10 Tips For Finding Furniture to Upcycle

Repurposed Furniture

If you ever feel like you scour places endlessly looking for furniture pieces to paint, this Top10 list is for you!

These tips are in no particular order, however, most do require that you set a budget (and stick to it) and create relationships (i.e., let people know what you do, what you are looking for, and provide your contact information) either online or in person. And once you find the options from this list that work best for you, you’ll have more time to repurpose furniture. Now that’s time well spent.

  • Friends & Family: Alert family and friends both in person and on your social media sites to contact you if they plan to sell any furniture pieces. This tactic also helps them to avoid storing or disposing of items.
  • Roadside Finds: What’s better than finding a piece of furniture with a “free” sign on the side of the road? Of course, it has to be in good enough condition to repurpose, and it must fit in the back of your vehicle.

  • Non-Profit Organizations (i.e., Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity Restore): These community-based entities spread lots of social good. You can make purchases confident that these non-profits will reinvest their store proceeds according to their missions.
  • For-Profit Organizations (i.e., Savers, antique stores, consignment shops): These stores typically have all sorts of items from clothing to furniture. It’s best to make relationships with the owners or managers so that they will contact you when new items arrive.

  • Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, Online Ads: If you can scroll aimlessly on your computer for hours, you might want to time block this activity. Setting a budget, a specific location, and a driving distance can help to further hone your search.
  • Pickers: They make their living picking antiques and collectibles. Pickers truly do all the work so you don’t have to!
  • Estate Sales & Garage Sales: These sales can have some great furniture deals. You typically find a better selection/higher prices early in the day and a poorer selection/cheaper prices later in the day.
  • Recycle Centers (AKA dump): There is usually a separate area for furniture and other good stuff. Be sure to check the hours of operation (usually weekends only).
  • Weekend Markets/Antique Flea Markets: The type and variety of goods vary from market to market so be sure to do your research. It can, however, be lots of fun to wander through these markets, especially in the summer and fall in New England.

  • Shop Your Home or Make Your Own: Oftentimes you can find amazing furniture pieces in your own home hiding in an attic, basement, or shed. And, inspired by Pinterest, you may also be able to build furniture from items you have around the house.

Let me know if I forgot your favorite place to find furniture to upcycle in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, happy painting!

Sustainably Inspired
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