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Pricing for finishing cabinet doors3/21
I know there are other threads regarding pricing and finishing. However, from what I'm reading, prices are all over the place for all sorts of different products, (Cabinet doors, drawer boxes, moldings, trim .etc.) and for different finish bases. (Pre-cats, conversion varnishes, etc.)
I also understand that location will be a big determining factor too.
I'm just looking for a general consensus and ballpark numbers here.
What are you guys charging per SQ FT for finishing basic cabinet doors (3/4" thick):
Thank you to anyone willing to indulge this question of mine, as I understand that everyone runs things differently and there are a million different factors that affect different companies differently, thus affecting prices.
I pay depending on the finisher $5.25-7.00 sq ft (2 sq ft cabinet door costs $10.50-$14.00 total) for stain and CV topcoat (1 sealer, 2 topcoats) and $7.00-$8.50 for pigmented CV (1 sealer, caulk, 2 topcoats). Hope that helps-
Family Man, WOW that is cheap- what country is the work done in? I budget just that for materials. I pay my help 3 times that amount !! Just to work.
Bob, Don't know what to tell you. That's two different finishers- one runs a professional finish shop and one is a door shop that finishes. I can do it for half that price in my shop but don't have the time to do but a 1/3 of our work. Our finish is considered by far the best finish of any shop around until you get into the extreme high end work in one of the metro areas.
What you are charging is crazy high in my opinion. A cabinet with a drawerfront and 2 doors is $300 just for the finishing. God bless you. Glad you can do it.
I live in a small but prosperous west coast town and I'm a bit higher than Family Man and could easily charge more...(maybe double and get it). Bob's price on the other hand has me thinking about all the money I should have made... the other day I finished (85) 2'x3' flat panel cabinet doors 3 coats both sides in 10 hours, that would have been over $10,000.00 at Bob's price, just over a $1,000.00 is what mine was.
I think Bob does refinishing based on his website?
Seattle area. I have 12 different price levels for finish, from $9.20/sf for clear only, and run the scale up to $28.75/sf for heavy distress / wire brush / paint, glaze / rub through, crazy effects, etc. The market appears to bear it here, but cost of business is comparatively high, along with wages.
Wow Family man you're giving it away. And your using CV/solvents which isn't exactly good for your health. Just sayin. Your pricing for a standard 30" high cabinet works out to at best $17.50lin ft to $35 lin ft for pigmented CV. I work off what the cabinet maker is charging per foot. In this area $300 lineal ft is middle of the road. So for clear=$60lineal foot, stain/clear=$75ft and pigmented $90ft. This includes boxes (all cabs inside are prefinished ply/melamine) and all trim. Most kitchens are about $3500+/- . Everything is plush finished. Minimum 4 top coats and 3 coat backs on clear and minimum 5 topcoats +caulking on pigmented with 3 coats on the backs.
I'm afraid peoples reading comprehension is in steep decline. I said I PAY those prices. As a cabinet manufacturer if I spray it in house I can spray it for less than half of that.
Personally as a cabinet manufacturer I wouldn't pay more than 20% more than I do right now. Simply would not be worth it. I know the costs involved and would not outsource it for the kind of money you guys are talking about.
A kitchen, what's a kitchen? I will do kitchens this year with 8 cabinets and kitchens with 65. What's a lineal foot? Per base, per upper, per tall. All? You are giving at best part of your formula and at worst misleading information. Lineal foot pricing is a tricky way to pass along information. Buyer beware.
My bad Family man. I guess I should've said you're getting it really cheap. And my math was off. The most you're paying is $21.25a lineal ft for pigmented. As for lineal foot pricing? How long you been doing this? Lineal foot pricing is based on each run of cabinets. Uppers and lowers. No you don't pay for refer/dishwasher openings. A typical kitchen is 40-50 lineal ft of cabinets. Example, a 4x8 island cabinet is 16 lineal feet. Front, back and sides need to be finished. A 10ft long x 8ft tall pantry would be 20 lineal feet. Your welcome.
15 years. Make 50 homes worth of cabinetry a year and I've heard six different varities of how "lineal foot" is calculated over the years from dozens of different guys. Which is why it is tricky. There is not a standard definition. Your welcome.
Square footage same way. Be careful. Some guys are quoting you for one face only. Some for both front and back. Are they giving you the same finish front and back, 1 or 2 less topcoats?
Devil is in the details. Which is why if we are going to help a guy out lets be specific and detail oriented and not leave him guessing.
For example your 10 foot long 8' pantry. Why is it 20' lineal feet? No it's 10' lineal feet of pantry. Your pantry calculation is different than your base and upper calculation. Why is 8' of upper and 8' of base the same as 8' of pantry. Did you forget about the 18" in the center?. Details...details...
Family man, If you don't get the 20ft lineal ft of pantry well I can only help so much. Hint, it's the same amount of "work and material" as 10ft each of a run of upper and lower cabs(that's 20 lineal feet). But your welcome to give it away if you like. Cheers
Bart, were you dropped on your head as a child? You are communicating to a man pricing information. How is he to know that magically 10' of your pantry becomes 20'. once you explain that you charge the same as a base and upper sure he will get it . Technically you are the one giving away 12 SQUARE feet of cabinetry finishing not I. Who again still is not giving away anything but purchasing. Details... which again is the reason lineal foot is a bad way to price finish. 30" uppers? 54" uppers? All the same huh?
[Bart, were you dropped on your head as a child?] You had to go there didn't you? :-O.
[How is he to know that magically 10' of your pantry becomes 20'] Because this is a "professional finishing" forum. I wrongly assumed (i know how do you spell assume) you knew what you were talking about. I didn't think this was cabinets 101.
[Technically you are the one giving away 12 SQUARE feet of cabinetry finishing not I] Say what? Where's that number come from? Oh.....don't tell me I think I know.
my work is done here, cheers I'm out
Bart, the reason I'm being hard on you as you came across giving attitude and you didn't even fully read what I wrote.
My "average kitchen" is 100' lineal feet by the way you calculate. Double or more what the kitchens you finish are. I have some that are 200'+. Sure most are stain or white but there is plenty of distressed, glazed, etc. there is more than a couple Fortune 500 CEO's who have our stuff in their place (or their third place). And I do it all. Design it, sell it, make it, finish it. I wouldn't assume the guy on the other end was born yesterday. My point was your way of pricing is not specific, at least the way you phrased it. Only thing more dangerous than no information is partial In formation or worse, information you think is full but is partial.
One more information piece the fellow needs is who you are selling it to. A guy like me who buys five jobs a month worth or a retail client. I bet pricing is different if for no other reason the unknowns and risk factor.
I wanted a house painter I know to do our house. He's too busy so he gives me a name. I give him a call. Nice guy on the phone.
We've got it house wrapped with the windows and doors installed. Its a reno/new 2nd story. Not typical. Vaulted ceilings some fancy windows. A bit of wainscotting, crown, wide trim. It will be a nice house when its finally done.
He asks for a couple of pics. I text him the exterior and invite him to swing by and see the house. That was last week. This morning he sends me a text saying he can paint the job for $18,400. I'm like what's that include? He texts back inside & outside, the whole deal. I mention the fact that he threw a number and hasn't seen the place nor the plans.
I had to share this with someone.
The linear foot pricing works fine if you are making the same typical kitchen. Otherwise there is a huge variation in finishing. Getting caught out once will cost you big time.
I like to know that too!
Could be he's including primer or sealer coats in the count. For a basic opaque CV finish, I rarely get away with a single primer coat (MLC Clawlock), so usually do 2, sanding to 320 in between. 1 color topcoat (Rudd tinted CV), sometimes 2 if it's heavily profiled or markedly different color than the primer. 4 total coats isn't out of the ordinary.
He does state "5 top coats"?
Seeing how I'm charging about 2-3x what other "professional" finishers are getting looks like I won't get "caught" anytime soon. BTW, those are my "base" prices. You want some glazing, distressing, sandthrough etc...you're gonna pay more $$$$. Pretty simple really.
As far as 4-5 coats on the faces being "too much". I'm not into the blow and go thing. I like to give my clients a product that will last longer than it takes the check to clear. That and I'm working with WB finishes. Putting 3 coats of WB pigmented over MDF panels doesn't even come close to getting rid of the grain raise issue with some MDF material which I can't control. But hey if you don't mind giving your clients a bumpy product with caulk (that is if you take the time to caulk) telegraphing through your 2 top coats then by all means knock yourself out.
Ok boys and girls to be clear, I do put on 2-3 coats of sanding sealer before two 2 "topcoats". I wrongly assumed some of you "professional" finishers would get that.
Some "professional" finishers worry about maximum mil build. Agualente has a 5MIL Max dry film build. 5 coats at 4-5 wet mils is going to be over that. I charge by sqft, per piece, and like everyone in this game I charge a combination of what the market will bear and what will make me a comfortable living. I put out a product I stand behind with virtually no callbacks (that are a result of my finish, it's always the tilers or plumbers fault), and generally spray one seal/2 clear cv for stained or clear, and 2 prime/ 2 colour for pigment.
Yes we do refinishing and also custom finishing. Also, we are hi end and not ashamed of it. We use top notch products that cost more and processes that also take a little more time. Are we all in this to make money? or for the fun of it? At the end of the day we need to make a profit after the bills are paid. I have a prefinisher in town that is half my price and his work reflects it, God bless him as his low end work keeps me busy.
When I started this thread, I had no idea what it would lead to. A ton of information! Which I greatly appreciate. Seeing the numbers from both sides of the spectrum help alot.
The reason I ask basic finishing prices is because my current biz model has changed. I used to be a part of a company that charged per the cabinet box with everything that would be included in that box. (We always did a generic same price because the cabinets would average out. A few drawer bases, a few full door cabs, etc.) I was getting paid by this company just an hourly wage($20/hr) to perform the finishing.
Due to some other circumstances and payroll hassles, the company wanted to give up the finishing to me as a separate entity and I would perform the finishing needs but as my own biz and invoice them for the job.
Ended up being around the same cost for them because of the crazy payroll expenses and workman's comp. Although I am wondering if I'm charging enough now that I have to maintain all my own parts of a separate business.
I'm not a "professional" by a long shot, hence why I ask many questions on this forum. However, my finish product comes out good and I receive compliments from my customers and their customers. (I sell wholesale mostly.)
I am currently just charging companies that want me to perform the finishing for their kitchen 11% of the sale price for the kitchen. (The sale price for the kitchen is in the wholesale market - not the retail market.)
The reason I started this question was to help me price out the odds and ends of job requests that aren't actual kitchens with the normal set of things needing to be finished. Sometimes I'm approached and asked to just finish some flat panels here or there, or a cabinet door(s), etc. Essentially random asks without it actually being a whole kitchen finishing project.
So what I've been doing in this case is charging per sq ft. These are the prices I've been working with:
Clear Coat CV: $5.95/sq ft - includes front and back and edges of a double sided piece.
Stained and then cleared with CV: $6.95/sq ft - again double sided
Pigmented(Paint, Opaques) CV: $7.95/sq ft - covers front and back for that price.
And when it came to the special requests of glazing or distressing or something not basic, I usually just charge a $5/piece as long as the piece isn't a giant piece of plywood.
Sorry if I just threw up a whole bunch of info. But any insight is helpful, as you guys have provided a ton already and I'm greatly appreciative.
Notes: Using all ML Campbell products. Krystal Sealer and Krystal Satin for clearing. Their WoodSong II wiping stains. Clawlock primer and Stealth pigmented for paint jobs.
Also to keep in mind I'm more interested in wholesale pricing. I very rarely ever sell directly to the end customer/user. I'm always selling to another company who is then turning around and selling to the end user/customer.
Thanks everyone for the input!
FWIW I was told a few times that to estimate price for glazing you should add 15-18% to your based price
Mastercabman you said you only need 2-3 coats of any finish (1sealer/1-2topcoats) yet your last post you said when using WB you put up to 5-6 coats! One sealer, 2 primer (when using WB) and 2 topcoats!! So which is it? Best case scenario you're putting one less coat on with pigment than I am and you're using a higher solid content solvent base product. Oh and I'm charging more than you and using a safer product. You gotta love the smell of formaldehyde in the morning.
mastercabman, you need to read your own posts!!
[I typically put 1 coat of sealer (2 if I'm glazing) Primer 1 coat if using clawlock,2 if I'm using WB or WVPI always put 2 coats of top coat ]
Your WORDS not mine. 1 sealer, 2 primer(withWB) and 2 topcoats. Equals5.
My words you put on ONE less coat best case.
Really you might want to consider wearing you respirator more often,
When I m painting cabinets
When I'm using WB
When doing a stain job
"Everything is plush finished. Minimum 4 top coats and 3 coat backs on clear and minimum 5 topcoats +caulking on pigmented with 3 coats on the backs."
FYI the smell doesn't bother me that much
Pricing has a lot of variables, you received quite a few numbers on this forum and there were quite a few comments about other guys pricing, such as you are charging to much or you are charging to little. What works for one person may not work for another. A huge cost in finishing is heating, a shop in a cold climate has to run a make up air unit all winter long where a shop in a warm climate will not need heat at all. Then you have guys that don't even have a spray booth who are spraying with a fan out the door, therefore no booth filters need to be changed on a regular basis. What kind of equipment are you using, a $4000 dollar kremlin AAA pump with an air supply system with an air dryer and filters or a harbour freight syphon feed gun and a cheap 2-20 gallon compressor. So many variables. My advice would be to take a standard job for you, finish it from start to finish and then take all your material and labour costs, total it all up and then you can figure out what is your sq ft or lineal ft or box, or door or whatever price.
I was the one who said that most woodworking should only require 1 sealer coat and two topcoats, I was not being sarcastic, I was just wondering what product you were using and what equipment you were using because to me you are wasting a ton of money. Like Craig said every finish has a design thickness and going any thicker than that will also be problematic.
I charge $100 a door 18''x30''. One sanding sealer and two coats finish. Of course I make doors for $275 each. (5 piece flat center panel)
How about the price for high gloss mdf cabinets doors?
I charge $25 per door for a simple stain and top coat kind of deal. then an extra 20-25% per additional step required beyond that for distressing, glazing, faux ect... but that excludes materials. in my pricing system materials are factored in a different way