Author Topic: Cabinet refinishing & painting - local service business idea  (Read 416 times)

Archipelago

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Here's the story.

When I began buying underperforming rental properties a few years ago, the first thing I looked at was adding value by updating the kitchens. I went to local cabinet showrooms in the scratch & dent/leftover section and purchased random ugly wood cabinets in excellent condition. I would purchase individual cabinets for $25-$100 each depending on size and style. Not every cabinet matched perfectly, but close enough where people could not tell unless it was pointed out.

Then I would clean, scrub and sand the cabinets, prime them, and paint with 2-3 coats of high-quality paint via brush.

The end result was a "brand new" kitchen using reclaimed cabinetry, for less than $1000 in materials + my time. The tenants absolutely love them, and I've noticed over the years they've held up extremely well even with renters beating up on them.

A family member of mine does cabinet refinishing as a profession in an upscale area where kitchens are massive and custom built. He uses a professional sprayer and it's really high-end stuff he's working with. His cabinets are done looking like they came right from the showroom. He charges $8,000-$20,000 for this depending on the size of the job. But these are $50k+$100k cabinets to begin with.

But that got me thinking...what about regular, not as wealthy folks who might want to redo their kitchens without spending $30k+ on brand new cabinetry? They have cabinets that function fine but are otherwise stuck in the 80s or 90s when it comes to style and color. I feel confident I could breathe new life into cabinets by refinishing and painting them. I've done it for 4 of my apartments and have a process down for doing it efficiently.

I would estimate the time to get each job done, and charge $50-$100/hr for this service. It's something I could do without hiring help to start out. I would get insurance and create a Google business/Facebook profile to start driving web traffic. The business would benefit from a basic website and pictures, customer testimonials, and referrals.

I've pondered local service business ideas for a while now - this is the best thing that came to mind considering my experience, ability, and detail-oriented nature. I'll upload a few pictures of my work.

Any thoughts?

Archipelago

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Re: Cabinet refinishing & painting - local service business idea
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2022, 12:55:56 PM »
This is generally what the 'before' cabinets look like. These ones are particularly bad, but I have restored worse.

Archipelago

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Re: Cabinet refinishing & painting - local service business idea
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2022, 12:58:16 PM »
These are some 'after' shots. They're not great pictures with good lighting. Just some 'proof of concept' pictures. All of these cabinets came with the home when I purchased it, or I found them on discount at local cabinet shops. They have all been repainted - black lowers and white uppers. Then I added new hardware.

travel2020

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Re: Cabinet refinishing & painting - local service business idea
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2022, 08:23:46 PM »
Lot of people do update their kitchen cabinets, so I suppose a couple of questions Id try to answer as a starting point:
- Are there any other providers in your area that offer this service already for the same demograhic? Even providers in other areas might be interesting as that would be helpful in figuring out offer details and other parameters
- How would your service be better than what someone could do on their own?


affordablehousing

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Re: Cabinet refinishing & painting - local service business idea
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2022, 10:51:32 AM »
I think this is a good idea that has legs. Painting cabinets takes some practice (I've never been patient enough for it) and I would gladly hire it out to you if I were in your area. This sounds somewhat akin to the niches of bathtub refinishers, acid etch and scratch repairers in windows, headliner and mobile windshield replacers. $100 an hour seems like a reasonable number to me. Perhaps try it for two friends at half price, have them write reviews, then try to put out the word on Nextdoor and see where that takes you? There's a lot to recommend, letting people keep stuff in their cabinets if you are just doing the panels, and it is a quick refresh.