Refinishing Jobs ? I dread.

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Blog entry by Doug Scott posted 10-28-2010 06:06 PM 3946 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t mind some of the things I refinish . But this is the one that I wish that I would have turned down.
I will post this one my projects , so check that out if you desire.
It’s a french door , with 15 panels of glass , the fun about this is cleaning the old paint out from the trim around each pain of glass and then getting it all sanded, but not only do you or should I say ( I ) have 15 panels but I have (TWO SIDES ) that means 30 panels . It was painted with two layers of paint to look antiqued. I’ve been on this job 5 day at approximately 12 hours each day. Keeping tract of the hours but it’s going to hard to hand this bill to the customer, Let you know how that goes!

-- Doug, Michigan,

12 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3960 days

#1 posted 10-28-2010 06:14 PM

Good luck Doug! That will be a tough one to bill fairly. Most people don’t realize just how much work goes into refinishing something like that.

-- Robb

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3738 days

#2 posted 10-28-2010 06:34 PM

Wow. Hope you gave an estimate, and that it was high enough!

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2829 days

#3 posted 10-28-2010 06:39 PM

I have a cabinet shop friend that had a TON of small window pains to refinished. It ended up being more cost effective to take out all the windows and reconstruct(to original specs) all the window frames. Just an idea, especially if the wood is just going to be repainted anyway.
Good luck either way.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3063 days

#4 posted 10-28-2010 07:53 PM

Hate to say it, but this may be one of those jobs you have to take a hit if your estimate wasn’t quite right. Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble, but I can definitely sympathize. A while back I refinished a chest that my wife got from her grandmother, and in the process realized that all of the veneer work needed to be reapplied. Forget a client—try explaining to your WIFE that a project is taking a lot longer than you originally expected! :)

Seriously, good luck finishing up in a timely manner.

-- David from Indiana --

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 2856 days

#5 posted 10-28-2010 08:28 PM

I really don’t envy you on this. Good luck getting done with it and out as unscathed as you can.

I have one of my old wooden doors still in half-finished condition from before I started with woodworking. Once I started seriously looking into it, I realized I’d rather build a new one in less time than having to get the paint off this one and fix everything up. So since it’s not a job that needs to be done, it’ll just do it’s duty ugly as it is until nothing of higher priority is left to do.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3335 days

#6 posted 10-28-2010 09:50 PM

Refinishing is definitely a royal pain in the ass… Too much work and no enjoyment.
I refinished an antique oak kitchen table and 4 chairs that my wife liked many years ago. Never again..First and last refinishing project. If I don’t built it myself it ain’t gonna be in our house.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4151 days

#7 posted 10-28-2010 10:01 PM

I’m with Manasseh, it’s probably more cost-effective to just build a new one.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Doug Scott's profile

Doug Scott

67 posts in 2986 days

#8 posted 10-31-2010 10:26 PM

I enjoy the comments you posted, and it was not to sound like I wanted sympathy, but just to point out that all jobs are not all what one wants to get involved in, I wish that all the people that one that work with this type of stuff would realize how much time is involved ,and that mess it encounters.
I get to much work like this to turn it down, but I wish the customer would realize the time that it takes,then the price would not be so hard to present. And I’m also finding out that I’m not the only one that gets this type of jobs. Thanks Guys. Let you know how much the customer said about the door.

-- Doug, Michigan,

View Doug Scott's profile

Doug Scott

67 posts in 2986 days

#9 posted 11-06-2010 06:36 PM

Well the customer was very pleased with the door, Should of charged more , I even halped him rehange the door and carry it to the basement. He has been a good customer.

-- Doug, Michigan,

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3330 days

#10 posted 11-06-2010 06:41 PM

Yep Doug when I read the title to your thread my first thought was “paint stripping” that I dislike most. That door of yours is a difficult job requiring a lot of patience. Good luck sir!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3132 days

#11 posted 11-09-2010 04:15 PM

Hi Doug. The next time you get one of these remember this one and then quote sky high! They will most likely turn it down, but it they must have it done they way you do it, make the money on it!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3187 days

#12 posted 11-09-2010 04:37 PM

For these types of jobs, take a camera to get the look on their face when you give them the bill. Then use the pic. for future reference when pricing the next one. Yeah, sometimes you have to take a hit.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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