A Comprehensive Furniture Flipping Guide

You might have heard of furniture flipping before.

It’s where someone buys a beat-up piece of furniture for cheap, makes it nice, and resells it. 

Flipping furniture for profit is a great way to make extra cash.

No, you don’t need to be a master designer or woodworker to succeed in this venture.

You’ll merely need to learn a few skills if you’re a beginner and as little as $150 to get going. 

You can reconstruct any piece of furniture into a gem that someone might be searching for.

It could be anything from kitchen tables to dressers. 

The “up-cycled” aesthetic is currently pretty trendy among millennials.

Therefore, flipping is a fantastic opportunity for you to capitalize on it.

Furniture flipping might also be a terrific side income if you have a penchant for woodworking.

Plus, furniture makeovers are fun to do!

In this post, I’ll go over how to flip furniture and how much money you can make doing so. Let’s get to it!

Stuff You Need For Furniture Flipping 

furniture flipping

Furniture flipping materials are not cheap.

You don’t want to squander your time and money by buying the cheapest things available.

No one wants to offer their hard-earned money for anything that isn’t in excellent condition.

However, you don’t want to spend $400 on goods to flip one dresser and make $100.

That’s a surefire way of giving up on furniture flipping entirely.

Your goal is to make extra income.

That’s why you must spend prudently when it’s time to give out your initial investment. 

Here are the items you don’t want to scrimp out on: 

1. High-quality Paint Brushes 

Purdy and Wooster make some of the most affordable yet high-quality brushes around.

Their brushes can last for years.

Both will work well when it’s time to give your furniture an attractive finish. 

I suggest investing in a couple of sizes. It would be even better if you invested in a combo pack.

I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to buy quality brushes.

If you go for something cheaper and low-quality, you’re going to end up with tiny brush hairs all over your projects. 

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2. FLOOD Floetrol 

Floetrol is a paint additive that you may mix into your paint to level and reduce brush strokes.

This will help you get the look you’re striving for if you want a flawless, professional finish.

This might be a lifesaver when it comes to giving your item a smooth look, especially if you’re a beginner. 

3. Nitrile Gloves 

When working with chemicals such as stain, paint, stripper, and other supplies, you must wear gloves.

You’re going to go through a lot of gloves!

Nitrile gloves are fantastic.

They don’t make your hands sweat as much as latex and are simple to remove when you’re finished.

4. A Basic Toolbox 

You’ll need the basics: a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers.

You can pass on anything fancy.

All you need are rudimentary tools when you have to remove knobs, hinges, and other furniture parts.

If you don’t want to purchase tools one by one, there are complete toolkits available. 

5. Electric Sander 

When flipping furniture like dressers or tables, an electric sander will make your life so much easier.

Sanding a big flat surface by hand can be time-consuming and exhausting. 

I’m not saying it can’t be done.

But if you have a lot of projects to complete, it will save you a lot of time.

Still, please don’t feel obligated to spend the money on this one right now. 

6. High-quality Paint 

You don’t have to buy the most costly or premium paint available.

However, I don’t advise that you go for the cheapest option.

Between brands and types of paint, high quality paint can be found at any home and garden center. 

Try a few different ones and see what you like.

There will be a lot of trial and error as well as personal choices.

Please keep in mind that if you want to make money flipping furniture, don’t buy the cheapest materials available.

Sometimes, all a piece of furniture needs is a fresh coat of paint, so don’t scrimp!

7. Pails for Paint and Liners 

When painting furniture, pails and liners will come in handy.

You don’t have to lug the paint can around, risking spilling it or injuring your back while doing so. 

You may add a small amount of paint at a time, and the handle makes it really comfortable to grasp.

The brush is kept out of the paint by a magnetic strip.

Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to paint without them again.

8. Cleaners

Before you begin, most second-hand things will require a thorough cleaning.

You don’t want to smell smoke or musty scents when you open the doors to a gorgeous masterpiece. 

The Zep 505 is a popular choice, but any industrial-strength cleaner can suffice.

Don’t try to cover up years of filth and oils with paint.

It’s not going to be pretty. Take the time to tidy – it’ll be well worth it. 

If necessary, look into the best techniques to rid odors of furniture.

It’s not uncommon to come across a lot of gross stuff while furniture flipping! 

9. Sanding Sponges

If you want a good finish, ensure that your paint thoroughly adheres.

You’ll need to remove any old topcoat first and smooth out any paint bubbles or chips.

Sanding Sponges of various grades (coarse, medium, fine) are extremely useful.

10. Electric Sander (Optional) 

After you’ve made some money from your first sale, you might want to consider purchasing an electric sander.

When it comes time to polish your furniture, you’ll require less elbow grease with this tool.

Power tools are costly, but they pay you back with convenience. 

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Other Costs To Consider 

flipping furniture for profit

A Space To Work 

This may sound evident, but you can’t flip furniture if you don’t have a clean workspace.

It may be your basement, garage, or even a separate room in your house.

In any case, you’ll need a clean workspace, so you don’t feel restricted. 

If it’s possible, you may even want to rent out a space outside your home that’s dedicated to flipping. 


Depending on its size, you’ll need a way to move the furniture you plan to flip.

If you’re flipping larger items, you’ll probably need a truck or SUV.

On the other hand, smaller items will probably fit in a smaller car.

You should plan your transportation based on the pieces you intend to flip.

Don’t quit up if you don’t have a vehicle or SUV to transfer your stuff!

For about $100, you may hire a moving company or find someone who delivers in your local area.

Where To Source Furniture To Flip 

You’ve gathered your materials; now, all you need is some furniture to begin flipping!

So, where should you look for them, and how much should you budget?

You can’t pay a premium price for something that will take a week to fix and then sell for a profit.

To make money by reselling furniture, evaluate your purchases carefully.

It also depends on your geographical location. 

Some places may be more straightforward than others.

If you live in a college town, that can be a gold mine for discovering bargains, especially between May and August.

That’s the period when students are moving in and out.

Now, here are some places where you can source the furniture you can flip: 

Friends and Family 

Get the word out to your friends and family if you’re just getting started.

You’d be shocked that a lot of people have stuff they’d like to get rid of, and often for free!

If you’re a part of a local Facebook group, make a request there. 

It’s never a bad idea to inquire. Or do you have a relative who has a cellar full of unwanted items?

They may agree for you to take some of it off their hands.

That’s free furniture right there!

Facebook Marketplace and Online Sales 

This is the breeziest way to find old stuff, but you must act quickly to take advantage of the fantastic deals.

In this method, you make arrangements online and meet with sellers in real life.

Always be cautious — don’t go anyplace alone, and meet in a public place if feasible. 

Facebook Marketplace and online yard sales have taken the place of Craigslist.

However, Craigslist is still worth looking into if you’re comfortable dealing with strangers online. 

Physical Yard Sales 

This one is self-evident, but take a stroll through your local yard sales!

You’ll find excellent deals, especially as the day draws to a close.

Sellers will gladly get rid of leftover items to potential buyers instead of having to dispose of them altogether.

You’ll never know; you might even come across your first piece on the side of the road!

Thrift Stores, Flea Markets, or Goodwill 

Don’t assume that simply because a store needs to make a profit, you won’t be able to track down a reasonable price.

That inventory is something they don’t want to keep.

Because they receive so many donations over the weekend, Monday mornings are typically the most opportune time to go.

Estate Sales 

An estate sale is a means of selling a home’s entire contents or mostly all of them.

Estate sales are most common following a death or other incidents that forces the residents to leave the house immediately. 

Estate sales are typically held over a few days and are available to the public.

The sale is generally held on behalf of the family members by a professional estate sale organizer.

It’s time for you to swoop in and see what’s up for grabs! 

What Kinds of Old Furniture Should You Consider Buying For Flipping? 

What Kinds of Old Furniture Should You Consider Buying For Flipping

Typically, the sooner you complete a project, the sooner you can begin earning money.

A little end table will get done in days rather than weeks like a full-sized cabinet.

However, it will not generate as much profit. 

Here are some quick-sale item suggestions:

  • End tables 
  • Lamps 
  • Console tables 
  • Chairs (accent and dining) 
  • Chests and trunks 
  • Desks 
  • Mirrors 

Items that are useful generally sell more quickly.

You also want to consider stuff that can be loaded into a truck or trailer with just one or two people.

Items that are heavier and bulkier, such as china cabinets and dining table/chair sets, may take longer to deliver. 

Many folks no longer use traditional china cabinets, and they are frequently short on space.

Such things are more challenging to sell, but it all depends on your market.

Furthermore, these larger things will almost certainly cost you more money upfront.

As a result, you must guarantee that you can generate a profit. 

Also, don’t disregard something just because it’s dirty or smells bad. I can tell you that it is cleanable.

Even years of cigarette smoke can be eradicated with a lot of elbow grease and some clever methods.

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What Pieces of Furniture Should You Pass On? 

There isn’t a single thing I would advise you to pass on.

However, bed frames do not sell well in my experience or the area where I live.

People do buy bed frames, but they don’t seem to sell as well as they used to.

I didn’t want to do dining tables because of the time commitment, but again, check your location.

Grab one of those if they’re in high demand.

Another item that doesn’t seem to sell well here is bookshelves, which strikes me as weird.

I guess people are big into e-readers now. 

If you want guidelines for what to avoid, here are some red flags to look out for: 

  • Drawers that won’t budge 

It might be hard to fix sticky drawers. If you don’t manage to do it, it will be challenging to sell a non-functioning item. 

  • Poorly made furniture 

People who buy flipped furniture typically do so because they prefer items that can stand the test of time.

When something endures for a long time, it means it was born out of excellent craftsmanship.

Second-hand buyers look for buzzwords like “solid wood” and “vintage.”

You might be wasting your funds if you buy poorly made furniture because you’re going to have to spend more on repairs.

Keep an eye out for solid wood pieces with authentic hardware!

It’s always a matter of hunting down high-quality pieces.

  • Broken items that are too difficult to fix

Let’s say you find a beautiful old clock at an estate sale.

You’re sure that there’s a market for it.

However, you don’t know the first thing about fixing clocks.

You might have to pass up on that one.

Hiring a clockmaker or restorer will rack up costs and time.

Of course, the items that you sell must be in good condition.

  • Furniture that’s been flipped multiple times before 

You might stumble upon a piece of furniture that has had many makeovers.

If you have to update it to suit modern tastes, you may have to replace several parts.

You may even have to strip multiple coats of paint, which is pretty tricky.

You’ll still have to do it because painting over a lousy paint job will be noticeable. 

  • Malfunctioning, wobbly, or unsteady pieces 

If you can’t put anything on it without it shifting or wobbling, pass on it.

Unless you know how to fix it, it’s not worth the trouble.

It might require a simple remedy but walk away if it appears to be on the verge of collapsing.

How Much Money Are People Willing To Pay For Refurbished Furniture? 

How Much Money Are People Willing To Pay For Refurbished Furniture

You’ll need to decide how much to sell your piece for after you’ve successfully repaired it.

It’s a good idea to start by writing down how much time and money you invested into the project.

This should include:

  • the price of the object when you first bought it
  • the cost of any supplies you used
  • any transportation charges
  • all of the time you spent working on it

You can typically mark up an item by 200%-400% once you’ve assessed how much effort and money you put into it.

Let’s assume you spent $50 on a piece, spent $50 on materials, and spent a total of 6 hours on it.

You might ask for anything between $200 and $500.

Assessing what other similar pieces have sold for recently is an excellent approach to establish your selling price.

You can increase your pricing if you observe that a product comparable to yours has sold for a higher price.

After you’ve posted your listing, you may always change the price point.

If you’re not getting a lot of interest, you can always drop the price and make adjustments.

Where Do You Sell Your Flipped Furniture?

furniture flipping - Where Do You Sell Your Flipped Furniture

You’ll need to find a place to sell your furniture once you’ve determined how much you want to sell it for.

There are numerous solutions accessible, but some may be more cost-effective and easier to use than others.

Garage Sales 

A garage sale may provide you with the opportunity to sell your restored furniture.

The benefit of having a garage sale is that you may also post other items for sale around your home.


Craigslist is an excellent location to advertise your wares.

It will take less than 5 minutes to list your item for sale.

Users can contact you anonymously via email to submit offers or questions.

Facebook Marketplace 

Facebook Marketplace can be an excellent location to sell your restored furniture, just as it can be a fantastic place to buy it.

You’ll have quick access to billions of people, and there are no fees associated with selling your products.


Since the early 2000s, eBay has provided a platform for sellers to market their wares to millions of online buyers.

What are the disadvantages of eBay? 

Many of your customers might be far from your location, making shipping and transportation difficult.

You can, however, mark your things as “Local Pickup Only,” forcing the customer to pick up the item themselves.

Antique Stores

Many pieces of refurbished furniture can be sold in your local antique store if you look hard enough.

Typically, you’ll pay for booth space, which allows you to display as many things as you like.

Some antique shops will take a portion of your sales, though. 

Social Media 

Anybody with a social media account can use a regular post for advertising their products for sale.

If you have a huge following, they can make an offer for your furniture immediately on the platform.

Your Website 

Consider setting up a personal website if you want to take your furniture flipping business to the next level.

A website may be set up for a few hundred dollars per year or less.

It allows customers to peruse your products at any time of day.

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Useful Tips For Flipping 

Useful Tips For Flipping - furniture flipping

Learn New Relevant Skills 

The more time you spend flipping furniture, the better you will become at it.

This will make you a more streamlined furniture flipper, lowering the cost of your stuff.

Be patient, as this takes time and knowledge.

It can’t hurt to improve your DIY skills for the sake of your business.


If you receive an offer that makes you money, you may be tempted to accept it.

If the offer is too low, it’s best to counteroffer or decline it entirely.

Before you sell your products and receive offers, you must first grasp the costs of flipping them.

Don’t Shoulder Delivery Costs. 

Charge for delivery to increase your furniture flipping income.

If a buyer is smitten by one of your items, there’s a high chance they’ll be prepared to pay a little extra to have it delivered.

It’s simple to make extra money by charging to have your things delivered.

Take On Multiple Projects At Once 

You’ll want to be as efficient with your time as possible if you want to start a profitable reselling business.

Try flipping numerous pieces at once to achieve this.

This means you’ll only have to make one trip to the store to buy furniture, saving you money on transportation.

Advertise On Different Locations 

You can increase the value of your things by promoting them.

If you just advertise your item for sale in one place, you reduce the number of individuals who will view it.

The fewer people see it, the fewer offers you’ll get.

To maximize your exposure and offerings, promote your products across different media.

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Final Thoughts 

Furniture flipping may be a terrific side job for anyone with a few extra hours on the weekends.

For some folks, it can even become a full-time job.

If you enjoy yourself, your flipping side hustle might take up most of your time.

You might believe that to be successful at flipping furniture, you need to be handy or a talented woodworker.

That’s far from the truth!

Anyone can become a profitable flipper with the correct equipment and patience.

Good luck! 

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Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.