…switching & painting hardware

I recently refinished a dresser with different hardware for a client. We could have painted what was on her piece, but she found some others with a bit more detail. Here is the before:

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This is the hardware that she ordered and brought to me to replace.

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Pretty classic, but still brassy. It needed paint.

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The hardware did not fit so DH screwed new holes for this hardware and I painted it. Worked great!

The key to switching out hardware is measuring the little holes. If you have an older piece and/or vintage chances are newer hardware will not fit perfectly. There are ways around this.

Switching Out Hardware.

1. Take off the old hardware that is ugly & distracting

2. Measure the holes where the screws went

3. Search online and in your hardware store for hardware that fits

4. If you find some that fits – great! Leave it as is or paint it depending on material

5. If hardware does not fit, but is close you need to drill another hole & fill the remaining hole with wood filler. A bit of a process, but totally doable.

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The piece turned out great. IMG_3344

It is now in the nursery awaiting her baby girl 🙂IMG_3346

I recently did a tutorial on painting hardware. Check it out!

 

…building a business: as good as it gets

Before kids, I used to watch Barefoot Contessa. DH and I used to get a kick out of when she would say “Use good Mayonaise” or “Good heavy cream” or “Good dark chocolate.” But, as snooty as it sounds, there is truth to using “good” ingredients.

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You are only as good as your materials. If you work in water colors or fabrics or wood or clay or food or whatever your craft is, then you know there is a difference between good quality materials and inexpensive materials. It’s worth experimenting with both so that you know yourself the difference between the two. When you are first starting out, you will not want to spend the money on pricey materials, but the quality of your work will certainly suffer. Cheaper materials will always handle differently.

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This is true for the Chalk Paint that I use and it’s also true for the furniture that I resell & repurpose. When I first started out and wanted to build an inventory of furniture I would take on most everything. There were raw pieces that I loved and a few that I just wasn’t crazy about. I remember painting a little side table and thinking I just don’t love this. It was too plain, too simple and there was no character. I made an unconscious decision not to use my paint and time on anything that I did not love or want in my own home. I can seriously say that anything that I sell, if I had the room, I would put in my own house.

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Take a minute to think about what you are working on. Would you want it, wear it, use it, eat it? Would you represent it in your own space? If not, then don’t sell it. Use materials that are of the highest quality if you plan on selling your product. Buyers are smart and will know if you’ve cut corners or are not selling something worth even looking at. If it means selling less because it’s expensive or more time consuming to put out quality, then sell less. Your name & your business are only as good as what you are putting out there.

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…building a business: custom orders & money

Did I scare you? I know, we don’t like to talk about money – especially if your a gal that was raised to be polite and kind and accommodating. BUT, I am here to tell you that you are worth asking for your number if you are providing a service that someone benefits from. Especially if you work really hard to deliver a custom product.

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Start as you plan to go. Love this saying. I don’t have a problem with charging a lower amount during the first year or two of your business, but as you grow please up your prices. Paint is expensive – about $40 a can if you use ASCP. Brushes wear out, clear wax goes fast and your time is being taken from your family or your book or your glass of wine. Or if your craft is a different medium, you still need to buy your supplies and use your time.

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I didn’t always feel this way. I used to have a sense of indebtedness to those that wanted to work with me. Being a painfully shy child, that was kinda my M.O. I am slowly learning that solely pleasing someone else ignores your own worth and that is a slippery spiral.

Some clients will respect your boundaries and position on price & custom orders and some will be mad at you, to be honest. But, let me say that even though it feels like you are protecting yourself by being completely compliant, at the end of the day it is more heartache. I hate saying no, but when it does not feel right I’ve learned that it is the best way to protect myself. Not to get way off track, but I’m reading the book Boundaries, which says that when you say “Yes” when your heart & mind say “No” you are not being true to what God really wants for you. It’s not mean to say “No”. (Yes, I’m preaching to myself here.)

IMG_0430 I want to choose to work with clients that trust me and my process at the end of the day. If I feel like I have to convince someone of what I can do then I am not the right gal for the job. And that is okay with me. There is such freedom in that, I must say! Makes me feel like a big girl and it makes me feel safe when I protect myself. It also allows me to focus on what I love & be successful at it.

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When doing custom orders, show your client examples of what you can give them. Be clear.

“I can do this for you.”

“This is what it will look like.”

“I can deliver the product at this time.”

“For labor & materials I will charge this.”

Set your expectations and live up to them. Be proud of your work.