Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A-Drawer-able

I painted another piece to go into my youngest son's room. Of course I found this chest of drawers at the thrift store. I was attracted to it because of those over-sized drawer knobs. But, looks aren't everything! I thought I'd give you a quick 101 on how to buy used furniture.

When I find a piece that looks good I make sure it passes a few other tests.

First, I place one hand on each side of the piece of furniture. I add a little pressure by leaning into it and then I give it a good WIGGLE. This little test tells me how sturdy the piece is. If it wiggles, it's an indication that the areas where the wood is joined together are loose and it will need gluing and possibly nailing---usually more work than I care to do.
Next, I try all of the parts that move. I open and close doors checking to see if they line up straight and if the hinges are in good shape. I slide out drawers, checking to see if they slide easily. I also check the construction of the drawer. A well built drawer has dove tail construction. The edges are cut in a tail shape and fit together like a puzzle.
Vertical dove tail construction is the next best. That's where the drawer side is cut vertically into the tail shape and it is slid into the drawer front.
This is also a good time to see if the piece is made from solid wood, veneer or particle wood covered to look like wood.
I also check the weight of the piece. I like furniture that is heavy, not wimpy and light weight. If the furniture passes these tests, I know that it's worth investing my money.
I LOVE buying used furniture because I can afford quality pieces and with a little work and paint they can be customized to fit my home and family.

52 comments:

Bonnie the Boss said...

I love buying used furniture. I have had good and bad luck! About how much do you pay for something like this?

melissa said...

What a great find~I love the knobs. Thanks for the tips! What is your favorite black spray paint to use on furniture like this?
Melissa

Erin said...

What a beautiful dresser! I love buying used furniture and fixing it up too!

the undomesticated wife said...

I loved used wood furniture too!

Elise said...

How/what did you use to paint it? IT looks amazing!

Valarie Lea said...

That piece looks awesome! I can never find stuff that good at the thrift store. How many times I a week do you go to them?

salmagundi said...

Good tips! My husband is usually the one who repairs and refinishes furniture. He loves taking everything apart and regluing it, etc. How lucky am I?? Sally

Jan and Tom's Place said...

I love it!!! Good tips, too, for buying used furniture!!

I'm enjoying buying and painting my used furniture, too!

Joy said...

Bonnie,
I think I paid about twenty-five dollars. I bought it a couple of months ago and took off the tag, so I can't remember the exact amount.
I rarely pay more than thirty or forty dollars for any wood furniture items.
Melissa,
I use Rustoleum or Krylon brands because they have a black in a satin finish. I've never been disappointed when I use ad name brand paint.

Astrid said...

Thanks for the great tips! I'm on the look out for used furniture but I've been a little hesitant to buy them just because I don't know it'll last.

Joy said...

Elise,
I used spray paint---a couple of coats.
Valerie Lee,
I thrift shop a few days a week to the store closest to me and then I try to hit thrift stores in other cities a couple of times a month---usually if I'm already in the area.

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

That looks like a very nice piece of furniture. My hubby use to do alot of woodworking so I know that dovetail is the BEST! Not found very often nowadays. Way to Go! I've actually never bought any used furniture, but I'm on the lookout for some I can transform!

beth at aunties said...

Thanks for the 101 of buying used furniture! The dresser turned out wonderful:-)
I too would like to know which BRAND of spray paint you use? I have had success with some, and others weren't that great.
Joy, you renovations are always so wonderful!
Thanks, Beth

Every Day Blessings said...

I love this piece! The knobs make it look really expensive.
Thanks for all your really great tips and ideas for decorating for less!

tam said...

OOO I love it in Black! Great job too! That was a good idea to post what to look for in buying used furniture. You should come on over to my blog and see the "BIG" project I am working on-Whew it's gonna take a while to finish. But doesn't it feel so good when you redo these nice solid peices of furniture? Have a terrific Tuesday!
~Tam :D

Michelle said...

I'm looking for a piece just like that for my little girls room...

Ya'll must have better thrift stores than we do...I do love to go to the ones at the Beach though...

Good find and it looks great...love the knobs too!

I buy a lot of used funiture and antiques too...Question---mainly on antiques...that old musky smell that the drawers have...what do you do...how do you get rid of that smell for good?

Ruby Red Slippers said...

I love it! You did a great job finding it, and changing it!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Very useful, and your piece looks great! Good job!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Joy, you NEVER disappoint. Everything you touch turns to gold. That dresser is beautiful. Thanks for the great tips on buying used furniture. I love to buy used and old! I am soooooo jealous of the fabulous thrift stores that you have!

JAMIE'S CREW said...

Did you have to sand the old paint off the chest first? What grade sandpaper did you use?

Your finished product looks fantastic!

Kacey R. said...

That looks awesome! I have my flea market trip on Friday! I cannot wait. I have a little list of treasure I want to find. Woohoo! Thanks for all of the test tips!

ellen b. said...

Hi Joy! That is a great piece and you restored it nicely. I really like it...

Holly said...

I've been hesitant to spray paint furniture because of my experience in the past...I could tell it was sprayed. It just had that look. Is there a trick I'm unaware of?

Ashley said...

Love It! You definitely have an eye for this stuff. What a transformation!

Susie Harris said...

Wow...it doesnt even look like the same chest. I love it in black~

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a great chest and a great find! It looks so good that I like it in both colors! That shows how versatile it is and that it has good bones. I agree with you about sturdy chests. The construction is very important. And I love the knobs on this one. Very handsome.

Hope you'll pop over and see what we found in the trash, and I mean that literally.

Happy T to T Tuesday and thanks for sharing,

Sheila :-)

blessed mama said...

How fun! I just shopped by the local thrift shop today and didn't find anything, but will be back with a bunch of inspiration!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Thanks for the tips! Often I have been guilty of going by looks only! But if you wait around, the right piece usually shows up.

Your transformation looks great, and thanks for putting your link on Trash to Treasure!
diane

Tricia said...

What a great piece of furniture! I even love it in its "before" state!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Another beautiful black piece of furniture, Joy. It never ends with the things you can paint with black.

canearl said...

What a great find! I found a dresser very similar to yours at the Salvation Army about 10 years ago. It was dark (ugly) brown with brass knobs and I painted it white and put clear glass knobs and we still have it today. It's gone from my first apartment (pre marriage and kids) to my kid's room and now it's back in our bedroom.

Linda said...

I've been reading for a while now, and I just have to wonder, how many rooms are in your house?!Square feet? Because, with all the projects, I would imagine you have to be running out of room for them!

tidymom said...

I just bought my first wood piece over the weekend that I plan to "make over" - it's a nightstand for dd#2's room. I'm happy to hear you spray your furniture, that's what I bought!

You inspire me!

~Tidymom

JuJu and Family said...

I have some furniture that was my husbands from growing up. It's not very nice to look at, so maybe I need to sand and spray it. HMMM>>>>>>>>>....... Thanks!

AJ said...

Nothing better than finding a good piece of gently used furniture! Love the redo!!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I really have to look harder for used furniture! This chest of drawers is awesome!

Darlene said...

That is so beautiful!!! Looks great in black....and LOVE those big knobs!

ceekay said...

Turned out beautiful...can't wait to see the other black items!!

Amber M. said...

It looks AMAZING.

Spymommy said...

This dresser is PERFECT for a boys room! I love it, and I was pleased to learn that you and I have the EXACT same test for thrift store furniture. I heart dovetail joints.

JuJu and Family said...

By the way...thanks for the ideas for my girlfriend's shower. I put up a post on it. Also, tomorrow I'll be having my first giveaway. I'm so excited. It's like Christmas already. Take care and stop by if you have time.
JuJu

The Graves' House said...

looks great! i rather have old and fix it up anyday!!!
~nicole

Tiffy Wiffy said...

I swear I saw something SOO similar in the pottery barn catalog.

Cathy said...

A-Drawer-Able Post title! Great find and paint job!

MizSmoochieLips said...

That looks so terrific!!

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Nice! cherry

Elena said...

Okay, it's me your paint naive computer friend. Spray paint, brush, or what to do this project? :)

Elena said...

Oops, never mind. I should have read your other comments first. :)

Sandy Toes said...

Wow...NOW how do you get the drawers not to stick from the paint??-sandy toes

Wendy said...

Oh it's so pretty in black!

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

What a great find. Great color too.
Teresa

Mavis D. said...

I have found some great dressers for my boys rooms. Solid and in great condition but one has drawers that are a little hard to slide open. What would you suggest to fix that? They just seem to rub because they fit so tightly but there also aren't any drawer guides or anything like that. I've heard of waxing the bottom edges of the drawers but it's never really worked for us.

Thanks,
Mavis D.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



Munchkin Land Designs  



Search This Blog