If you’ve been looking for a way to make extra money to pay off debt or save up for something fun, you’ve probably seen people have success flipping furniture.
Jumping into that world blind can be frustrating and overwhelming, but we’re here to help! There are certain tips and tricks that will almost guarantee you net more profit than you would without them.
Read on to learn all kinds of flipping furniture ideas to help you get the best bang for your buck.
Have the Right Supplies
While it’s not a classic furniture flipping idea, the fact remains— if you invest in the right supplies up front, you’re going to make a higher profit because less money will be used to replace low-quality or unnecessary items later.
The right paintbrush is crucial to ensuring a brush stroke-free finish to your flipped furniture.
Spending top dollar on a paintbrush is unnecessary, but you definitely get what you pay for. Cheap brushes are… cheap. The bristles will split. They’ll shed. They’ll fall out and ruin your fresh paint job.
Check out our Top 6 Paintbrush Picks for Painting Furniture for specific brush recommendations.
Just like the right paintbrush will make your job easier, good quality paint can make flipping furniture exponentially quicker and more cost-effective. Better paint equals fewer coats, which means quicker turnaround time!
The type of paint you choose depends on a few factors. Here’s a quick overview of the most common types.
People love chalk paint because you don’t have to sand the furniture or in-between coats. When using it, there is an extra coat or two of wax needed at the end to strengthen it.
Check out our Top 6 Picks for Chalk Paint.
For small jobs, try spray paint! There are many colors available, and spraying furniture with a lot of nooks and crannies is much easier than painting with a brush.
It’s not ideal for larger pieces due to the fumes, and honestly, finger fatigue!
We’ve picked 5 Spray Paints for Wood Furniture you can look into.
Latex paint is readily available and easy to start with since you’ve probably got some lying around from home projects.
This type of paint requires sanding before and between coats to make sure you end up with a brush-stroke-free finish.
Using milk paint is a lesser-known furniture flipping idea, but it’s worth considering, especially because you can make your own!
It’s similar to chalk paint but thinner. People love that there are no fumes. This also requires a coat of wax to finish it off.
Palm sanders are a life-saver if you plan on flipping larger pieces of furniture. They’ll cut your sanding time in half; some even have attachments that catch the dust!
We’ve compiled a list of the Best Palm Sanders on the market.
A palm sander isn’t ideal for detailed pieces of furniture. In those cases, it’s important to have sanding sponges of varying grit to get in there to ensure everything is totally smooth.
Nitrile gloves simplify the furniture flipping process by keeping your hands dust, paint, and stain-free. They’ll also help you keep a grip on your tools, even if your hands are slippery with sweat.
A good-quality cleaner is a must-have when flipping furniture.
Krud Kutter is affordable and effective. You can dilute it for easier jobs, or use it straight for tougher jobs.
Microfiber rags are lint-free for cleaning and great at catching tiny bits of dirt and debris. Use them for dusting, cleaning, and even a final wipe-down before staging and selling.
Flip the Right Pieces
A furniture flipping idea that will surely give you a higher profit is knowing the right pieces to choose. Wise investments will lead to better results.
Small tables are great for beginners because they’re so versatile. They can be used in many ways and spaces in homes, so the potential buyer pool is much larger than more niche pieces.
They’re also usually affordable and easy to update.
Dressers are also versatile pieces to flip for a good profit. They sometimes require a bit more work, with more details and hardware to consider, but are well worth the extra effort.
Clean, simple pieces are the easiest to sell because they appeal to larger audiences. However, you can certainly invest in more unique pieces as long as they’re good quality.
A quick and easy furniture flipping idea is investing in a few simple bookshelves and turning them into something special.
These projects are usually easy because the shelves are made with a lot of large, straight planes; a piece of cake to sand and paint.
Buffets, also called credenzas or sideboards on some sites, are typically profit-makers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, hardware, and finishes if you’re creative! Keeping them natural with a fresh coat of stain or paint works well, too.
Dining Table and Chairs
“Outdated” dining sets are a strip and stain away from being profit-making machines.
This furniture flipping idea works best with orange-toned sets that are typically priced low to sell quickly. Stripping and staining them a more appealing shade should make for a quick, high-profit sale.
It may sound crazy, but people love some Ikea furniture! This is the only cheaply-made furniture we’d recommend to try and flip.
Check out our Dos and Don’ts of Flipping Ikea furniture to turn a big-box piece of furniture into something truly one-of-a-kind.
Know What To Avoid
Knowing what not to buy is just as important as knowing what to look for.
Even a little bit of mold on a piece of furniture should knock it off your to-buy list, especially if it’s wooden.
Mold goes deeper than the surface and, in a best-case scenario, will cause your paint job to look splotchy and flake off. Worst case, it damages the strength and integrity of the wood.
Cheaply Made Furniture
Cheaply made furniture isn’t worth investing your money or time into because it won’t return much profit. Low-quality furniture won’t sell at the same price points as solid wood pieces.
Majorly Broken Pieces
Unless it’s extremely cheap or free and you’ve got time and money to spare, it’s best to pass on pieces that are going to require more than a little basic updating. Frequently, they don’t offer a great return on investment of time or money.
Overly Ornate Furniture
The more unique and ornate a piece of furniture is, the smaller the pool of potential buyers. If you absolutely love a certain type of design and want to commit fully to it, taking time to build a loyal customer base, then do it.
But stick to clean and simple pieces if you’re looking for furniture flipping ideas to make a serious profit.
Know Where to Look for Furniture
One key furniture flipping idea is to know where to find furniture that will be quick flips bringing in the most profit. Less time searching means more time for flipping!
Facebook Marketplace is full of furniture waiting to be flipped!
Finding a gem there is a genius furniture flipping idea because you can look through hundreds of local listings at near-garage-sale pricing without leaving your home.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate through Facebook Messenger, either.
Side of the Road
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
You can find amazing pieces on the curb the evening before trash pick-up. Some people don’t feel like messing with selling the furniture and would rather someone pick it up, be it an individual or a dump truck.
Take a drive through your neighborhood one evening before dark the day before trash pickup and see what you can find!
Yard Sales/Thrift Stores
This is a more traditional furniture flipping idea, but yard sales and thrift stores are still great places to find pieces to transform.
Keep an eye on the prices, because sometimes furniture is priced higher than it’s worth in these places.
Buy Nothing Groups
Find a local Buy Nothing group and keep an eye out for furniture people just want to get rid of. Most of the time, as long as you’ll pick it up, it’s first come, first served.
Know Your Prices
This furniture flipping idea is all about knowing your prices. What are you spending? What are you making? What is the actual profit?
Ideal Cost of Furniture
This is going to vary, depending on where you live and how much you have to invest upfront. Whatever your numbers are, you need to have a list written down somewhere with the most you’re comfortable spending on certain pieces.
Having this will help curb impulse buying. If you’ve already decided you won’t spend more than $125 on a dresser to flip, it’s much harder to talk yourself into spending $200 on one after a slow hunting week.
What will the additional supplies cost if you’re going beyond the usual strip, sand, and paint method of most flips? Is it worth it in the long run, or will you be sinking more money into something that won’t see a return on that investment?
Estimated Profit Margin
You’ve got to know what you want to make. When pricing, include the following factors:
- Price of item
- Cost of additional supplies (if any)
- How many hours it will take x your hourly rate (You’ve got to get paid for your time!)
- Desired profit margin
Building in the margin will leave you room for negotiation. Even if negotiation eats up your whole margin on a hard-to-sell piece, you still made money with your hourly rate.
Market Your Furniture Flips for Quick Sales
Your job’s not over once the furniture is flipped. Now it’s time to sell!
Unless you’re doing a custom piece, steer clear of wacky colors. Stick to neutrals to keep the potential buyer audience larger.
Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring. But a cream dresser has many more potential buyers than a magenta one.
Take the time to stage your furniture before taking photos. If possible, move it into your home to a space it could live.
Add accessories on top and to the wall behind it. Customers want to know what it actually looks like in a home, not just in a garage where it was painted.
Include Detailed Descriptions
Answer potential questions before they’re asked. Include every dimension, the quality of the furniture, and even what pickup or delivery expectations are for the buyer.
The less time you spend answering these questions one on one, the more time you have to work on flipping furniture.
If you’ve got a truck and a reliable person to help you, offer delivery services at a small added fee! Many people want to buy furniture online but don’t have a way to get it to their homes themselves.
Wrapping up Flipping Furniture Ideas
Now that you’ve got all these furniture flipping ideas in your grasp, it’s time to get out there and start doing it! Enjoy the hunt, the process of transforming something, and the joy you’ll bring someone when they fall in love with what you’ve created. The profit you’ll make is just the cherry on top!
Looking for more information? Read our Complete Guide to Flipping Furniture.