Do You Paint Pieces Professionally- Always Have A Contract

Some of you may be able to relate to this scenario ~ you learn about Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan and decide to buy some. You get it, paint something in your home and everyone loves it.

Then all of a sudden…BAM! People are asking you to paint pieces for them.

If you start doing projects for others and don’t write up a contract- you are setting yourself up for an eventual problem.

Bed with before and afterI always write up a contract using Microsoft Word. Here are some things I account for when creating one.
Old White dresser Before and after

Always list out the following in a contract:

Note the customer’s contact information such as address, cell phone, email.

Specify the dimensions of the piece. This is especially important if you quoted the piece via email. Sometimes people make mistakes in estimating the size of their furniture. If it arrives bigger than what was quoted- increase your price since you will use more materials and spend more time on it.

Note down the required preparation you will have to do, such as cleaning, sanding out scratches, applying wood filler, applying shellac, etc?

Specify the paint color(s) that are to be used.

How many coats of each color will be applied- (sometimes I note a minimum of 2 coats of paint.)

What is the type of finish your client desires? (smooth, are visible brushstrokes ok?)

If you will need to sand to reduce brushstrokes (charge more!)

Does your client want distressing? If yes, how much? Do they want it just on the corners and edges- or more aggressive distressing on even some of the flat surfaces?

Specify the top coat you will use. I prefer wax! So, specify color of wax, number of applications of wax.

Will there be gilding applied? If yes, specify how heavy it will appear and approximate locations.

Will existing hardware be used? Or will new hardware be used? If new- do new holes need to be drilled and old holes filled? (requiring wood fill & shellac)

If current hardware will be used, will it be painted or left as is?

Are you painting the hinges or not?

What about the inside of the piece? Will it be painted & waxed? (charge more!)

I like to suggest a fun color for inside drawers.

Note if there are requests to change the contract after it has been signed – the customer will potentially incur an additional expense.

Do you offer pick up and delivery to and from the customer’s home? Account for this time and expense.)

Make sure that the piece is properly stretched wrapped for delivery to ensure safety. Include the cost of all materials in your quote estimate.

I always note that the piece is to be paid in full upon delivery. If payment is not made within 30 days of completion, piece becomes the property of “your business.”

Include an image of the piece you are painting “as is” before painting.

Always ask customers if there is an example on-line of a piece they want theirs to look like once done (include that “inspiration” image and url to find it again on line in the contract.) This will be very helpful for you when you go back to the contract later in time since it will remind you all that you need to do!

Add a notation that all hand painted pieces will have unique characteristics.

And lastly- the more detailed architecture on a piece of furniture equates to more time you will spend painting and waxing. Always make sure to account for that in your quote calculation.

I personally like to paint the back of all pieces I do and the bottom (but do not wax.) The “bottom” meaning if you were laying on the ground looking up – it is all painted!

Protect yourself after delivering the furniture by including a care tag for the customer so they know how to properly maintain their painted piece! I wrote a post with some suggestions on what to include in your care tag. Click HERE to read that post.

And lastly, I add a note that the “delivery date” is a target date and based on being a small business- adjustments may happen. (I do this cover to myself in case of delays) Have the customer sign off and date your contract and give them a copy. This was especially helpful last month when my husband and I experienced quite a few deaths in our families. For four weeks in a row, we lost someone. Between calling hours and funerals and emotional stress- it impacted me and my work schedule.
Well, I hope that this information helps you in regards to some of the things I account for in a custom painting contract. It is so important that you not only deliver an incredible, high quality piece to your customers that knocks their socks off, but also- protect yourself from a business perspective. Now- if you can help me in return….. : )

If you ever need to purchase Annie Sloan Products –I would hope you would consider doing so through me! (The Purple Painted Lady) I ship out every week day all over the US. I included a link below to my on-line shop below. We offer the lowest flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same. Also- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you. (my shameless but honest plug) And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project! And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!
Rochester Woman Mag Ad Proposal before and after
And lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a comment on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady. Click HERE to access my Facebook page.

Stay warm everyone!
Trish ~ The Purple Painted Lady

If you are interested in the child’s bed I did above- it was an additional project from the mural job I completed at a home. After I was done with the walls- I just felt the bed needed to weight the room better- so I stained it and added simple store bought letters that I painted in animal prints. I used Velcro to attach the letters. Super easy and cute! Here are some images of the mural I did.

Train The Little Engine That Could
Zebra JACKS Full wall shot
monkey elephant
lion with grass

Do You Paint Pieces Professionally – Always Wrap Pieces Before Delivering

Do you paint pieces of furniture for customers?

If yes, do you use stretch wrap to prepare them for delivery back to your customer?…

If your answer is “no” – you really need to get some. The stuff is awesome!

Stretch wrap

Today we are delivering a hutch and a buffet that I painted with Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan using the color Graphite. I mixed three (1 ounce) bottles of India Ink in with the Graphite and it made the Graphite become a deep, rich black!

During the move, we are touching the hinges on the trailer, opening doors to get out, and the weather may not always be picture perfect. So, the stretch wrap totally protects a painted piece from all of those variables. And since the piece is painted in black- any little thing will be visible on it. Just like the example that in dark colored cars- finger prints, dirt and dings are more easily seen compared to light colored cars. Seriously- next time you are on the road- pay attention to the black cars and see how obvious the dirt is versus a white car. However, in my case- it does not matter what color I have painted a piece- every piece gets the “white glove” treatment and I use commercial stretch wrap all over to protect it.

Buffet Graphite India Ink Jan 2014

So, do you like the buffet? My customer requested that it be painted first with Greek Blue and then finished in “black.” The inside has that “Quiet Riot” effect that Annie Sloan references in her one of her awesome books since I painted the inside in Greek blue.

hutch buffet 2014 January Lower name

And- since this was painted in Graphite- by using stretch wrap, it really eliminates the issue of finger prints all over it. I just recommend that you wrap your piece just before it leaves your shop and unwrap it immediately once in place at your customer site.

So, if you paint pieces for customers, give them the “white glove” treatment and invest in some stretch wrap. It is awesome since it protects the piece and an additional benefit, is that it keeps doors and drawers from opening during the move. You do not need to worry as much if it is sprinkling out or in my case, snowing! It also looks very professional!

Uline is a great source for stretch wrap. Check out Uline HERE.

And….if you are interested in purchasing India Ink- click HERE.

If you are interested in purchasing Graphite Chalk Paint – click HERE.

Are you interested in purchasing one of Annie’s books – click HERE.

So, if you think the information I share here on my website is helpful- please consider LIKING my Facebook page. Click HERE to access my Facebook page and make sure to click the “LIKE” button that is to the right under the banner photos across the top of the page.
Facebook Interest Feed

Thanks so much!

Option For Making Graphite Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint® decorative paints by Annie Sloan are beautiful and I personally, love the color of Graphite.

It is a rich color -close to being a slate, or think …dark pencil lead. And depending on the orientation of the surface painted- it can appear darker or lighter. It does have depth and interest- and clearly plays wonderfully with other pieces painted in a true black. When decorating a room- try to avoid the whole “Matchy-matchy” approach. Layer texture, patterns and hues of color – including various shades of black.

WANT TO PLACE AN ON LINE ORDER WITH The Purple Painted Lady? Jan. 6th

WANT TO PLACE AN ORDER WITH The Purple Painted Lady?

We are implementing an amazing NEW shopping cart software on our website this week- with a GO LIVE of 1/13/14- during this transition period- if you have any difficulty with the old shopping cart- please, just CALL ME!


I will take your order over the phone and & we are adding surprises to packages just as a consolation of this extra step!

OR – feel free to email your order of the items you would like, ship to address and your phone number – then when you call- I will have your total ready! Email me at and label your email “Order to be placed!.” Thanks!!!!

French Gilding Wax – How I like to apply it (VIDEO)

I like to say that French Gilding Wax is a great way to “Ohh La La” with minimal “Mooh La La!” I know that is a bit cheeky, but it is true.

Are you impatient like me- skip reading my post and go straight to the GILDING WAX VIDEO – CLICK HERE

The Purple Painted Lady sells French Gilding Wax here on-line HERE and in our Macedon and Solvay locations.

French Gilding Wax adds sparkle to your projects. Gilding waxes are the closest thing to the look of real gold leaf but are infinitely easier to apply and come in 6 stunningly beautiful colors. We have Renaissance Gold, Empire Gold, King Gold, Copper, Silver, and Pewter/Tin available. You can mix the French Gilding Wax for a multitude of color variations like Platinum and Gold Leaf.

Here is my “HOW TO” to suing French Gilding Wax:

Most importantly- Gilding Wax is used LAST in the sense of project’s process.

I like to use the analogy of decorating a cake. You add the pretty roses to it after you are done frosting. You do not re-frost your cake after adding roses. This same example applies to the Gilding Wax. After you have painted, distressed, waxed- then add your Gilding!

Gilding Wax is easy and fun to use. It adds a little sparkle to any project, no matter if it is humble or grand. It is perfect to emphasis detail of a piece, especially if it is ornate. But even using it in a subtle way on a simple cabinet, cam really add a little drama!

Duck Egg blue Primer Red Cabinet display Close Up

No fancy tool, I just literally opened the top of the 30 ml glass container and using my finger- lightly touched the creamy Gilding Wax. It has a smooth-silky feel to it! Very luscious. The reason I like to apply Gilding Wax using my pinkie or index finger is because I can gauge exactly where it is being placed. I have better control using my finger. I only put a VERY SMALL amount in a small spot on my finger since I do not want to be sloppy and get the Gilding Wax in an area- that I did not intend for it to be.


However, if it does get on an area where it should not be use a little of Annie’s Clear Wax on a rag and wipe off the extra gilding- this works like a charm! OR…worse case scenario….use a very little amount of mineral spirits on a Q-tip and lightly touch the area and wipe. Note though- mineral spirits effects ALL wax so you want to make sure you have minimal on your Q-tip or it will effect your wax finish. (I hope that makes sense)

By dipping a small brush 1” or 2” brush into mineral spirits wiping the excess on a paper towel, then dipping into the wax you can create a beautiful metallic glaze for your entire piece.

Mixing the gilding waxes together allows you a larger range of colors in which to make your piece unique. Try mixing Silver and Brass or Empire for an exceptional platinum color.

Now – to contradict the “finger” application noted above – another great way to use the French Gilding Wax is by taking a a little mineral spirits, placing it in another container and add a little Mineral Spirits to it. By doing this, you create a metallic glaze that you can use a brush to gently apply to your painted pieces. Use the Gilding glaze strategically or all over- either way- you will love it!

I was playing around the other day with a sample board at the shop. First I painted it with Antoinette Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan and then – while it was still wet- wiped a good amount of the Chalk Paint™ off. Not sure why I chose to do that- but I did.

Although the washed off sample board had a simple look- I still thought it was pretty. But then I realized how much nicer it would be by applying a little French Gilding Wax.

Immediately I realized how the French Gilding Wax transformed something that was simple & pretty- to something that was haute & exquisite.

French Gilding Wax is so easy to use!

Using my pointer finger, I rubbed some of the Empire Gold Gilding Wax to my sample board…and WOW! The areas I wanted to accentuate- danced with luster. The French Gilding Wax was incredibly easy to use and I immediately started to think of all the projects I plan on using this with.

2 HOUR Hands-On Chalk Paint® Workshop, Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 starting at 12 NOON

Looking to try Chalk Paint® but are hesitant? Come to our 2 HOUR Hands-On Chalk Paint® Workshop, Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 starting at 12 NOON.

The cost of this event is $40 per person and you can register HERE

Old White dresser Before and after

I like to joke and say- “help me paint a piece of MY furniture!”

Yes, this is my savvy way of getting free labor. LOL! Well, part if that is a little true, BUT I do guarantee, 100% that you will walk away from our time together feeling very confident and knowledgeable to go home and conquer your own projects!

In this class I share information about the Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan and show you on how I approach a painting project.

This workshop begins with cleaning the piece- to how I paint furniture to get the best results.

This is a casual hands-on introductory 2 hour demo – where you participate!

All who attend will receive a $2.00 discount off of any Chalk Paint® quarts the day of the workshop!

Chalk Paint® Sample Pots ARE BACK IN STOCK!!!

It must be Christmas since Sample Pots- Glorious Chalk Paint® Sample Pots ARE BACK IN STOCK!!!

(And boy- you were all very patient for them too. Well, some of you that is. LOL)

All 31 luscious colors too!

If interested in them on-line, please visit our on-line store HERE.

The Purple Painted Lady ships same day (Monday through Friday) and offers low flat rate shipping…and we often include goodies in your package too.

Happy Holidays!
Christmas 2013 Danni in color

Paint Deliveries During December (Baby, it’s cold outside!)

Do you get as excited as I do when I see that big brown UPS truck pull into your driveway? Or perhaps it is a white truck if having something delivered via FedX. Especially when waiting for your Chalk Paint® order to arrive.

UPS Truck deliver
The busiest shipping day of the year is in a week. UPS, based in Atlanta, predicts that it will pick up more than 34 million packages on the busiest day, Monday, Dec. 16 and then deliveries will peak at 29 million the next day.

Just a couple reminders…if you are starting to plan a purchase…… do it sooner versus later. The Purple Painted Lady ships same day- but with added demand in the whole UPS system- typical UPS shipping times are increased during December. So, please do not procrastinate if in a hurry or have an upcoming project or deadline.

Also- regarding outdoor temperatures:

Keep in mind- any time you use a product- be it paint, hairspray, perfume…temperature and humidity can impact its performance. With it being so COLD right now across North America- I would caution you to not paint in your garage or outside. And when it comes to paint deliveries, as soon as you get home- if a box was left for you outside on a porch or garage…get it in to room temperatures ASAP.

Don’t panic! Give your product a good 24 hours to get acclimated to room temperatures before opening or shaking. Patience is a virtue here and allow the product to truly get to room temperature on its own.

Heat and cold can effect products. For example- in heat- one of the components of Annie’s wax and Miss Mustard Seed’s wax is bee’s wax. Bee’s wax has a relatively LOW melting point range of 144 to 147 °F. I have never done a study- but the back of the big brown UPS trucks are not air conditioned and I am sure they can get pretty warm! So, when it is hot- do not try to expedite the process by placing it in the freezer.

Or- now that it is cold….. do not try to expedite the process by heating up products somehow. Be patient and allow it to get to room temperature naturally!

When it comes to painting in extreme temperatures – it will effect your outcome. Make sure your paint products and the piece you are painting are at room temperature! <9>

When the heat is high, it causes the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly. This can lead to a “crackle” like finish on parts of your piece. That could be great, if you want your piece to have a crackle finish…but terrible, if that is not the end result you were looking for.

You want to paint and wax your pieces in ambient temperature … that range could be between 55 – 85 degrees. Although at the lowest and highest end of that range- you still need to be cautious.

Also, as you may be aware- Chalk Paint® is a bit thicker in comparison to some paints. You do not want your paint to become thicker in the quart due to it drying or water evaporating when hot outside. If for some reason – this does happen. Add a small amount of water and incorporate totally to determine if more is needed. You can always add more water, but if you add too much- you are stuck. : ) So keep this in mind when painting and the phone rings. Cover your paint before getting lost in a 30 minute phone conversation.

I like to share with my female customers in my NY store, if you leave hairspray in your car over night in the winter when we can have temperatures in the teen’s here, you would not expect it to perform. Paint and wax are no exception.

When waxing a piece of furniture- please do that in an area that the temperature will allow the wax to dry and harden.

I recently received this message via my business Facebook page from Marci Jo about Chalk Paint® freezing:

HELP! my five cans if chalk paint were inadvertently left in my bag porch while moving stuff around in my dining room. They froze last evening!!!!!!!! Will they be ok? I’m sure not….. I’m devastated….

My response to her was this:

Your paint SHOULD be ok…. The Chalk Paint® should be able to go through a couple freeze cycles- but there is NO guarantee on this and you want to avoid this if all possible. I suggest that you bring them inside- which I am sure you did already. Give them a few days to get back to room temperature on their own. (meaning do not try to heat them up to expedite the process) Then shake the can and open. Chalk Paint® can with stand some temperature abuse, but not repeated and there is no guarantee on performance long term when it is not kept or used at conditions required.

Thanks all and I hope you are staying warm!!!!!

Free Wax Clinics- What Our Customers Say Afterward

We host FREE Wax Clinics usually on a monthly basis. We do this to help our customers get the most of their purchased products. We want them know the best way to apply Clear Wax to their painted furniture.

Click HERE to view a little video snippet from one of our clinics.

Thanks to Kim from Dearly ReLoveIt and Mary who attended this one and for allowing me to video them! Note to viewers- Mary was really enjoying the waxing process and spent more time rubbing than necessary! Most importantly- listen to what they share regarding their lessons learned.

Lastly- here are some additional helpful thoughts we wanted to share from the day:

Again, The Purple Painted Lady offers the very best customer service. We host FREE clinics all the time- to share with our customers the best way to use the products that we sell. We want to help our customers get the most out of their products so they can create a beautiful finished piece the first time they use product! Hope you would consider being part of our customer base- you are not just an “order” when you purchase on line from The Purple Painted Lady. We always hand write a note to you and are here for you if you need us – once your package arrives! If interested in purchasing Clear Wax- click HERE.

Some Tips To Remember: (Feel free to add your suggestions below too!)

1. Wax in good light! (and in the correct temperature)
2. As for the temperature- as we approach winter- if you do your projects out in the garage- anything under 60 degrees creates a variable in your outcome. (I prefer 65 to 75 degrees)
3. Use your eyes to determine if you have good uniform coverage. When doing a large piece- take a few steps back periodically and look at it. The Chalk Paint® will appear a bit darker where the wax is- and lighter where the wax is not.
4. Use your hands to determine if you have good coverage or too much wax. Glide your fingers over the area you are waxing when you think you are done with the application in one spot. It will feel a little cool and there should not be any drag.
5. A light application of wax is all that is necessary when applying wax – you want it to be applied like hand moisturizer. Rub the wax in. You do not want your piece to feel greaser or feel slathered with wax. And always remove the residual wax immediately after applying it.
6. Don’t slather your wax- since you will be removing the excess. You only waste your wax that way.
7. If you feel you see differences with light and dark areas in your wax- you probably do not have enough wax on. Apply a little more per instructions and even out the area.
8. Always remove the residual wax immediately after applying it. We all felt that using Cheese Cloth to remove the wax- worked the best! HERE is a link to order the best grade Cheese Cloth for removing wax.
Cheese cloth height
9. On pieces that get a lot of use- multiple layers of wax is best.
10. Always blend your wax sections if working on a large piece.
11. Have the right tools! We love to apply wax with a wax brush and remove wax using cheese cloth.
And take care of your tools. Clean them when done. HERE is a link to the Ultimate Wax Brush.
12. Hold your wax brush comfortably- you should not be gripping it tensely.

Wrong way to hold Wax BrushHow to hold a wax brush

13. Have paper plates and plastic spoons available and then scoop some wax out of your tin. When waxing over Chalk Paint®, you will have a little chalky paint transfer back onto your wax brush. You do not want to contaminate all of the wax in the tin with that. (especially if working a bright colored piece) wax brush chalk paint transfer

14. In the future- you know when you may need to re-wax when you go to buff your piece, and no longer get the sheen you desire. Re-waxing is typically not something that needs to be done in a few months or even a year. A lot comes down to how much abuse your piece gets. A kitchen tabletop that gets washed daily is very different than a bedroom dresser.
15. Always clean waxed pieces with a damp cloth. If additional cleaning is necessary- use a gentle/mild soap that does NOT contain a degreaser!
16. Wax continues to cure and harden for a whole month- so please do not take your finger nail and try to scratch it as a test. (same goes for chalk paint®)
17. Alcohol and anything acidic is an enemy to wax! Do not peel a grapefruit on top of your waxed table.
18. Use place mats on a waxed table top and blotter pads on a waxed desk top.

It’s 10pm- Do You Know Where Your Stockist Is?

Hi all,

I just thought about all of you who called or emailed me today. I hope that the service we provide to you conveys are appreciation that you are a customer to us!

Then I thought I would share with you what I am doing. And that made me think of this:

“It is 10:00pm – do you know where your Chalk Paint® stockist is?” – which made me laugh!

Paint EZE mermaid dresser waxingSo, just in case you are one of my customers- I wanted to share with you that I am at my shop waxing the “Mermaid” dresser that I painted a while ago.

I added a little wash of Pure White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan first though.

See those little bottles on top of the dresser? I store my paint in them and think they are absolutely brilliant! If interested in learning more or would like to purchase one- just click HERE.

I hope you all have sweet dreams!