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Keeping Last Week's Promise - Cheryl at Your Decorative Painting Resource
May 06, 2015

Hello everyone!

May 6, 2015

It's Cheryl here from Your Decorative Painting Resource.

A Quick Word About Email

We are still in the process of moving you from our old email service to a new, improved service. To do that you had to add your Name and Email Address to my new list.

For Those Of You Who Have Taken Action

As a result you may find yourself receiving 2 copies of The Creative Chronicles.

You may also receive email saying that you have been unsubscribed. Please don’t worry. It only means that you have been removed from my old list. You will still be on the new list and will still receive The Creative Chronicles.

For Those Of You Who Have NOT Taken Action

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If you have not added yourself to the new list and you still want to receive The Creative Chronicles, don’t wait another minute. Now is the time to do it.

If you don’t take action you will stop receiving The Creative Chronicles by the middle of June. I would really hate to say “Goodbye” so add yourself to the new list now. Life will be so lonely without you.


Remember in the last issue of The Creative Chronicles I promised I would talk about how to price your painted pieces? Well I am keeping my promise here.

A long time ago I loved selling my hand painted items at local craft shows. What I didn't love was the chore of establishing a price for my work. My colleagues would say I was under-pricing my work, while some visitors to the show thought my work was too expensive. Some even said they could paint the same thing themselves for less. Yes, some people can be that rude!

I really had no idea why some of my things sold really well while other items just languished on the shelves. What was I doing wrong?

Well, I learned a few things as a result. And I will share them with you here. Here’s a big one… I didn't know my audience, or what they wanted. And another… I also painted items I "hoped" would sell rather than learn about upcoming trends, colors and themes and then paint what was in demand. I learned that it’s important to give people what they want.

Location was another thing I never even thought about. Or even the kind of venue I should be displaying my wares in. These things do make a difference, as I discovered.

Let's Consider The Type Of Show And Location

Generally speaking, if you're selling your goodies at a juried fine art show you'll be attracting a different clientele than if you're selling at a church bazaar. That’s not to say that one is better than the other… they’re just different.

The fine art show attracts people who want “one of a kind” items, high quality, original pieces and are willing to spend money on those luxuries. If the show is set in an affluent neighborhood it will definitely improve your ability to sell your items for profit.

At the church bazaar, most times, people are looking for a real bargain, perhaps not appreciating the hours that go into painting the items nor the cost of materials and other associated expenses. So they tend to spend less and expect deep discounts.


Here are some of the things to consider when you are setting your prices:

  • Your Cost of Materials
  • + Your Labor
  • + Your Expenses
  • + Mark Up for Profit
  • = Wholesale x 2 = Retail
  • Let's say you paint a set of four wine glasses with a simple design that takes you about a 1/2 hour per glass, including the prep work. Your 4 glasses took 2 hours to paint. Let's say you charge $10 per hour (just pulling a number out of the air). That means so far that's $20 for your labor. Add in the cost of the glasses and your materials, heat-setting in your home oven cost you for electricity and shopping for the wine glasses and supplies cost you gas money. All of these expenses need to be recovered. And then you need to mark up for some profit. So now you're looking at about $30 for a set of 4 wine glasses. This would be wholesale pricing. Now double it!

    It would not be unreasonable to charge $60 for a set of 4 hand painted, dishwasher safe wine glasses. And you should charge even more for custom orders.

    Under Pricing

    Under pricing so you can outsell your competition drags the entire craft sales industry down and it devalues your own work. Take your work seriously, price it so you can make money and your buyers will take you seriously and come back for more.

    What's In?

    Another thing to factor in is what's hot and trending. Let's use the wine glass as an example again. Remember how Amish themes were so popular for a while back in the 80's? Now, how about Amish themes today? How likely are you to sell wine glasses with a little Amish boy or girl painted on them? Not likely.

    What's trending? I've used hand painted wine glasses as an example for this article. So here’s a question. Are hand painted wine glasses still in high demand? The answer is yes. But that could change at anytime, so it’s important to stay informed and up to date. It would be disappointing to paint dozens of them and no one was buying wine glasses anymore!

    What colors are you seeing a lot in home decor and in fashion magazines? Are animal prints in or out? (VERY in!!) Are owls still in? Is strokework coming back? (YES!) Knowing these trends will set you apart from other painters and your work will always be in demand.

    Well, that’s it for pricing your work. Chances are you’re not going to get rich and retire from your efforts. But it is always good to get paid for something you love to do.

    So what do you think? Did I miss anything? Was this helpful? I always love getting your comments and feedback. So feel free to get in touch with me.

    That's A Wrap!

    That's it until next week.

    Talk soon,

    Cheryl Poulin


    Your Decorative Painting Resource

    Earmark Purrductions Creative Studios

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