There's nothing like the thrill of discovering a unique piece of thrifted furniture for your home. Thrifting is an excellent way to repurpose items and give them new life. It's also a great way to shop sustainably and include unique items in your home. Thrifted furniture comes in assembled form, so that's a bonus.
Thrift shopping has become increasingly trendy as vintage, and secondhand decor styles are gaining popularity too. Thrift stores, flea markets, and resale websites like Facebook Marketplace are full of hidden treasures. However, it takes time to sift through goods to locate remarkable bargains. Whether you want to decorate your home on a budget or want to discover unique furniture designs to complement your interior, here are some pointers on what to look for and what to avoid when thrifting furniture.
Make a Plan and Stay Focused
Creating a basic plan before you thrift for furniture is always beneficial. Decide what you want and how much to spend before you thrift to stay focused. You may become overwhelmed when you first enter a thrift store and see piles of books, furniture and artwork stacked against walls. With so many options, you may quickly forget what you originally came for. If you're shopping for a specific item, make sure you measure your space first. Use a tape measure to ensure accurate measurements of the furniture items, and for large items like sofas, bring a blanket and bungee cords or rope to transport it home.
Related Article: 10 Decorating Rules of Arranging the Furniture
Know When to Leave the Item
Most things you find will not be in the perfect condition, so you must evaluate whether an item is worth purchasing. Look for pieces with good bones. Can you repair it yourself or will you have to hire a professional? If you notice blemishes that can easily be repaired, such as sanding and staining a scratched wood surface or a missing drawer pull. However, if you notice large, irreparable cracks, warped surfaces, or overpowering odours, you should probably avoid purchasing it and move on.
It can be tricky when it comes to thrifted upholstered furniture pieces, as spotting the problems is often more difficult. There are a few things to ensure the quality of the item; sit on the piece to ensure that it is comfortable, there are no bedbugs, there are no lingering odours or stains, and the coil springs are in good condition. If there are no major issues, you might want to consider whether it needs to be reupholstered and whether it is something you can do yourself (like replacing the fabric on a chair seat). Also, consider if you would have to pay for professional reupholstering, which can be pricey.
Get the Best Deal
It is always worth asking about a thrift store's price negotiation policy, even if not all stores offer this service. It's always best to check online to see if you're getting a good deal. When you're considering buying a piece of furniture, you should check the manufacturer's details to know the name label of the item and search online for the going price for similar items. If there is no label, you can get an idea of what they sell for by looking at furniture online with similar styling and material.
How to Inspect Thrifted Furniture
Be sure to look over any thrift-store furniture carefully before buying it. For example, open each drawer and door to see if they operate smoothly. Take note of any stains or cracks and whether there is any damage inside. Note any foul odours, especially with upholstery. Certain odours, particularly pet and smoke odours, may be tough, if not impossible, to remove, and they may be deal-breakers, especially if the piece is near the top of your budget.
How to Clean Thrifted Furniture
Before bringing your thrifted treasures into your home;
- Clean them thoroughly in your garage, on your front steps, or in your backyard
- Vacuum any detachable upholstery pieces thoroughly, and then sprinkle baking soda on them to eliminate odours.
- Let them sit in natural light for several hours before vacuuming to remove odours and stains.
- If the item requires a more thorough cleaning, get it professionally steam-clean to sanitize and remove stains
Vacuum the cushions and seats on upholstered furniture, getting in all the crevices where dust and crumbs gather. If there is a stain on the fabric, pour a small amount of vinegar directly on the stain and let it soak in for about 30 minutes. Then, scrub the area with a non-abrasive scrubbing sponge, rinse it with clean water, and dry it with a clean rag.
The secondhand hunt requires patience and persistence to be successful. You must go to the thrift stores regularly and look for curb-side bargains, flea markets, and garage sales to discover the items you want. However, you must avoid purchasing too many secondhand items if you don't want your room to look like a junk store. You must resist the desire to buy something just because you like it if you don't have a place for it.