24 Nov 10 Tips for Buying Used Furniture
Your home furniture is one of the reasons that you love your home. Furniture is the accessory that makes your rooms come together and helps you enjoy the amenities of a comfortable lifestyle. Since it is a large makeup of our home, we often can’t replace furniture as often as we would like. Instead of having to save up for furniture, why not buy it second-hand or reuse furniture in a different capacity? Check out these 10 tips that experience has taught us:
- 1. TRY OUT FURNITURE BEFORE YOU BUY
Wherever you purchase second-hand furniture, sample the furniture before money exchanges hands. Open up drawers in cabinets, sit in chairs and lean on tables. If an item has been damaged you need to confirm that it is still in satisfactory shape for you to start using at your home. Even if it is damaged, make sure you are confident you or someone else can fix it and pay appropriately for the condition of the piece.
- 2. TRUST YOUR SENSES WHEN BUYING SECOND-HAND FURNITURE
Furniture that has been in someone else’s home may have the odors of past owners. When buying furniture consider this in your decision. Some odors may air out, while others like pets and smoking odors may not. Don’t get so enamored in the great deal that you forget this is getting ready to be part of your home and family for years to come.
- 3. REUPHOLSTERING CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
Second-hand and old furniture may have been constructed with quality structural components and may just need a ‘facelift.’ Similar to renovating an older home, furniture was made with better workmanship and quality products years ago. Instead of passing over an old looking Queen Ann chair at an antique store, think of its potential and the money saved by not buying a brand new replica furniture piece.
- 4. LAMINATE AND VENEER FURNITURE CAN BE BEAUTIFUL
Don’t pass up veneer and laminate furniture just because it isn’t solid wood. Check for veneer adhering to the particle board or substrate material it is affixed to. Depending on where you will use the piece of furniture, laminate furniture can take more abuse and daily wear and tear than wood. Often times laminate can be glued back if it is coming apart, but be wary of pieces that have large sections not adhering.
- 5. METAL FUNRITURE MAKES GOOD SECONDS
Wrought iron or aluminum furniture is beautiful when it’s been refurbished. When you find second-hand metal furniture think of the potential as opposed to how it looks. Remove rust and repaint with a durable powder coat of outdoor paint especially made for covering metal furniture. You will be surprised how a new coat of paint will breathe life into your new find.
- 6. “ASSEMBLY REQUIRED” FURNITURE MAY NOT BE STURDY
Self-assembled furniture is a good and economical alternative to buying expensive brand name furniture. Although, when looking for furniture at second-hand locations be mindful of furniture that was self-assembled. Often times the furniture doesn’t still have all of its original pieces or may not have the original structural intent as when it was first assembled.
- 7. MAKE SURE TO REFINISH OLD FURNITURE FOR ITS NEW PURPOSE
Want to take an old dresser and use it as a bathroom vanity? This idea is one of the latest trends and works beautifully especially for antique and older furniture. Make sure to refinish the wood or other dresser material in a waterproof finish. Re-purposing furniture is a great idea but you don’t want to ruin your ‘new-found’ relic. (Read our Blog article: “Ways To Reuse Old Furniture”)
- 8. ARTS & CRAFTS SUGGESTIONS FOR MASKING IMPERFECTIONS
Have you fallen in love with a piece of second-hand furniture but it shows wear and tear on the surface? How about adding wallpaper cutouts as a form of decoupage to make a custom look? Add wallpaper, and then seal the surface with a clear sealer to the surface. The sealer will prevent the wallpaper from lifting and will deter water rings and surface marks.
One of the biggest mistakes to make is to not be prepared to take home your furniture. Many stores will hold your merchandise for a few days, while others will demand you take your furniture that day. If you know you are going to buy a couch, map out a few stores, & yard sales to go to and have a truck ready to haul off your furniture. You would hate to find something that is ‘perfect’ but then can’t get it to your home immediately.
Be careful when buying children’s furniture second-hand. Often times the furniture has been recalled and the owner wanted to get rid of it. Another important idea to remember is that it could have been damaged and fixed, but not properly.
Finding second-hand furniture can be exciting and rewarding once you get it to your home. Whether you refinish it or it is ready as-is, the money you save can be gratifying. Use these 10 tips when buying second-hand furniture and enjoy the search, it will be well worth it when you are enjoying it in your home.