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Furniture Flipping 101

Welcome to my very first blog post all about the basics of furniture flipping! If you're new to this exciting hobby, or just looking to brush up on your skills, you've come to the right place. In this post, I'll be covering the fundamental principles of furniture flipping, including how to choose the right piece, what tools you'll need, and some basic techniques for transforming your furniture into something beautiful and unique. Whether you're looking to create a whole new look for your home decor or simply want to add a personal touch to an old piece, the tips and tricks I'll be sharing in this post will help you get started on the right foot. So grab a notebook and pen, and get ready to learn all about the basics of furniture flipping!

Picking the Right Piece

When it comes to finding the perfect furniture piece to flip, there are numerous options available. One of the most obvious choices is your own home! However, if you're searching for a new-to-you piece, you can explore online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp, or pay a visit to your local thrift store or estate sale. Personally, I prefer Facebook Marketplace for my furniture-hunting needs.

As you search for your ideal piece, keep an eye out for certain key features while avoiding others. It's important to look for pieces with "good bones" - this includes a sturdy structure, real wood frames, and dove-tailed drawers. While laminate pieces can still be refinished, you will need to use a good primer and commit to painting the entire piece. On the other hand, avoid pieces that have been previously painted, as removing the old paint can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Additionally, older pieces may have lead-based paint, which can be hazardous to remove. Take note of the base of the piece - is it a style you like or can it be changed? You can opt to cut off decorative trim with a jigsaw or replace the base with a custom one or new furniture legs.

Here are some examples of pieces I've purchased to flip:

Don't pass up the ugly ducklings! Go into your search with an open mind and let those creative juices flow!

Prepping Your Piece

To achieve a flawless finish when painting your furniture, it's crucial to start with proper prep work. First, remove any hardware such as knobs or handles before cleaning the piece with Krud Kutter, a powerful cleaner that removes dirt, grease, and grime. Next, sand the surface using coarse sandpaper to remove any bumps or rough spots. Then, switch to a finer sandpaper to create a smooth surface. This process is usually referred to as "scuff sanding". Apply wood filler to any imperfections at this time. You will usually need to do this step twice, sanding in between coats. If you are planning to stain any parts of your piece you will need to do a more detailed sanding. Remove all previous paint or stain until you are left with only raw wood. After sanding, clean the piece again with Krud Kutter to remove any dust or debris. Once the piece is dry, use a tack cloth to ensure a completely clean surface before painting. By following these steps, you'll have a perfectly prepped piece of furniture ready for a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

Painting and/or Staining

Congratulations, you've made it to the fun part of furniture flipping - painting! To ensure a successful painting process, it's important to prepare your workspace. I recommend placing a drop cloth under your furniture and using scrap wood to elevate the piece. This prevents excessive paint buildup on your drop cloth and allows you to paint every edge and angle of your piece.

When it comes to painting, you have two options - hand painting or using a paint sprayer. In my experience, using a paint sprayer results in the smoothest and most professional-looking finish. But regardless of your chosen method, it's crucial to start with a good quality primer. My go-to primers are Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, Zinsser BIN Shellac-Based Primer, and Wise Owl Stain Eliminating Primer. Apply two coats of primer, sanding between each coat for optimal smoothness.

Next, it's time for the fun part - choosing your paint color! There are countless paint brands and colors to choose from, but for furniture specifically, I highly recommend Fusion Mineral Paint. Check out my Shop tab for a link to their website. Apply 2-3 coats of paint, sanding between each coat to achieve a smooth and flawless finish.

Once you're satisfied with the coverage and finish of your painted piece, it's time for the final step - sealing it with a protective topcoat.

Sealing Your Piece

You're almost there! Now that you've put in all the hard work, it's important to protect your piece. For added durability, I recommend using Polycrylic, which comes in a range of finishes including matte, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Personally, I prefer the matte finish. Apply 2-3 coats and use a high-grit sandpaper between coats, taking care not to remove any paint. Once the final coat is dry, simply attach your hardware and your piece is complete! Now it's time to sit back, admire your handiwork, and enjoy your beautiful, newly flipped furniture.

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