Buying furniture pieces at yard sales offers many options, but you must look closely to know what you're getting.
Are you interested in trying your hand at some creative furniture painting? If you don't already have an old piece of furniture to practice on, shopping yard sales is the best way to come up with a piece.
If you are buying the yard sale furniture for the sake of practicing your creative idea, buy away! If you are looking for a particular piece to use, take time to look the furniture over to make sure you are getting a solid piece at a good deal.
For instance, if you want to buy a small dresser for a guest room and want to give it a country look, your first concern should be the stability of the furniture. You can give almost any style the look you want, as long as the furniture is sturdy and in good condition. Look to see if any of the wood is buckling or if the piece has any deep scratches that can't be sanded out. If you want it to have an old look, the scratches might not matter so much to you. The buckling, however, might be a sign of warped drawers that are hard to open or close. Warped furniture is not usually very functional.
If the furniture you are looking at is a sofa, loveseat or chair there are additional considerations you should keep in mind. Will you be using the furniture as it is or do you plan to give it a fresh coat of paint or some new fabric treatment? Does it look clean? Ask the seller if the furniture has been used recently in a home or if it has been in storage. If it has been stored, ask if the storage unit was climate controlled. If not, you may find yourself dealing with pest issues or mold down the line. Make sure you look the seating over good - check out its frame, springs, cushions and the over all wear. If you think it is in good shape and can get a good deal, go for it!
If you are taking up furniture shopping through yard sales as a hobby, learn all you can about various types of furniture. The knowledge will help you separate a good deal from a great find. Plus, if you plan to recycle your yard sale findings, you don't want to strip and paint an antique, one of a kind headboard. When you know your furniture - what is of special value and what is just a trash to treasure item - you can save yourself the heartache associated with finding out the dresser you just painted a Dr. Seuss scene on was actually by a famous craftsman. Visit your local library to check out books on antique or unique furniture. Then, keep your eyes open when you are hitting the yard sales the following weekend - you'll know a good deal when you see one!