Why You Should Always Buy Garage Sale Furniture

How To Update Garage Sale Furniture

You’ve probably seen amazing transformations of the garage sale furniture on Pinterest or even your friends’ Facebook pages. With little experience and depleted funds it’s easy to think that restoring or even redoing furniture it completely out of your skill set. However, by following the steps I lay out in this post you’ll easily be able to see the potential and achieve it in any outdated wood furniture.

Why you should redo old, outdated furniture as opposed to buying new: It’s no surprise that older furniture it usually better quality. In the past, furniture was made to last. Nowadays, furniture is usually imported and cheaply made. So when you by that old piece of furniture from the garage sale  there is a good chance that it will last a lot longer than that cheap chair from Ikea. Additionally, buying used furniture is much more affordable than buying new. Better quality and cheaper? How can you complain with that?

Why small repairs shouldn’t turn you off: If people aren’t selling an item to clear out room, then they are probably getting rid of it because of a small repair needing to be made on the item. Even if you have no experience repairing furniture, there are many resources to show you how to do it! (Like this blog!) Even a quick trip to the local hardware store provides you with professionals who know all about that stuff and are paid to help you find the DIY supplies!

Following my own rule of buying used, I bought these four cream colored chairs for $50 from a garage sale.

easy garage sale furniture update

They were is pretty bad condition when I bought them. Each of the spindles were loose. The previous owner tried to hold them together with painter’s tape. (Who does that?!) Additionally, one of the chairs had a crack in it.

cleaning supplies

To start off, I wiped down all the chairs with a disinfectant. I did this to clean up germs from the previous owner and get off all the discolorations. Taking a mixture of wood glue and wood filler, I filled in the cracks and holes. For this project I used the Elmer’s Glue brand. However, I’ve heard that Gorilla glue works really well, so feel free to use that instead.

After filling in the cracks, I let the wood glue and filler dry for a few days. Once it is dry it will harden. Any overrun will harden and feel like clay. Using 100 grit sand paper I sanded off the extra so it was flush with the wood. After this was complete I gave the rest of the chair a good sanding to allow the paint to stick better to the wood. This entire process I did by hand. However, if you have a power sander, I highly recommend using it; this will decrease your work time exponentially.

Pro Tip: While it’s not necessary, you may want to invest in a dust mask and painter’s suite if you have a lot of painting to do. I’m a super messy painter, so I where an entire outfit when I paint. (#breakingbad)

getting ready to paint

Next, I used a 3 in 1 white primer all over the chair. I LOVE using 3 in 1 primers because they fill in any imperfections that the sanding process might have credit and makes the entire surface one color. This is what the chairs looked like after the primer.

the difference primer can make

In the beginning, I thought that I would like to paint the seat of the chairs a nice metallic gold and the body black. After patch testing a section I thought that the gold from Plutonium looked more orange than I wanted it to, so I just went for a full black instead. (That’s why there is a random orange streak on the seat of one of the chairs.

redo garage sale furniture

Here’s a close up of the black and the gold. Isn’t Plutonium’s packaging neat?

plutonium paint review

To achieve a deep black color, I did two coats of Deep Space from Plutonium Paint. Using any other brand of spray paint for a piece of furniture used so often would have been scary to me. However, I’ve used Plutonium Paint many times and love the coverage it gives me. The reason I used spray paint instead of can paint for this project was because it dries a ton quicker and the application process is much faster. Plutonium Paint distributes an even application no matter the angle of the can, so it only took me about 15 minutes to paint each chair.

update garage sale furniture

Plutonium Paint makes it easy to achieve an ombre effect on whatever you’re painting. While I didn’t end up going with this design, I think it looks really cool!


Ensuring the longevity of the chairs was easy. It just sprayed an acrylic enamel top coat and they were good to go.

how to update garage sale furniture

What do you think of how these chairs turned out? Tell me in the comments below.


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