Ok for the most part there isn't much of a difference (that I have noticed) between a garage sale and a yard sale. A garage sale has a smaller amount of stuff that a yard sale is going to have, and it also is usually in a garage whereas a yard sale is hmm well in a yard. As for finding furniture to refurbish or use around the house, furniture at garage and yard sales can be somewhat beaten up and you might have to search a bit. Now if you are looking for baby clothes and kids clothes, you will find a lot at garage/yard sales. I have found a few pieces of furniture from garage sales including this side table:
This table was only $8 and then to refurbish it all I needed to do was strip it down to the wood, prime it, paint it and then change the furnishings on it. Now a brand new side table exact to the colors that I want it for less than $50.
I also found these little tables for $7 each table. They looked very outdated so what I did was put a layer of primer on them and then spray painted them to my desired colors.
Now let's talk about estate sales, these are where you are gonna find the most furniture. An estate sale is when someone has either passed or maybe they are moving and basically sell everything in the house. You can find antique furniture or great home pieces such as a kitchen hutch, nice dresser, bed frame, etc. Sometimes they are put on by the owner or they can be put on by a company. When going to an estate sale find out if it is put on through a company and ask if they have a mailing list. When you are added to the mailing list you are then able to find out about every estate sale in the future that is around your area and maybe even a few that are not too far from you.
When looking for furniture, don't forget to also check out your local flea markets. They might seem a bit sketchy but you can find great pieces and haggle a price. If you are from the Toledo area, check out a flea market that happens every weekend on Lewis Avenue north of Laskey Road. There is also a place called Stormin Normans on Lewis Avenue north of Alexis Road. I have not personally checked it out but I have a friend that says they have a variety of furniture there also.
There are a few things to look for when looking at used furniture. Make sure that you really really want to put the time and effort into refurbishing, otherwise it will just sit around the house and you will have to try and sell it in your next garage sale. If it has laminate wood (aka super shiny coating that sometimes is thick and not real wood) realize that it is harder for paint to stick to this type of furniture and will be harder to maintain quality, meaning it will be great for decoration but as for putting drinks without coasters and rough use, it will not last. I also highly recommend putting a few layers of a Polycrylic seal after painting your furniture. The blogger "All Things Thrifty" has a great guideline on when to seal your furniture and when it isn't necessary, you can read about it here. Another situation where I do not recommend buying used furniture is if it has a dent in it that you do not think you can replace, a lot of times you can just put wood filler in a dent and keep sanding it down and filling it, but if it is too deep and just really big it may not be worth it. In the end it all depends on you and how much work you wanna put into all this. If you think it is easier to just buy a brand new piece then go ahead but if you want to look everyday at a piece of furniture that you put hard work into and it is customized to your liking then please do, it is quite enjoyable.
Alright well for now this is my post, hope you found it useful this summer and you check out a lot of garage sales and estate sales this summer. Enjoy and don't forget to post your finds on my Facebook, I would be so interested in seeing your projects. www.facebook.com/bellaraeblog1