Storage Auctions

refinishing furniture

refinishing furniture
« on: October 31, 2011, 12:57:58 AM »
When is it a good idea, like what value should something have to put money into it.
And what does it range to do that? Say like a nice dining table.

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 08:57:23 AM »
To expand on this, people who do it regularly, could you give a 'step by step' proccess? I have a cheap kitchen table right now, that if in good condition, could possibly fetch 40 or 50 bucks. It has what looks like cat scratches all over it, and im wondering if my only option is to sand/gloss/re-paint, or if I could just use spray paint to cover it up and have it look decent enough to sell.

I have no experience refinishing furniture, so any advice would be helpful. To bigbizz I'm sure as well.

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 09:59:42 AM »
Word. I gave away a 500 $ dining table to goodwill cus i scratched ot while moving it.
But woulda been good to have gotten it refinished if i had more info on it

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 06:49:39 PM »
I'm currently in possesion of a Huntley Furniture desk.  These things can sell for $400 and up restored but this thing is scratched and chipped.  The desk itself is in great condition, just needs a little TLC to make it 'good as new'.

Been pondering what I should do with it, sell it as is for 50 bucks or go the extra mile, fix it up and sell it for its true value. 

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 03:26:25 PM »
Refinishing a table, chair, or such is more time intensive then money.  Many times just removing the old paint and putting a new varnish on the item will make it look better.  I have a older drop-leaf table currently that has a buildup of green tarnish or something in one of the joints.  Just going to take some furniture cleaner and polish to it.  Will try and remember to do before / after shots.

Depending on what you are doing the tools you need are:
paint remover
stain
brushes
drop cloth
sand paper
hand or power sander
wood filler
lots of elbow greese


You can google and/or buy books on refinishing.

Offline bwd111

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Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 10:16:42 AM »
To expand on this, people who do it regularly, could you give a 'step by step' proccess? I have a cheap kitchen table right now, that if in good condition, could possibly fetch 40 or 50 bucks. It has what looks like cat scratches all over it, and im wondering if my only option is to sand/gloss/re-paint, or if I could just use spray paint to cover it up and have it look decent enough to sell.

I have no experience refinishing furniture, so any advice would be helpful. To bigbizz I'm sure as well.
Sounds like a lot of work to make 40 to 50 bucks.

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2011, 11:44:42 AM »
I move a lot of old wood furniture.  Sometimes it seems like every piece of furniture you find in a storage locker is broken, chipped, scratched or missing parts.

You can probably make about 90% of your wood furniture look good enough to sell with just a few items. 

1.  Get some wood glue......eventually you'll find some in a locker, but until then, just get a small bottle.  There's all kinds, I use Elmers wood glue.....mainly because I've found lot's of it along with a gallon refill bottle in lockers.  Notice: WOOD GLUE...not the crap your kid is gluing together construction paper in kindergarten!

2.  Clamps, to kind of go along with the wood glue.  Again, you'll probably find some in lockers.  Keep a couple, don't sell them all.  I almost always have some on the shelf, so I just go grab a couple and use them when I need them.

3.  Blue tape.......use it to help hold some stuff together like chips and stuff that clamps don't really work on......and it's a lot easier to get off then regular tape and hopefully won't damage the finish like other tapes have a tendency to do.  Also, you will find this in lockers, but usually it is old and doesn't stick for crap, so spend a couple bucks and get this at the store, this stuff is best when it's fresh.

4.  00 and/or 000 steel wool.  I have had chairs with original finish made in the 30's and I did nothing but carefully follow the grain with some 00 steel wool and it made them look awesome and they still had the original finish without all the gunk on them.  Just be careful and don't use anything courser, or you'll start getting lot's of scratches.  This also works to take out some small scratches.

5.  Murphy's oil soap.......this stuff is awesome......slop it on a rag liberally and wipe down your wood finishes......makes most stuff look pretty good and will help hide some smaller scratches.

6.  Pledge......even just spraying this on and wiping it down will make a big difference in most wood finishes.  Remember, you need to clean this stuff before you sell it.......get the dust out of the crevices and at least make it look clean......a nice clean piece with some scratches and a few chips will sell a lot faster than a dirty one.

7.  Some spray clear.  This stuff will hide so many scratches it's unreal.  Give the piece a quick clean up with Windex or soap and water or a vinegar and water mix, and tape it off and give it a quick run over with the steel wool.  Clean it again and make sure it's dry and then spray on a few light coats. It will amaze you.

These will take care of the basics.  You have to make your own judgement on how much the piece is worth and how much time you want to spend on it.  You will find all these items in storage lockers over time, so eventually, you will never have to buy any of this stuff except maybe the blue tape.  If you really want to get into it, you will start accumulating different shades of stains, furniture restore, paints, brushes, sandpaper, special clamps, shop space, etc.  The sky's the limit!  Just remember, the idea is to make money, and in my book, if you spend 3 hours on a $25.00 piece of furniture, you are NOT making money!


Offline Drew

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Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2011, 01:59:48 PM »
Good tips there teacher! It would be cool to see some before and after pics from anyone who does this

Offline ChefJ

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Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 04:00:45 PM »
I just reupholstered and painted a vintage armless drafting stool.  This is made of some serious stainless steel, and I could tell it was of great quality.  Manufaturer is "reliable" out of Omaha, but I don't think they are making chairs there any longer.  Its probably from the 50's or 60's and is quite a nice piece.  I may just keep it.  Pictures will be coming soon.
I feel that if you want to spend some time to fix something up, go for it.

Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2011, 02:37:11 AM »
Cool. Lovin the tips.

Offline MovieMan

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Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2011, 06:59:33 AM »
Frankly, in 8 years I have never refinished a piece of furniture to make it sell for more. I just haven't got the time, energy or drive to do it.

If it's really bad I trash it. If it's sellable I price it low so the buyer can do the work. Factor in your time if you are going to refinish an item...any item....the old saying "time is money" is certainly true in this biz.


Now if you just plain enjoy doing that kind of work, that has some value too of course.

Offline Millertime

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Re: refinishing furniture
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2011, 11:06:02 AM »
I agree with you Movieman, even though I do somewhat enjoy that type of work, I don't have space or enough time to do that. I would rather sell it as a rehab, which I have done, and move on. The only exception would be something I keep for myself. I got a dresser from a unit in the summer that was very heavy and well built. I stored it to refinish this winter and it will go in a spare bedroom. Will take before and afters.


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