Hello and welcome back! I hope you’ve all been having a great week so far. We’ve officially made it to hump day, woot woot!! Today is an exciting day for me because I am kicking off my new series “Maker Wednesdays”! Each Wednesday an amazingly talented maker will be here sharing awesome DIY tips and tutorials! I hope you will come back every Wednesday (just subscribe so you get a notification for every new post and come back and see everything happening over here ;)) and meet some talented DIYers and learn some new tricks and get inspired!
Kicking us off is a husband and wife duo that I became friends with on Instagram. Make sure to follow me here and follow them here. They are here today to talk to us about something they love and I love…upcycling. Let’s get into it!
We were so excited when Stephanie asked us to guest blog about our upcycling experience. We realized our passion for bringing older furniture to life when we bought our first home. You can read more about how we got into the DIY scene on our website. We get a lot of questions about finding furniture pieces with potential and how we pick our next project, so we’ve put together our top three tips and one of our favorite projects in this guest blog.
Know Where the Deals Are
Salvation Army and Goodwill seem like obvious choices, but it helps to know how they price their sales. Like any other retailers, they’ve got to turn over their inventory. Salvation Army is very transparent about knocking their prices down when it has been in the store too long. So if you’re eyeing a piece of furniture that you want to make sure you get a deal on, check the tag to see how long it has been in inventory and ask a store associate when the price will be reduced.
Goodwill has a policy to put different types of inventory – like furniture – on a 50% sale one day a week. Make sure you know which day is furniture day, because paying half price gives you a much better deal and a larger budget to spend on the refinish.
A progressively more popular option to find upcycling projects is Facebook Yard Sale Groups. Just about every city and/or county has one and if you’re in a highly populated area there might be a group specifically for furniture near you. One of the most underutilized functions on these sites is the ISO (in search of…) post. If you know what you’re looking for, tell people you’re in search of it and let them bring the deals to you!
Set a Budget for Your Project
When determining the price you are willing to pay for a piece, make sure you factor in the materials it’ll take to upcycle it. Think through whether you are going to paint it, stain it, make any structural changes, or other cosmetic changes like new hardware, glass panels, etc. Finishing a piece within budget is much more rewarding than underestimating the time and money it’ll take to finish.
While you shouldn’t look to rip others off, you should always look to negotiate with a seller, especially when buying from yard sales or online individual sellers. Others expect this and often list or offer pieces at a higher price than they are willing to accept. When you find an item you like, determine the price you are willing to pay for it and offer a little less than that. This way, if they counteroffer or you can meet in the middle you are comfortable with the final price.
Understand the Imperfections
Determine whether the project is worth taking on by analyzing what it will take to get it done. Do you have access to the right tools? Is the project the right style for the room you are envisioning? The hardest thing to change about a furniture piece is the size and style. You may be able to cosmetically change the style, but structural changes are costly and time consuming.
Some of our most successful projects have been ones that required little more than sanding and a new paint or stain color, along with new hardware. These seemingly simple ideas add a whole new life to a piece.
Our Teal Hutch Makeover
When we bought our house, we knew right away that we wanted to have a china cabinet/hutch and we had the perfect inset area for it on our main floor. We had a vision on what we wanted it to look like and include and we weren’t willing to compromise. We went to Salvation Army and Goodwill several times and scanned the Facebook yard sales for weeks looking for what we wanted to refinish. You have to be quick with the Facebook yard sales, so there were a few times that we missed out on the item because someone else bought it. Other times, the price was not in our range. Finally, we found the one with all the potential we wanted and we offered the sellers slightly lower than what they were asking. It was ours!
Once we finally got the piece, we could bring our vision to life! We wanted to modernize the piece by adding a bright color, new hardware, and wine rack. At the time, we had no miter saw so every piece of the wine rack was cut with a hand saw. The paint selection was easy (teal of course!) and we chose a dark hardware in order for it to pop on the teal paint.
Make sure to let people know what you are working on. Once you start doing refinishing projects, it seems like the furniture finds you. Several times we’ve had friends and neighbors just give us furniture that they no longer had any use for because they knew we would do something with it.
We always say if we do what we say we’re going to do, it’ll be great. So make a commitment and do something great!
Jason & Rachel
Thank you so very much to Teal Driftwood for guest posting on the blog today! This will be an ongoing series so if you are a maker/DIYer and would like to be featured please shoot me a message! Also, please come back tomorrow because I will be sharing a tutorial on a sweet wall mounted doll house and on Friday I will announce our very first weekly giveaway and I promise you won’t want to miss it! And just a reminder one last time, please go and like Teal Driftwood on IG for boat loads of inspiration!! Thanks for stopping by!