Revisted: Top Five Furniture Picking Tips

I am super busy right now finishing up some pieces for clients, but unfortunately don't have any reveals to share right now. I always get a lot of questions about how I find my non-client pieces, so I wanted to revisit my Top Five Tips for Furniture Picking that I put together back in January. I hope they inspire you to find some pieces of your own to paint.

Let's turn some trash into treasure! So, I recently shared with you my new obsession for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® along with all the cool things I have been refinishing. Well, I have run out of furniture to paint around my house, so I have been out on the hunt for used items around town. Furniture picking for newbies can be intimating, so I have come up with some tips I have learned from my recent hunting trips.

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Top 5 Furniture Picking Tips

1. Have low expectations.

Go into your picking adventures with no expectations of finding something really cool for a great price- or anything at all for that matter. It took me four trips to different Goodwills and salvage stores over the span of a couple of weeks before I found my first worthy piece. I also emailed about 25 people on Craigslist before I was able to secure a sale. When you go in with little expectation of finding something, it makes it that much sweeter when you do.

2. Set a budget.

Select a top price that works for you and stick to it. My goal is to not spend anything over $50 for a large piece like a dresser or hutch and $10 for a night stand or end table. If your goal is to sell pieces, you want to keep your cost low as possible for a better profit. And if it is something for your home, you still don't want to overpay for something you will ultimately be putting a lot of time and resources into.

3. Learn to negotiate.

I am so intimidated by negotiating prices. I would normally just fork over the marked priced, but when it comes to used furniture- consider it a jumping off point. You have nothing to lose by asking for a reduced price. This is what my guru sales hubby calls "the cost of no deal." If the seller lets you walk away, they are missing out on a potential sale. You, on the other hand, can just move onto the next store and next piece. Remember, you hold the power. 

4. Don't get emotional.

This is another hard one for me. I am super sensitive and can get worked up quite easily. Don't fret when you lose out on a piece you really wanted. You don't  want to get caught up and pay more for something than it is worth. There is plenty of used furniture out there to go around.

5. Be selective.

Don't buy just anything. I go for real wood items not composite, plywood, particle board or veneers. Usually, you will be able to tell by sight and touch if the piece is real wood. When in doubt, use the "lift" test. Wood equals heavy. Also, try to imagine what the item will look like painted. Ornate pieces with a lot of detail will work the best. Stay away from modern pieces with straight lines; they won't distressed well. Lastly, check the drawer or back of the item to see who produced it. If you find a Thomasville or Ethan Allen item, snatch it up. These guys have been around for a long time and make quality furniture.  

Look at this beauty I picked up from Goodwill. Check back on Monday to see the reveal of this refinishing project.
I hope you can use these tips the next time you find yourself at a salvage store or flea market. Happy hunting!