I’ve been in business since 2015 part time, then officially full time as of August 2015. Each year is different with pieces. Some months, I can barely list an item before it’s snatched up. Other months there are lulls. And it depends on the year whether you experience these or not. Some years are flops – others are huge successes. It’s just all part of the game. There are always ebbs and flows in business and selling painted furniture – whether people want to admit it or not. I’m not afraid to admit it because I’ve been through all of the ups and downs before and come out the other side of it every time. I stay very patient and that the right person and the right customer will always get their piece – like it was destined for them! I always look back at my previously impatient self and think “I wish I wouldn’t have worried so much back then – things sell when they’re meant to”.
Now, where I draw the line is at the 6 month mark where something isn’t selling. You have to take a good look at why something may not be selling and think of ways to totally transform the piece and make it look completely different – change up the staging/photos, or pretty much discount your piece at 50%. I work way too hard to pretty much hand someone my work at a very low price, now that I will not stand for. It’s not sustainable.
As I write this, I officially had this dresser on the market for 8 months. I was so busy with customs that I just ignored the problem with my painted inventory. That’s just way too much time in painted furniture land and it was time!
For this piece, it started out off white with a turquoise tassel from a very deep brown. See ya later brown! After a few months not selling I thought “let’s give this just the quickest little update” to freshen it up.
I gave it a slight makeover by painting the interior drawers hot pink and adding a matching tassel. Nope! Didn’t work after having it lightly revamped and having it on the market another few months with the pink touches.
Now was the time to completely change the look of this piece. I’m not sure why it didn’t sell. I know my prices are higher based on my expertise and quality of my products, but I’ve had items like these fly off the “shelves” and some even more expensive that also fly off the “shelves”, so of course price is always a determining factor. But it wasn’t the only determining factor here. This piece was pretty much as neutral as it could get (at first – blue tassel look) and why it didn’t sell in the first few months was beyond me! Maybe it didn’t sell so that I would be typing this message and for you to be reading it! I like to think there are reasons beyond us for everything we do.
Anyways -> to me, this looks like a pretty straight-lined, modern piece. But now that I’ve redone it, I see that perhaps my modernizing wasn’t quite modern enough. My inkling and intuition is that the moulding pieces surrounding the door and drawers repelled people looking for something more modern. Another inkling is the original vintage hardware style – and that they are gold.
I’m starting to realise that gold/brass hardware is specialty and only a select group of people like that. People are more used to brushed nickel/chrome/dark hardware at this time. I don’t typically do dark colors, so brushed nickel was my choice. You’ll see them later. But first, to fill the holes.
Now – I’m a gold gal at heart, please know that! But I wanted to change this look up completely and make it opposite of what it was. I’ll save the handles and use them another time – or donate them.
In ripping off all the mouldings/trim around the drawers there was a lot of damage underneath that I had to fill many little baby nail holes, refill, sand, refill with putty, prime to see where more damage was, fill again.
It was SO MUCH WORK to do this! I’ve done this before where I pull trim off, and it’s fine, just little nail holes. But this was so bad! Lol!
I got through it because I was really really excited for the new change and to see it all done up. When I have an idea in my mind, I can’t get it out of there until it’s done and I see it!
The flat fronts once smooth and uniform look so amazing and modern now. It really helps with my grief about changing this dresser up, because I did love it as it was.
Because it was me who painted it before – I already went through all the prep steps of sanding and using BIN primer before paint last time, so my surfaces and texture were ready for painting. I wanted a subtle and lovely contrast of the top with the base of the dresser. I wanted to leave the top as is because I worked so hard on the top (tops on long dressers are the toughest to get right, FYI) and I loved it as is. So just wanted to paint the base. I used Benjamin Moore Advance Paint in the shade Cliffside Gray, a beautiful soft-medium grey with seemingly no other undertones. What I love about this paint is you don’t need a top coat – which is why I specifically thought it was a great idea for this project.
Had I been painting the whole thing over again including the top – I wouldn’t have used this paint. This paint takes 30 days to fully cure and that rule can definitely be noticed if you try and set something on the top of an item painted in this – when you pull something off it goes “squish” like a sticking noise and I highly recommend not setting anything down onto tops of items during that cure time. But because the base isn’t high traffic and you’re not setting things down onto it, it was perfect for this scenario!
I painted the first coat one day, then painted the second coat the next day. And then I could just step away, and she’s done! How’s that for a paint story where you paint it and leave it and walk away without putting poly over top. That’s my usual method – using chalk/furniture style paint and then sealing with poly. Not this time. It was nice to skip out on that step.
New handles from Richelieu were what this baby needed. I love it in its new look. I loved it before as well. I’d say I love them both equally but because they’re living new lives now, I can’t even compare, it’s like a totally new dresser and that’s exactly what I wished to do! Will it sell? Only time will tell!
Want to see all of this in action on YouTube? You can watch the first part of the 2 part series by clicking below: