I received a call today from a furniture dealer that wants me to refinish about 10-15 pieces per month (dining room set, etc.). What would you charge at this quantity? The going price for a refinished dining room in my area is about $1600. This would be a six foot long table and six chairs. I just want to make sure of pricing before I get in over my head.
From contributor R:
This sort of question comes up now and then and itís a tough one to answer. I would charge as much as I could possibly charge and keep in mind that the person feeding you the work is going to have his/her hand in the cookie jar. For what itís worth, $1600 is not nearly enough for the work involved in re-finishing six chairs and a six foot long table.
If you have to contend with taxes, workmanís compensation, payroll, materials, rent, heating and electric bills, vehicle maintenance, gas, tolls, office supplies, bathroom supplies, insurance, accounting, phone bills, advertising costs, equipment maintenance, and etc then $600 will not go far. You didn't mention anything about types or styles or finishes that are already on the pieces you plan on re-finishing.
Paint is time consuming to strip and a Duncan Phyfe arm chair is more difficult to strip than an oak side chair. You didnít mention what types of finishes you plan to apply. Oil based varnishes take longer to dry than a Lacquer and neither is as time consuming as a French polish finish is. Why not share with us some of the parameters you have in your cost of doing business you might get a better handle on the answer.
I can understand you wanting to get some prices before youíre in over your head but what it costs in one part of the country has no bearing on what someone in another part of the country charges. Look back at your time cards to get an idea on what it cost you to do the last dining room set you did. Check out the materials invoice to get an idea on what the materials cost was for the dining room set. Look at the bottom line to see how much money you made or how much money you didnít make and take it from there.