So I spent most of the long weekend working on a fabulous brand new-to-me armoire. No I didn’t need this armoire in my life, but now that it’s here, I can’t believe I’ve lived all these years without it! I come across pieces like this all the time, and have been asked several times how I stumble upon these finds. The truth is I scout, research, and shop around, and repeat!
I rarely buy new furniture. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of new stuff. The prices, not so much, and the quality even less. For the most part I can score a better deal on a piece that will last much longer if I shop second hand. With a few simple steps and the right tools any one of us can make anything old look brand new again. Over the years I’ve learned where to shop for second hand furniture and how to update it to make it my own.
Where To Find Second Hand Furniture:
A thrift store is a GREAT place to find gently used furniture at a fantastic price! Among my favorite thrift stores are:
I also love local thrift stores. Many private schools run thrift stores to raise funds for the school.
I have been known to make a crazy U-Turn every now and again on a given Saturday morning as I drive past a ‘Yard Sale’ sign. Yup, I’m that lady. While the early bird gets the worm, getting up and ready and out the door (usually with kids in tow) by 7 a.m. on a weekend morning isn’t my cup of tea. What I like to do is roll in at around 11, by then they are starting to think about when they’ll be shutting things down. Who is going to have to pack up the truck and drop off the leftovers at the local Goodwill, and more importantly what’s for lunch? That’s when I swoop in and negotiate and bargain the heck out of them, till they cry ‘uncle’! O.k, so it’s not that bad, but I will definitely try to get the very best deal I can. They’re tired and want that piece out of there; I can help.
You can find SO many great things on Craiglist! Although because you are just looking at pictures, you need to be extra careful before offering up any cold hard cash. Scour the ‘for sale’ section, and the ‘free’ sub section. I’ve gotten tons of things for absolutely zero dollars just by being at the right place at the right time:
This 2’x2′ pre-painted Plank Frame fits in seamlessly with my decor and it was totally free on Craigslist!
How to score super cool FREE stuff on Craigslist:
1. Check the ‘free’ section daily
2. Be prepared to drive a few miles out of your way to nab a deal
3. Search for a ‘curb alert’ nearby. This is where stuff is placed on the curb as trash. It’s the cyber version of the ‘FREE’ sign handwritten on notebook paper adhered with a shabby piece of tape. It’s first come, first serve. And the item is not always broken or unusable, it can be unwanted for a variety of reasons. It could be dated, or missing a small easily replaceable piece, or cluttering up space. Believe it or not, there are people out there that do NOT DIY, therefore they can’t see the potential in a solid piece of furniture, and sadly for them, it winds up on the curb. Luckily for you and I though, we score! Beware though, ‘curb alerts’ are gone fast. If you see something you like, run, don’t walk! Be sure to take someone that can help you lift it on to your truck if needed, and if possible, take a pair of gloves to avoid splinters or whatnot.
One thing to remember when buying or selling on Craigslist or any online site-use common sense and BE SAFE!
So speaking of my new-to-me armoire. I scored this one for zilch, zero , nada. This many -> $0! I didn’t even have to spend gas money on bringing it home. All I needed were two sets of strong hands and a generous neighbor! My lovely neighbor from the end of the cul-de-sac, came over to offer me this treasure. She knows I’m always out in my garage covered in sawdust refinishing one thing or another and thought I could make good use of it instead of having it just sit in her garage sucking up space. Yes, please!
Again, I had absolutely positively no need for this. But how can I pass it up? It had so much potential, and although it’s partly laminate, it’s a solid hunk of heavy furniture, with lots of storage, and just look at that detail!
I was SOLD. So to speak.
I updated the armoire in just a few days, in fact I’m looking at it right now! Come back tomorrow to see how I did it, and how it turned out!
For more tips on decorating and crafting on a budget click here.
Where do you shop for second hand pieces?