If you’ve been following me for a while then you know I love to refinish furniture. I have participated in a bunch of Thrift Store Challenges with a group of other bloggers, where we are asked to find something at a thrift store, garage sale, Facebook Marketplace or even waiting for the garbage trucks at the curb, and revamp it or even just style it in our homes.
I usually do a piece of furniture. At first, I kept all the pieces I redid. I quickly started running out of room in my house and thought, hmmmm, maybe I could sell some of this stuff. And guess what, I tried it and was able to make some decent money at it.
Here is how I make extra money flipping furniture.
How to find items…
Dumpster Dive….The best finds are the free ones. I have a few friends that are always on the lookout for me and aren’t afraid to dumpster dive for me and bring me things from other peoples trash! My husband ALWAYS seems to find me items all over town. And lots of my other friends are nice enough to ask me if I want something they are giving away or getting rid of. Plus of course, I am always on the lookout too. Here are a few if my favorite free finds that I made over.
Thrift Stores…I have a few favorite thrift stores I visit often and have found some great deals. The Goodwill near me has good stuff, but is hit or miss, just like any thrift store. In any case, I have found some great things! Here is one of my favorite flips from there. I bought this for $19.99 and fixed it up. I liked this one so much I ended up keeping it. You can see the full tutorial here.
And here is another I found at another thrift store I like near me. I bought it for $35 and sold for $225. Not a bad profit. Here is the tutorial for this. And here you can see a tutorial on how I applied the stencil.
Of course garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and NextDoor are also great places to find items as well.
This will depend on what you plan to do with your piece. Here is a good starting list…
paint, paint brushes, spray paint, hand sander, paint stripper, I like to use Polycrylic water based protective finish for my top coats, masks to wear while sanding, safety googles. Try to find the best deals as possible on these items. Obviously you want to spend as little as you can on the furniture pieces to make the biggest profit. Also using Chalk Paint saves you from sanding (unless you want to sand and re-stain) and you can mix your own using this recipe…
1/3 cup plaster of Paris
1/3 cup water
mix these 2 ingredients together first
then add 1 cup of paint
and stir until smooth and mixed thoroughly
Once you invest in these things you will use them over and over again. Sometimes you don’t use a whole pint or gallon of paint on one piece and will be able to use that color for several projects. So, pick a nice safe color. White is always a good choice and sells well. Certain styles sell better than others too. Farmhouse and Coastal styles are both ‘in’ right now. But I have found that my antique looking pieces are big sellers too.
You will need a good place to work. I live in Florida and am lucky enough to have a pool and a little covered nook by the pool that I use as my workshop. But, a garage space will work too.
What to do with a piece once you find it..
I have learned a lot from trial and error. If something is damaged, repair it first before painting. There are endless tutorials online if you ever get stuck. I find sticking with neutral colors works the best, although I have sold a few pieces that were pretty bright and colorful too (see below). Get creative, have fun and if you mess up, don’t worry! Most things can be fixed.
Where to list things for sale…
I have had the best luck on Facebook Marketplace. Yes, you do get a lot of people who act interested and then blow you off, but most people that are REALLY interested won’t. One bit of advice, DO NOT give out your address until you know the interested party is definitely coming. I did this a few times and it made me nervous. I usually tell them the general neighborhood I live in and then say I will give you my exact address once I know you’re on the way. Most people will understand and won’t push you. If they do, then they are not the right fit. Also if you feel safer you can meet in a neutral location, like a busy store parking lot.
Facebook also has tons of groups you can join in your area. We have a bunch of Online Yard Sale groups, and/or you can even post items to your own Facebook page.
We also have a few places in my town where you can rent a booth space in these marketplaces and sell your goods there too. Check your area for something similar.
Try to find pieces that will sell. Desks are usually popular, coffee tables, and unique antique pieces. Obviously, it may differ in your area. Some things may sell super fast and others will take longer. The object, of course, is to buy low and sell high, or as high as possible.
The bottom line…
I’m not saying I am making millions flipping furniture, but a couple hundred dollars here and there doesn’t hurt at all. And, of course, the more items you can flip the more money you can make. Ready to get your hands dirty with some fun, but hard work and get creative? Give it a try!
Any questions? Drop me a comment….