What to look for when buying furniture to reLove
I have been asked several times over the past few months, what to look for when buying furniture to reLove. So I wanted to share my criteria with you on what to look for when purchasing vintage furniture to repaint.
The very first thing I look for is solid wood. If the piece is made from particle board or laminate, that is usually a deal breaker for me.
Next, I look at the construction and how well it’s made. Do the drawers have dovetail joints? Are they just nailed (or worse stapled) together? Does the piece have good bones? Are there any finely carved details? Anything special or unusual about the piece?
I also look for markings indicating the manufacturer. Sometimes you can find a stamp, stencil or label inside a drawer or on the back. If you find the piece to be made by a reputable company, it is usually a good indication of the quality and durability. Plus, I think its just fun to know the history behind the furniture! Wouldn’t that be awesome if someone made a sort-of-Ancestry.com for furniture! I’d be on there all day!!
Damage: Cosmetic vs. Structural
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying furniture to repaint is damage. You need to really examine the piece and decide what type of repairs you can handle and how much time you are willing to invest. You also have to know when to just walk away…
Don’t let cosmetic damage scare you though. Scratches, scuffs, dents, and bruises can easily be repaired. Loose joints can be tightened and re-glued. Chipped veneer can be patched, but if large pieces are missing, that’s a bigger project. It’s not hopeless though.
Do the drawers open and close easily? If not, why? Broken or missing drawer glides can be fixed or replaced… a warped drawer, however, not so much…
I usually shy away from structural cracks and broken wood. If half of the side is busted off, and the guts are missing- that might be a bigger project than I’m looking for (or is it?…)
Think Outside the Dresser
Lastly, I NEVER, EVER, EVER give up on a piece of furniture without putting on my repurposing glasses*- Dressers can be made into TV Consoles, Bookcases, or Coffee Tables. Drawers can easily function as display shelves, or the fronts can become reLoved signs or chalkboards.
*Repurposing Glasses ~n~ (re·pur·pos·ing glass·es)
1. Imaginary optical instrument consisting of a pair of lenses for improving creative vision, allowing the user to view objects with a new purpose and function.
2. The reason I am booked on an upcoming episode of the show Hoarders and currently banned from purchasing any more furniture from CraigsList. See my CraigsList Junkie post
Now speaking of repurposing glasses, my friends over at Dave & Jayne’s Furniture Fix have the most awesome eye for repurposing around! I wanted to share two of my favorite “fixes with you. These guys really know how to “think outside the dresser”
This used to be a orphaned dresser with a missing drawer. Dave cut it down, and made it into this beautiful cabinet that can serve as a coffee table, TV console, or bench at the foot of the bed! I’m convinced, I NEED this in my life!
And how’s this for unique? Here’s another dresser that was missing the top drawer. It was cut down and repurposed into this cute little chair, with a bottom drawer for storage. The remaining drawer became the ottoman! G-E-N-I-U-S!!!
Please stop by Dave and Jayne’s Furniture Fix Facebook page, and let them know what wonderful fixer’s they are!
I’d love to hear from you. What’s on your list when looking for furniture to repaint? …Have I missed anything? What’s a deal breaker for you?