Janet Laughead BHHS Commonwealth Wellesley MA


Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay

The bistro table and chairs or patio set that welcomed your guests to gather outdoors and gave your porch a pop of color is now less than beautiful with its peeling paint and orange-brown crust.  Your outdoor space deserves a freshening up and the best way to go about it for both your budget and the environment is to rescue your already well-loved furniture.  Upcycling keeps old items that actually still have potential out of landfills, costs much less than purchasing a whole new product, and makes for an entertaining weekend project.  It also gives you free rein to choose a new finish for your old furniture.

Even if your chairs and table have already begun to rust, it is very possible to salvage them for further years of use.  If you like, take this opportunity to try a new color, or colors, of paint.

Cleaning and Preparation

Place furniture on a layer of old newspaper for easy cleanup of rusted paint flake and secure eye protection before you begin.  Find or purchase a tough wire brush and slough off any peeling pieces of rust.  For the remaining pieces that are more difficult to remove, use an electric sander.  Finish off the sanding with coarse sand paper for the bends and joints, folding the paper to get in the small places as best you can.  The rust color and appearance may still be visible, which is fine as long as you get most of the grit off and get the surface smooth.  

Next, clean the furniture to ready it for repainting.  Scrub with a vinegar and water mix or a baking sode and lemon juice combination, then clean with alcohol if needed.  Apply at least two coats of a primer specifically formulated to discourage rust, being sure the solution reaches all joints and crevices.  Let dry completely between each coat, preferably outside on a warm, dry day.  Any place you choose should be open and airy for safety. 

Painting  

The best choice of paint is a rust-proof outdoor formula.  Coat furniture with paint in a light layer, let dry completely, and then apply two to three more coats, letting dry each time.  Restore your set to the same color, try a new neutral shade to complement your space, or take a cue from the mismatched teacups and china trend and use two complementary colors for mismatched chairs.  Gently sand away any drips or pooled paint with sandpaper.

For the strongest protection from the weather and to put more protective anti-rust layers between your furniture and the elements, finish with a weather-resistant clear coat.


If you recently sold your house, you may have only a short amount of time to sell some of your large, heavy belongings before moving day. Among these items likely are the couches, chairs and other furniture that you have collected over the years.

Ultimately, selling furniture prior to your move can be quick and simple – here are three tips to help you find furniture buyers and maximize the value of your furniture.

1. Establish a Competitive Price

A competitive price for a dining room table, bed or other home furniture can make a world of difference. If you establish an aggressive price from the get-go, you should have no trouble stirring up interest in your furniture from many potential buyers.

Consider the age and condition of your furniture before you set a price for it. If your furniture is only a few years old and remains in great shape, you may be able to fetch a lofty sum for it. Comparatively, if your furniture shows signs of wear and tear, you may need to lower your pricing expectations.

It often helps to be flexible with the price of your furniture as well. And if a furniture buyer makes an offer that falls below your initial asking price, you may want to consider all of your options closely to determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

2. List Your Furniture Online

Craigslist and other online marketplaces make it simple to list your furniture on the web in just seconds. Then, you can sit back and await responses from potential furniture buyers.

If you decide to list your furniture online, be sure to include high-resolution photos. If your online posting includes photos that show off the quality of your furniture, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable sale.

Furthermore, incorporate plenty of details about your furniture into your web posting. With an informative and engaging furniture description, you can make it easy for a potential buyer to determine whether your chair, ottoman or other furniture is the right choice.

3. Host a Yard Sale

A yard sale offers a valuable opportunity to sell furniture, as well as a variety of other big and small items. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to plan ahead for a yard sale, you can improve your chances of optimizing your profits.

You also may want to post flyers to highlight your furniture to neighbors. These flyers can help you showcase your furniture to individuals who won't have to travel too far to pick it up.

Don't forget to share information about your furniture with family members and friends too. These loved ones may even be able to share details about your furniture – along with other items that you plan to sell – with their friends on social media.

Lastly, when it comes to selling furniture, it usually helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you sell your home, a real estate agent can provide expert recommendations to help you get rid of furniture prior to moving day.


Buying furniture is a big investment in time and money. If you’re trying to match the style and color scheme of your home perfectly, it can be difficult to find something that’s the right fit. 

This is a task made more difficult when many large furniture stores carry largely similar items that don’t veer too far from the current trends.

If you want to buy unique furniture that meets your specific style it can seem like there are few options. However, there are many online stores where you can find just that, and so so by supporting small retailers and craftsmen.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on finding furniture that will make your home stand out. Read on for a list of how to find handmade and uncommon furniture for your home.

Buying local

One way to find unique furniture and support local craftsmen at the same time is to search for furniture makers in your area. Oftentimes a Google search will help you local nearby shops. However, you can also use websites like Craigslist to narrow your search down to your area.

If you’re having trouble finding people who make or refurbish furniture in your area, try searching for local businesses on websites like Yelp or Yellow Pages.  

Scavenge and refurbish

One way to guarantee that your furniture will be unique is to buy antique or discarded items and then pay a craftsman to refurbish and alter the item. This is particularly common with sofas and chairs.

Upholstering is an art form that requires a good idea, both for restoration and customization. Oftentimes you can find inexpensive, but well-worn, furniture at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Craigslist at very cheap prices.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of sanding, staining, or painting old furniture to give them a new life in your living room or kitchen. What’s more, when you take on a DIY project to refurbish a piece of furniture it will have added meaning and value to you, and you could discover a new hobby that you’re interested in along the way.

Online stores

There are a number of online retailers who sell handmade or refurbished furniture. One of the most popular web stores right now is Etsy. On Etsy, you can find craftsmen and refurbishers’ work who you appreciate and follow them to see what they have in stock.

Before Etsy, Ebay was the leading place to buy handmade and refurbished items online. To this day, Ebay still has a wide selection of items. Since many items on Ebay are auctioned, you also have the potential of winning a bid at a low price.

A third option would be to seek out the hundreds of small furniture shops online. A benefit or seeking out the manufacturer directly is that you get a chance to learn about the product and ask about customization.

Those are just some of the ways to find unique, handmade furniture for your home. Remember to be patient and to ask questions while furniture shopping to make sure you find the perfect fit for your room.


Moving your old apartment furniture into a new home can be awkward and frustrating. The pieces that once filled your small studio are now dwarfed by the size of each room. It seems no matter how you arrange them nothing makes them any bigger.

This also always seems to exasperate feeling that all of your furniture is boring and drab. It’s outdated, cheap looking and not nearly up to parr with your beautiful new house.

I hear you. But this doesn’t mean you need to toss it all out to start completely from scratch. And it’s not the wisest time to seek financing for swanky new pieces after just wrapping up the house buying process. Instead, try these tips:

Start by rearranging which furniture is used in which room. Just because it has always been used in your bedroom does not mean a piece needs to stay there. Simply moving it to fit in with the decor of another room could bring it whole new life. Give it a try! I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Replace and/or remove hardware from existing pieces. This can modernize an old favorite and make a cheaper piece feel more upscale. Look for either antique pulls or some sleek new t-bar handles. You may even want to remove hardware completely to create a sleek, clean look.

Ask family and friends if they have any pieces they are looking to get rid of or swap for a piece you’re tired of but they love. Keep in mind when considering these pieces what changes can be made to them if they aren’t the perfect fit at first glance. Can they be repurposed or given a facelift?

There are few things a coat of black or white paint can’t freshen up. You may also want to consider other neutral tones like grays, browns and navy blues. If the piece has millwork consider painting it two colors to give it a drastic new look.

Give outdated finishes an update with metallic spray paint. Whichever finish you have your heart set on you will be sure to find at your local hardware store. Whether you want a new metallic tone or a bright fun color painting a piece can change it into something that feels entirely new.

Add new smaller pieces that are more affordable to add to your decor. They can distract from the pieces they’re rooming with and create a more modern, updated look. Pick up items you love from your favorite stores and keep an eye out on places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

While browsing used pieces for sale if you find a great deal keep the above tips in mind when considering to make a bid. Many times you just need to flex your imagination to find the perfect decor for you!




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