One of the questions that I am asked a lot is " how do I know if a piece of furniture is worth upcycling?' Well, here are few things to look out for!
1. I like to work with real wood construction. There is a lot of furniture out there now that is not made of solid wood. There are lots of laminate and mdf wood look a likes! Usually the older furniture was solid wood with some wood veneers as well. You may also see some pieces from the 1070's that had some molded plastic that was added to furniture. This was actually done on pieces that were high end when plastic was first introduced. It does paint up well and can turn out to be beautiful!
2. I always like to give it a sniff test! I am am buying from an online market, I will ask if it is from a smoke free and pet free home. It can be difficult to get smells out of wood, but you can see a separate blog on tips for that! I also like to look closely at the bottom of a piece to see if it has ever sat in water. This can lead to mold and rot.
3. Do the drawers work well and are they in good condition? I have had times when I will repair a drawer or a glide on the bottom of a drawer, but I don't enjoy doing that and so I will ask before I purchase. I have even had people do videos of the piece showing how the doors and drawers work. If you are in person, take the time to open them and close them. There have also been times when the drawers were not put back in the correct opening and sometimes it just takes a little shuffle of the drawers to get them in their correct slots!
4. What are they asking for the piece? What are you willing to pay? If you are going to be selling this, then you will need to look at what is involved in upcycling this and what you will be able to sell it for. Even if the piece is free, I like to think about what price I would like to sell for, the less I pay the more profit I will make. If you are buying for yourself personally then you may be willing to spend more because it is what you were looking for and it fits your needs!
5.Potential!!! I sometimes will see a piece and I know right away what I want to do with it. I love looking at a blank slate of old furniture and getting a vision of how I can create a something special. I love getting unique pieces that are different or super plain and flat that I can use a special paper or transfer on!
So that is it!! I hope these tips help the nest time you are looking for that special piece of furniture for your next project!