Re: Hourly rate for Brightwork
Many self-employed folks, if they are really running a business, buygin insurance, putting away vacation pay and retirement and paying social security just like any real business does, are paying themselves about 1/3-1/4 of their "rate".
So while I wouldn't be surprised to find some guys off the truck working for $10 an hour, I wouldn't expect them to know how to varnish teak properly. How to get a real mirror finish with zero bubbles in it. Off the truck. I'd expect to pay at least $25/hour for someone who knew varnish. On the books? Yeah, I'd expect $50, $65, even $75 just depending on reputation and competition.
If you've got a painter working for $12/hour...give him some scrap redwood to practice on, and if he can do, you've also given him a lucrative new career!