. The only difference is that here, the guy is providing the "canvas" so if he recoups the cost of the "canvas", we have a gallery-type arrangement. Make sense?

self taught artist said...

makes sense to me!