Asked on Nov 19, 2013

How much would you charge to paint (Annie Sloan),wax, kitchen cabinets

Kelly Wivell
by Kelly Wivell

I was asked to paint with Annie Sloan paint, wax, distress, dark wax a ladies kitchen cupboards, and two bathrooms on a seperate estimate. How much would you charge to paint kitchen cabinets? How much Old White paint do you think I'd use? Kelly

  43 answers
  • Carole Carole on Nov 19, 2013
    I think you need to measure up the kitchen units and get the total square footage or square metres then you may be able to estimate how much paint you will need. Will you need more than one coat. I would think ASCP will say on the tin how much the tin size will cover?? Same story for the bathrooms. If you charge by the hour instead of by the job that might help you out with the price?? It would be hard to know how long it will take you if you have not tackled a job this size before and then there are always little hiccups along the way. Of course you need to factor in the cost of the paint and any other items you will need such as drop cloths, sandpaper, brushes clean up stuff etc. Hope this helps!
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 20, 2013
    yeah, I took my tape over to measure too!
  • Z Z on Nov 20, 2013
    Has she gotten any other estimates from professional painters? That could help you know how long it would take. Granted if you're new at this it will take you longer than a professional, especially if they'd use a spray gun. Whatever you do make sure you OVER estimate you time and supplies. It's always better to tell your client when you are finally finished that it's going to cost them less than what you expected than more than you expected.
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 20, 2013
    she only asked me, friend of a friend.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 20, 2013
    It is my understanding that AS paint is thicker and thus does not cover as much space as would any other paint. I have never used it but I have continually read here that it does not require a sealer coat first and will cover anything in 1 coat! Keep in mind that if you do not have any experience in this, it could become a very costly experience for you...and you might lose a good friend. If she cannot afford a professional and is not going to help you, then you need to turn down the job. Kitchens are extremely hard work in everything you do in one. Keep in mind that the inside of the cabinets need to be painted too...and these are difficult, confined spaces that will probably double (or more) your expected time! Perhaps a spray gun could be used inside and a good kitchen/bath paint should probably be used instead of the expensive AS paint. And keep in mind the time it will take. We had a small segment added to our kitchen years ago and I was shocked at the time it took to stain and put on 2 coats of varnish! Even drawers add more paint and work!
  • Alchemy Vintage Decor Alchemy Vintage Decor on Nov 20, 2013
    A friend of mine asked me to paint her kitchen I persuaded her to do it her self it took 1 tin of Chalk Paint and a couple of days she then used polyvine clear matt decorators varnish to seal it - depending on the colour you may need two coats of chalk paint so allow extra time for that if the paint is too thick water it down two thin coats are better than 1 thick one good luck x
  • Alchemy Vintage Decor Alchemy Vintage Decor on Nov 20, 2013
    This is the kitchen she did with 1 tin
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 20, 2013
    I'm not painting the inside, only outside and doors?
  • Amy Rohde Amy Rohde on Nov 20, 2013
    Man, I can't wait to see the finished product. Her beautiful counters and backsplash are lost on these old cabinets. It costs $2 - $5k for a professional job, depending upon size and complexity. Will you have to sand them first? It's really a lot of work - don't sell yourself short unless you want to gift her.
  • Vicki O Vicki O on Nov 21, 2013
    decide how much an hour your time is worth. add up the cost of all your supplies and double that at least. put it in print and both sign. don't feel strange about it either after all it's business.
  • I did my kitchen (similar size) and it took just over 2 quarts, plus about 1 tub of wax. It took me about 20 hours to complete altogether. If it was me, I would charge no less than $500 for labour, plus the cost of paint and wax. It's going to be gorgeous when it's done. My kitchen has stood up for a year without any issues - I clean it regularly with soap and water and the wax has held up really well.
  • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Nov 21, 2013
    I know with Annie Sloan you don't have to prime but to save you from doing two coats, I suggest using a primer to keep costs down. I paint with Annie Sloan all the time and it does help with the costs to prime. Then your only applying one coat of Annie Sloan. I would charge by the hour for the time your there plus materials. You will most likely use two cans of Annie Sloan and one can of wax, that's $150.00 right there. good luck hope this helps
  • Sarah Jackson Sarah Jackson on Nov 21, 2013
    As VIcki O said, double your cost. The rule of thumb professional contracts use is add up the cost of materials, double that and that is what they charge for the job. On the legal side, also be sure and put in the contract that this is an "estimate" as there can always be some unforseen problem that can happen. If you do a google search for "sample estimate", or something similiar you can get an idea of how to phrase your estimates to protect yourself.
  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Nov 21, 2013
    Tobey is correct. Annie Sloan is a thicker paint but you won't be able to do this job with one coat. You should prime if you want to keep costs down IF that is a concern. However the distressing will be affected if you prime with a primer. It is possible to use a regular latex flat white to prime and save money but it will take two coats of whatever paint you use. Because this is high traffic area (usage) you should keep wax and a Matte finish in mind or she will have some heartaches real soon. Just a thought from someone with many years of experience.
    • Tobey McCool Tobey McCool on Nov 22, 2013
      @Debbie Harris Hi Deb, I use primer all the time when I am painting and all the furniture distresses quite easily. just like it would if I was only using Annie Sloan.
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Nov 21, 2013
    If these are oak cabinets AND you are painting them white, you should seal the wood with shellac. If you don't, the tannins will come through the paint. I don't like the cabinets I did without sealing them and will most likely redo them sometime in the future. Because of this experience I did the others with shellac, primer, and gloss paint and LOVE them! Apparently this is not a problem with darker colors of Annie Sloan paint.
  • Tracy Salava Tracy Salava on Nov 21, 2013
    You could ask her to pay paint and labor separately. Just decide how much you want to be paid for your time and then have her pay for the paint as you go. You might want to get something in writing.
  • Kristi Kristi on Nov 21, 2013
    @Kelly Wivell I love Annie Sloan paint but because it's so costly I usually make my own chalk paint. Then seal with Briwax. There are a lot of recipes online but I mix 2T Plaster of Paris with a bit of water to make a "paste" and then add to two cups paint. I usually use a flat latex interior paint. With this job, I would knock the shine off with an electric sander just to ensure paint adheres well. On a project this large, I would definitely invest in an electric buffer for the wax! Good luck! Can't wait to see finished project.
  • Kim Trudel Kim Trudel on Nov 21, 2013
    I suggest that the cupboards be washed down with trisodium phosphate (TSP) and rinsed well (wear gloves!) - this will ensure most kitchen oils and stains (yes, we all have them no matter how clean we are :) ) . Then prime with a good primer like Zinser (?) which will block any oils, stains or dirt that was left behind by the TSP - the primer can be tinted to match the paint colour you choose. If you follow these two steps before you paint, you can be sure that any paint application you choose will last. As to the cost, I suggest somewhere between $75 and $100 per hour, depending on the complexity of the job. Based on your pictures, it looks like a fairly easy job. Also, since you will likely have to paint the cabinets and not just the doors, the job would go a lot smoother is you could remove the doors (after you TSP and prime them) to do the final paint application. Hope this helps. Have fun and good luck!
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on Nov 21, 2013
    I would call someone to come out and give me an estimate on doing something similar at your own home. Once they give you the estimate, you can determine from there.
  • Tegma Tegma on Nov 21, 2013
    As for the charge, I would figure out how long you think it will take you to do the job. The expense for paint etc. could be very minimal, so doubling that wouldn't be worth the work. I've done my own cabinets and it's takes a lot of time. You need to take all the cabinet doors off ( and replace them) and just that alone is a chore and very time consuming. So, once figuring the approximate hours, decide on an hourly rate and multiply that to get your total. It took me a full week to do mine, and cost less than $100 in paint and primer, so you don't want to work a whole week or more for less than $200. (Besides, this looks like a lot more cab's than I have.) Be careful if this is a friend..... often they want you to do it for next to nothing. On the other hand, if it is, you can give her a bit of a break, but don't be taken advantage of, either. Once you are, it becomes a never ending cycle as they tell their friends.
  • Sharon Hansen Sharon Hansen on Nov 21, 2013
    I'm a professional faux finisher and my base price for a small kitchen is $1200. My rule of thumb is basically $50 per door, $25 per drawer, plus add facings, sides etc. then depending on complexity of job I add extra. I take the doors down and take them to my studio or you can use clients garage, sand and clean with good degreaser. Then I do a sample area on back of door to see if paint will stick and not peel off. If peels then I know I need to prime oil primer first before painting. Doing cabinets is very labor intensive. Make sure u number doors and have some one that know how to adjust them when you put them back up because they never go back up always just right and some always need adjusting. If not then I would try paint without taking down, a lot easier.
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 21, 2013
    Sharon, I asked for $515 and she said she thought $90!!!! I said no thanks... Do you use Annie Sloan paint?
    • See 2 previous
    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Apr 09, 2014
      @Kelly Wivell She has no idea what hshe is asking. Tell her to do it herself.
  • Sharon Hansen Sharon Hansen on Nov 22, 2013
    omg! Some people are amazing! That's when I explain to them what the labor entails and that they are paying for original custom artwork. I do use the chalk paints on some furniture, usually not on cabinets, doesn't seem cost effective and I like to spray my cabinets usually. $90 you wouldn't have made any money after paints, waxes, and cleaners, you would be in the hole. And you have to use a wax or topcoat or paint washes off. Doesn't make since to spend money on counter tops backsplash, looks like nice walls and not on cabinets!
  • Direct from on top of my soap box and I'm sure that this is going to create some backlash. But, I hope you will benefit from my years of experience. 1) Sharon is correct. . . a whole kitchen is very labor intensive. We also remove all of the hinges and hardware. If you get paint in the mechanisms it will interfere with the way they work. Be sure to number each piece so you get them back in their original location or they may not fit. We have a professional crew that sprays our products which saves a huge amount of time. It is on the average 5 days for a normal kitchen with 2 experienced guys working together all day.2) Chalk paint is marketed to the DIYer who wants to skip steps. It is fine for decorative furniture and fun accessory pieces but kitchen cabinets are a different animal. They take the most wear and abuse of any surface in a home. (Exception: a boys' bathroom) I have heard mixed reviews from professionals across the country about the durability of Chalk paints on kitchen cabinets. Also keep in mind that using wax as a topcoat renders them almost impossible to repaint in the future without extensive labor. 3) Most of the time what people are wanting is the "look" that is shown using these products. IMO, there are so many different products that are tried and true that will give you that same look without these drawbacks. (Just take a look at my website: Many of these projects are over 10 years old. They look as good today as the day I left). 4) With this being said, keep in mind that if you do not like the final results, it is even MORE expensive to correct it. We are often called out to fix or change cabinets that have been done with chalk paint. We will not touch it because our professional finish is only as good as the weakest link underneath. At that point, the only remaining solution is to replace the cabinets. $$$$ One client actually said, "this has turned out to be the most expensive money-saving project I have ever done".
    • K K on Jun 20, 2016
      Hi Kass...checked out your website. Loved it...problem is I'm in NJ! Do you know anyone in NJ/PA area you can refer me to for refinishing cabinetry...similar to your bath pic in light blue? Do you use a tinted lacquer spray finish? Thanks
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 22, 2013
    Tobey, I know right?? The problem is I did a hutch for a couple for $85, way under charged. My first commission, friends , yada yada. So he asked if I would be interested in this kitchen of a lady? I said sure! Well, he told her I was just starting out, need to build my business and would do it cheap!! I was peaceful when I found that out!!!
  • Tegma Tegma on Nov 22, 2013
    Like I said, if you do it once, it will never end! One will tell another how cheap you are. I've had a business of my own and I can tell you, even tho' these women expect their husbands (& themselves) to be paid well for THEIR work, they want YOU to work for next to nothing! Is that woman crazy? $90???? You probably won't get the price of a professional at first, but it should at least be comparable to the hours of labor put into the job! I'd tell that woman to call a professional business and see what it costs. You're $515 was more than fair!
  • Waysouth Waysouth on Nov 22, 2013
    to be honest, I wouldn't want to pay an inexperienced amateur professional rates. Sharon's method of pricing seems efficient. Maybe you could use this as a learning opportunity, so long as your potential client keeps quiet! Having said that, you need to be paid, I think it's a wonderful idea she gets a professional quote, anything you ask will seem more acceptable! Good luck, I think it's a wonderful opportunity to gain experience
  • Diann Diann on Nov 22, 2013
    Remember quality work and fairness will get you added business.
  • Kelly Wivell Kelly Wivell on Nov 22, 2013
    Waysouth, I wasn't asking professional prices. People said they would charge, $1,200,$2,000 and $2,500 to do this job. I'm pretty sure I was reasonable. I don't need to get ripped off and $90 wouldn't have even covered my supplies. Diann, I was more than fair I feel. I have friends who used chalk paint and wax and it has held up well.... It's also how you take care of your property too...
  • Edward Cogan Edward Cogan on Mar 24, 2014
    I just stumbled on this discussion. I know it's outdated by now, but your $515 was incredibly fair, and I cannot imagine that a "professional" would quote much under $1,500, and that's just for labor.
  • Gir324724 Gir324724 on Apr 09, 2014
    I am a professional faux finisher and have done many chalk paint kitchens. Mine start at $5500. Islands are $1500. Ive done large ktichens for $15,000. I guess it depends on where you live. SPRAY painting them is expensive and boring.. You are giving them a hand painted hand waxed finish. compare pricing to extreme custom cabinets!
    • R2B Painted LLC. R2B Painted LLC. on Mar 24, 2016
      Can I please come work for u?!(jk) Bc people do not understand this where I live!!! :/ Been doing this for 15+ years, my finishes are leaps above many local "professionals" and I'm constantly told I'm too expensive. People don't understand what goes into these finishes and unless they see your process they never will understand.
  • Jennifer Jennifer on Jun 02, 2014
    This is out of context sorry but i cant find an answer anywhere. Hope you kind ladies can help me. I hve white cabinets i would like to darken with AS paint, my problem is they are vinyl covered or some crazy thing like that. They are Merrilot cabinets, 20 years old. Can i do this?
    • See 3 previous
    • Jackie Jackie on Oct 17, 2014
      @Jennifer I attended an Annie Sloan cabinet painting class two weeks ago. We were taught that you should not paint cabinets that have a vinyl covering on them.
  • Betty819 Betty819 on Jun 06, 2014
    Kelly, it sounds like you are biting off more than you can chew. This client sounds like she wants and expects a professional job but doesn't want to pay for it. What if...God forbid that they don't turn out as the client expected and she sues? Are you licensed and bonded with your county? That's an expensive lesson to think about.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Aug 03, 2014
    First off, I would not wax cabinets they take too much of a beating and cleaning. I would chalk paint then flat poly them. Other then that no way would I do a full kitchen for less then 2000.They want custom work, they have to pay for it. If you do it on the cheap, others will want it done at the same price and you will be working at a loss. Give then a list of the costs and per hour labor.
  • So here is my question....what do you charge per hour for chalk painting....anyone?
  • Carol Oswald Carol Oswald on Oct 14, 2014
    It helps to detail your expenses and your PER CABINET cost, including labor. Tell her you can do ONE cabinet for $90, and that is her discount! I am not a professional, but I would expect to pay good money for a fine finish, and I would expect it to hold up. If I were you, I would find a professional who does chalk paint finishes and pick their brain before I even attempted this one. A whole kitchen is an amazing amount of work. I would not even CLEAN all the cabinets for $90. Good thing you did not offer to do it at that price, it could have been a big hassle.
  • Lorre Hopkins Lorre Hopkins on Oct 15, 2014
    Decide what your per hour charge will be and then give her an APPROXIMATE hours it will take and give her the estimate. Labor and materials should at least be 90.00 an hour.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Oct 17, 2014
    Figure out what the supplies would cost then add 30 to 40% labor per cabinet.
  • Dawn Barbera Dawn Barbera on Oct 17, 2014
    Ive seen $22.00/hr. in our area. Hope that helps.
  • Kris Kris on Sep 09, 2016
    We had a small townhouse kitchen recently upgraded. We didn't use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because of the expense and time factor because I would have done the labor. We were moving and putting the townhouse on the market to sell and needed kitchen finishes quickly. Instead, we went with a kitchen transformation kit that cost under $100. It had a 4 step process. We hired a contractor, who charged us $800 to paint the cabinets. The kitchen had 5 upper cabinets and 4 lower ones (dishwasher took up one of lower cabinets), and 5 drawers. From answer you've received from others, that came out to a little under $90 per cabinet. For chalk paint, I would definitely charge $90 per cabinet, drawers included.
  • Sarah Mitchell Sarah Mitchell on Sep 11, 2016
    $90?!? Is she serious!!
  • Lynnette Fitzsimmons Lynnette Fitzsimmons on Apr 14, 2018

    I'm doing a kitchen right now & it’s a pretty good sized kitchen with a very large island. Started quote at $2200....,, big mistake! I should have started at $3000. This is s huge undertaking! People will pay for a “new” kitchen and quality work. Don’t under estimate! My mistake.

  • Deb K Deb K on Dec 09, 2022

    Hi Kelly, you will want to charge enough to pay for supplies, but also for your time, don't undersell your skills. Add a bit more on for incidentals as well, sorry I can't offer a price for you.