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How To: Select Furniture for Refinishing

By Alchemy Fine Living on Mar 30, 2012

If you have been following this blog for a while you know how much I love transforming old furniture. I’m constantly on the look out for pieces to paint and refinish. When looking for pieces of furniture I always look for well built, quality pieces. If I’m going to spend hours working on a piece of furniture I want to make sure it’s worth the effort. In this article I’ll offer up a few tips on what to look for if you are searching for furniture to paint or restore.

The two main things I always look for are dove tail joints and solid hardwood construction. I always pull out all of the drawers to get a good look inside and to test how well the drawers function. If the drawers stick a bit that’s typically fixable. I wrote a post on sticky drawers, which explains how to fix that problem. If the drawers are impossible to open and close I usually pass. The piece photographed below is a great example. The drawers are made of solid hardwood including the drawer glides.

I scour thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets for furniture all the time. You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen. I’ve come across furniture made from laminated particle board with plastic legs! I would recommend staying clear of pieces like that. Other things I avoid are pieces with thin particle board backs that have been stapled on and metal drawer glides with plastic parts.

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