Old Wooden Furniture: Don't Throw It Out, Refinish It for a Profit
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Old Wooden Furniture: Don't Throw It Out, Refinish It for a Profit

Salvaging old furniture

I find good solid wood furniture all the time, sometimes it's given to me, sometimes I find it being thrown out, or I find it at thrift stores like the Idaho Youth Ranch which benefits our local youth in trouble. I have managed to turn this into a little side business. You can take pieces like this and decorate in a charming rustic style or modern style just depending on the paint you use and how you decorate it. Before I take a piece I try to make sure it's relatively sound and that whatever fixes it might need can be done with a drill, some glue, sandpaper and paint. Make sure there aren't any broken or missing pieces. You can also buy unfinished furniture at various shops, however; if you are anything like me, I try to save every dollar I can, so try to find it, or buy it at a thrift store or garage sale.

Just the other day I was walking my dog and my neighbors were throwing out 4 perfectly good chairs. I went and got my truck, picked them up and brought them home. I turned these into a patio set and a step stool. First I took three of the chairs that were in the best condition and tightened all the screws. One had a broken rung which was easily repaired with wood glue. One had a loose back so I removed the back off of it and it is now a small table that goes with my patio set. I removed the back off of the extra chair and it's now a foot stool.

Next I sanded them all down, a palm sander is real helpful here, using 100 grit sand paper, heavier grit is needed if there is paint still on them but these were raw wood. Taking a dry paint brush I swept all the dust off to get ready to paint. If you are planning to resell or keep these you need to have an idea of how you want them to look. If it's for yourself you just need to think of your decor. Right now I have a BSU Bronco's coffee table in my music room, a dragon fly table that matches my green couch in my living room along with a modern chair that I painted and reupholstered the cushion in zebra print, and of course the patio furniture I just finished last week.

If you are selling them first think of where you are going to sell it and make it marketable. I have sold tables with strawberries, tulips and various other types of flowers on them that sell well at boutiques. We also have a local auction but there your running a risk of not getting what they are worth in terms of time and energy spent on an individual piece. You won't get rich doing this but if your pieces are unique enough you should pick up a few extra dollars.

Another good tip is to take stuff you don't need and trade it. I put a Dremel on craigs list a couple of weeks ago with a note that I would trade for wooden boxes or barrels. Within a few days I got  a response and traded for three window boxes that I painted to match my patio furniture, all are in a pretty robins egg shell blue, I lined them with plastic, filled them with dirt and now I get to enjoy watching the flowers grow. This project, patio furniture and window boxes is a total of 7 pieces-2 chairs, 1 table, 3 window boxes and 1 Tiki lamp cost me out the door under $35, many years of enjoyment, Priceless.

Wood chairs and table-free

1 qt exterior paint-$7

100 grit sand paper-$3

Plastic liner-$7

Bag of long screws-$2

Potting soil-$2


Tiki Lamp on Sale-$6

Mineral spirits-$5

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Comments (1)

I think the chair which is their these are something one can make by

his own hands and you shair very valuable information of how to make

it done.

I think every one of us have the creativity of making something which is the unique .

every one of us throws old furniture and take new one no one think creative in such way to make it new and more interesting.

you are sharing some nice and informative points