Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Estate Sales, OH MY!!

Finally that horrible winter is over and it is SUMMERTIME!!! My favorite season of all. Time to play in the pools, go on family vacations, hit up those beaches and search every garage sale possible. In this post I wanna talk about the differences between a garage sale, yard sale and estate sale so you can find exactly what you are looking for. 

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 They looked very outdated so what I did was put a layer of primer on them and then spray painted them to my desired colors.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.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Polar Vortex and Cabin Fever!

Ok, so it has been the coldest day of my life! Today I believe the low was -15 degrees with a windchill of -36 degrees!! I know people whose eyelashes were frozen within 10 minutes of being outside and they said that if you were without gloves, you could get frostbite in 5 minutes. That is way too cold for me. Luckily we had two snow days in a row so I have been able to refurbish while I was sitting around getting cabin fever.

In my first blog post I talked about a little pink desk from GoodWill Glam (remember it?). Well I am going to talk about how I created my own replica of the desk. First off, I had to find my own desk. I went to a Goodwill near my work and found one for $40. When I first saw the price of the desk, I thought $40 was a bit steep for the type of desk it was. After speaking to the cashier, she said if I could take it home that day I could buy it for only $20. The trip home was interesting because I had my sister's Ford Taurus. It has somewhat small trunk space for an entire desk. So my sister drove on the highway while I laid halfway in the back seat and in the trunk holding onto the desk.
**Disclaimer: I do not recommend this at all**

Ok first steps first, sanding the desk. Make sure it is nice and smooth. After sanding it, brush all of the shavings off. You can either use a brush or what is called a tact cloth. A tact cloth is a somewhat sticky cloth that picks up excess gunk on whatever you are using it on. You can find it at your local hardware store in the paint section.  After sanding it down you can then prime it.  As you can see in the pictures, when I primed it I used light layers, just enough to cover the surface.

After priming you can start painting! Now i wanted a design on mine where the design was white and the desk was pink. I painted the top of the desk white first and then planned my design. Make sure when planning your design you "measure twice and cut once". I had to keep rechecking the design and remeasuring. I even had my dad come look at it to see what he thought about it. Sure enough I had made a few mistakes in the measurements but I finally got it down.
After finishing the design I painted the pink paint over it. If I had to do it again I would use a brush and not a rolling sponge. I would also be very careful around the tape. They say paint tape is not supposed to leak the paint through but it does happen and it happened to me. I still haven't gone back and touched it up. So when painting over your design be very light and make sure you paint brush is not loaded up with paint.                                    After painting the top, I then painted the drawers and everything else. Another thing that I did to spruce up the desk was spray paint the existing knobs gold. I thought about buying new knobs for it but the old ones had cute detail and I figured I could cut the cost of buying new ones. Here is my finished project. Do not mind the bottom drawers, my dad is making them into one big drawer and it is not finished yet.