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How I Started my Furniture Flipping Business

Where it all began..

Okay, so it’s fall of 2019 and i’m just beginning my final year of university in a degree that I knew I didn’t want to pursue. I was nervous for the future because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It’s safe to say that I was feeling a little lost and discouraged, when suddenly I scored a cool job as a Student brand representative for Bumble (yes, the dating app). It was a great gig with a great company and the best team of girls. I was in this role for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year but I knew that I still needed a plan for the future as the position I was in was only available to students. So a few weeks before my graduation I hopelessly applied for a new position with the company and I was lucky enough to score a promotion to become Manitoba’s event coordinator for Bumble. This meant I was in charge of collaborating with locals to expand brand awareness, choosing sponsorships we want to support, and creating our own events throughout the city to promote the Bumble app. I was SO excited, and this opportunity came weeks after the announcement of the world-wide pandemic, which meant I was laid off of my part-time bartending job. It felt like everything was falling into place. I was so excited and thankful for the opportunity to have a position with a great company that would lead to more opportunities, and what I thought would turn into my career.

Unfortunately I was only in this position for 1 month until they announced that they were doing a large rebranding, which meant that they were removing all Canadian jobs for the company. Safe to say I was quite upset by the news…

Fast forward a few more weeks, and my serious 3 year relationship also came to an end. Although it was for the better, it’s an understatement to say that my life was a complete whirlwind during the month of May/June 2020. A global pandemic, university graduation, a job promotion, 2 job terminations, and a break-up. WOOOOW what a time.

But this is when I’m going to remind you all that everything happens for a reason. When you lose everything it clears a place for a fresh start.

 

What next?

Ok so believe me when I say that I had a lot of time on my hands at this point. After being attached at the hip with my roommate for weeks and weeks, I decided it’s time to start a project. With absolutely no experience or knowledge, I decided it would be fun to paint the dresser that had been sitting in my garage for years. With a little bit of Pinterest inspiration, and a few google searches later, I hit up Canadian Tire for an orbital power sander, paint brushes, some chalk paint, and wood tinter. I blindly started painting the dresser (I forgot to add that I have absolutely no artistic ability so my expectations were quite low for how it was going to turn out). But to my pleasant surprise, it turned out great, and I couldn’t get over how satisfying the feeling was to look at the piece of furniture and be proud of what I created (image below)

After this piece I became obsessed with searching marketplace for the next piece of furniture I could flip. My 1 car garage, filled with junk from 4 different roommates became my new hangout spot. I spent all day long in there creating new pieces (lots I’m proud of, but also many I’m not). But the best feeling is when you make something kick-ass and finally sell your masterpiece, justifying all of your hard work. And the cash is addicting! It’s a constant game of “can I make this next one even BETTER?!” and “can I sell this one for even MORE money?!”.



This is when it finally clicked to me that I had found the thing i’m passionate about. From that point on I was constantly doing research on how I could make a living doing what I do, and I realized it’s totally possible. But I also knew that it wasn’t going to come easy.

After spending my entire summer in my non-conditioned garage, I knew that fall was coming and that I needed to find a new place to do my work. So I started searching for shops and garages to rent across the city, only to find that it cost even more to rent a shop than the amount I pay to rent my 3 story duplex, ugh. 

Thankfully all 3 of my roommates and their significant others (yes it’s a busy house) allowed me to take over the living room space and do my projects there for the past 7 months. The house was an absolute disaster during all hours of the day and my main floor was a revolving door of different furniture. Luckily my roommates never once complained about it and I am forever grateful for them and their support ♥



Fast forward 1 year later and here I am, doing work for large companies and helping clients design and update their kitchens with my help. But even though i’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, I still have a lot more to go. 

For instance, this is my garage at the moment. Tomorrow i’ve cleared my schedule and am planning to clean out and organize this mess for the warmer season. Hoping that a hard working summer can lead to a fully functional shop for next year 😉

Basic tips and tricks for beginners…

If I could go back a year and give myself a few basic pointers in order to create the best looking final pieces, here’s what I would tell myself:

  • Buy quality pieces that are made of real wood
  • leave Latex paint alone and Invest in the quality furniture paint (it makes ALL the difference) 
  •  Invest in tack cloth and make sure to wipe your surface between every paint/stain coat. Tack cloth removes all of the fuzz and dust that attaches to the wet surface while drying.
  • Stripping is better than sanding. Here is my favourite stripper 
  • Neutral coloured pieces sell more quickly
  • A light sanding on your paint for a distressed look can make the world of a difference. It creates texture and dynamics to your piece which makes it more appealing to the eye
  • Always use top coat on stain and paint in order to seal the piece
  • Always work in natural lighting in order to create the best results
  • Bear in mind that every time you reach an obstacle, Youtube will have the solution 99% of the time
  • and lastly, don’t discount thrift stores and garage sales to find your pieces of furniture! The less you pay for the initial piece, the higher ROI!

Remember that when you’re searching for a new piece to flip, always look for the potential of what the piece COULD be, instead of writing off what’s right in front of you. Keep in mind that it’s possible to make almost anything look better as long as the piece of furniture itself is of quality!

Thanks for stopping by and learning my journey. Subscribe to learn more of my furniture flipping tips and tricks!

How to Start Flipping Furniture From Home For a Profit; Step-by-Step Guide

Keep reading to learn a basic step-by-step breakdown on how to start flipping furniture from your home!

So I finally organized my garage into a functional shop for the summer and let me tell you.. what a game CHANGER. I’ve finished 5 projects and sold all but 1 in the first week. The extra room in the shop vs my living room is not even comparable! In addition to that, I scored another large contract with a reputable company and I can’t wait to share with you guys the results! These past few weeks have gotten me so busy and I LOVE it.

Here are some pictures of the projects i’ve done this past week. Side note: how cute is my new neon sign in pic 1 😍 It will be up in the garage very soon!

Coffee table flip for a client who just bought a brand new table but was unsure of the colour! I was able to turn it into her customized dreams

Tried the new Rustoleum “Smokey Glaze” overtop of a coat of Linen white Restoleum chalk paint. This was new to me but I love how it turned out!
Had this one sitting in my garage for over a year and I was about to throw it out. So happy I decided to give it a chance!

Through trial and error i’ve learned a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes time to starting a project. Keep reading to learn my basic step-by-step process on how to flip furniture!

Supplies you will need to get started:

  • paint brush
  • your choice of coloured paint and/or wood stain. Try and stay away from latex paint. Chalk paint or any other sort of furniture paint is ideal. If you live in Canada, a variety of different chalk paints are hard to come by in local stores, so ordering online is how I purchase most of my paints! I recommend www.gratefullystored.ca , they sell a variety of different brands of furniture paints, including my favourite paint brands Mango paint and Fusion Mineral Paint (plus much more)
  • tack cloth; to remove dust particles between coats of paint and stain
  • screwdriver to remove hardware
  • a putty knife
  • rags that you don’t mind getting dirty (they sell a pack of painters rags at a variety of hardware stores such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot etc)
  • some sort of top-coat to seal your project’s paint and/or stain
  • If you’re doing work in your home, investing in a drop sheet or using an old bedsheet would be a good idea to lay down as an area for you to do your work to avoid ruining flooring

Step 1: Find your quality piece of furniture

  • You can start by finding an old piece in your home that looks like it could use an update, or
  • Facebook marketplace is the best place to find cheap and sometimes FREE items that people find no use for. Just remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!!
  • Make sure that the item is real wood. Be sure to read the descriptions of the pieces for sale and don’t be afraid to ask the seller if it’s real wood
  • Join your local facebook groups that are giving away free items in your area! (every area has it’s own group) search in your facebook browser “buy nothing ______” and insert your area where I put the blank
  • Don’t spend a fortune on a piece! Odds are that you aren’t going to sell it for a profit that was worth your effort if you spend a lot on the initial item. For instance, if you buy a dresser for $200 + the cost of supplies + the time of labour to fix it, only to sell it for $250 = not worth it! (side note: I’ve never spent more than $50 on a piece that i’ve flipped). Aim LOW!
  • On the flip side of that for instance, you won’t make much of a profit if you find a cheap Walmart shelf that is only worth $20 before AND after you update it. Remember quality

Step 2: Prep your piece

  • Before you start anything, make sure to clean it! I just use basic Dawn dish soap and water in a bucket and wipe down every surface with a cloth
  • Remove all hardware from the drawers with screwdriver or hand drill
  • If there are any holes or indents in the piece then I would fill it in with wood filler, and then sand it down to a levelled surface once dried
  • I like to do a light sanding of the entire piece with a high grit sandpaper to create a smooth and gloss free surface to paint
  • Wipe down with tack cloth before you start painting

Step 3: Stripping your piece for staining (if you’re sanding or only painting, skip this step)

  • On the contrary of painting your piece of furniture, staining requires much more prep… but I promise the final result is so worth it!
  • If you’ve read my previous blog, you know that i’m a fan of stripping the top of my pieces to create a beautiful wooden table-top look
  • My favourite stripper to use is Ez stripper from Home Depot because it is a non-toxic, pet friendly, and odorous stripper. Great for indoor projects!
  • To begin stripping your table-top, start by pouring a heavy amount on the surface you want to strip, and with your paintbrush you are going to evenly spread the stripper throughout the whole surface with a thin (but not too thin) layer
  • Let it sit for approximately 3-5 minutes (but don’t let it dry!)
  • Once you’ve waited a few minutes for the stripper to settle, with your putty knife you are going to gently press down on your tabletop and scrape the layer of stripper along with previous stain, lacquer or varnish that was applied to the original piece. You will notice that your knife and stripper will be removing a discoloured and chunky liquid, that’s when you know you are removing the old stain
  • You will continue to add the stripper and scrape away the old stuff until you have a completely bare wood tabletop. Sometimes I will strip the same surface 7-10 times before I see my desired bare-wood look!
Pros of Stripping:

I often use stripping over sanding for multiple reasons;

  • It’s indoor use friendly
  • doesn’t contain toxic fumes or an odorous smell
  • It doesn’t create a dusty mess all over the room like sanding does
  • leaves a beautiful finish when completed
  • and it’s oddly satisfying

Check out my instagram to see behind the scene clips on how I strip my projects!

Cons of Stripping:
  • It creates a mess of it’s own (be sure to wear gloves when stripping and have a spare bucket to put the remains of the old stain + stripper)
  • It is more time consuming when it comes to smaller and more tedious surface areas! That’s why I prefer stripping tabletops or other large surfaces
Remember when I said that stripping is oddly satisfying?! 

In this video you can clearly see the removal of the old stain, leaving a lighter wood underneath

Step 4: Sanding your piece for staining (if you choose this instead of stripping)

  • If you choose to sand over strip then you will need to start off with a low grit sanding paper (80-120 grit)
  • If you happen to have an electrical sander, opt for this as it will save you time rather than doing by hand
  • with your sander you will begin to lightly sand the area of the piece that you want to remove the old stain. If you are doing this by hand and have a large surface area then it may take you some time, be patient
  • continue to sand your piece until you’ve removed all the old stain
  • after you’ve reached your desired look, you will probably notice that your piece isn’t quite as smooth as you would like. This is when you can go in with a finer, higher grit sandpaper (200-400 grit) and lightly sand the surface. You will quickly notice the area has become significantly smoother

Step 5: Staining

  • Once you’ve removed all of the old varnish from your piece from stripping or sanding, and you are left with raw wood, then you are ready for coat of stain! Keep in mind that if there are still remnants of the old stain, then that area of the wood will not take in the new stain like raw wood will. So be sure to remove all old stain before applying new to avoid a patchy final result
  • But first, tack cloth. Before you start staining be sure to wipe down every surface of your project with your tack cloth to remove all dust and lint. If you skip this step then all of the dust and lint will remain stuck in your piece forever once dried
  • With your choice of stain use your paintbrush to apply an even layer of stain to the surface using large and even strokes
  • After approximately 10-15 minutes (depending what your stain label says) you are going to remove the excess stain with a lint free cloth
  • After a few hours you can apply another coat. Continue to do this until you’ve reached your desired look
  • Wait 24 hours before applying sealant/top coat

Step 6: Painting

  • The benefit of chalk paint and most other furniture paints is that you do not need to sand or apply a base coat before applying your paint. However, I like to do a light sanding of the entire piece with a high grit sandpaper to create a smooth and gloss free surface to paint on
  • If you want a smooth look, use a regular flat edged or angled brush (size of your choice)
  • If you’re interested in a more distressed look, try a rounded chip brush to create a more textured look on your piece
  • Most furniture paints claim to be a 1 coat job. However, I always like to apply 2 for best results
  • Furniture paints dry quickly so you typically only need 20 minutes between coats before you apply another

Step 7: Sealing

  • Whether you are painting or staining, both require a good top coat in order to seal the piece from water marks and other undesired substances that could ruin your work
  • Every furniture paint brand should have it’s own sealer/top coat for their product! For example, when I use Rustoleum chalk paint, I seal it with the Rustoleum chalk-paint top coat for best results.
  • On the contrary of paints, there are a variety of different sealants that can be used for stains! One of the most popular being polyurethane sealer oil-based sealer. This one is popular because it is one of the most durable finishes. Wherever you purchase your stain, ask the employee which sealant would be best suited for your project! There are plenty of sealants out there
  • Whichever top coat you choose, remember to apply at least 3-4 coats in order to create the best seal. And don’t forget to sand in-between coats with your 400 grit paper and wipe away the dust with tack cloth before applying your next coat.

Step 8: hardware

  • If you’re searching for brand new hardware I suggest visiting your local Lee Valley Tools as they have the widest and best variety of knobs i’ve seen!
  • You should decide on hardware before starting your project because if your new hardware is a different size than your old, then you would need to fill in the holes with wood filler before painting! Then you will need to drill new holes to the size of your new hardware
  • If you’re wanting to refresh your current hardware, make sure to soak it with soap and water and scrub if necessary to remove all the old scum.
  • Then your hardware will be ready for a coat of spray paint! Apply a few coats before putting them back on your piece of furniture!

A cool textured spray paint for these knobs


Good luck to all of you trying this at home for your first time! Have fun and be sure to share your final results ☺️

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Chapter 1

Where it all began..

Okay, so it’s fall of 2019 and i’m just beginning my final year of university in a degree that I knew I didn’t want to pursue. I was nervous for the future because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It’s safe to say that I was feeling a little lost and discouraged, when suddenly I scored a cool job as a Student brand representative for Bumble (yes, the dating app). It was a great gig with a great company and the best team of girls. I was in this role for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year but I knew that I still needed a plan for the future as the position I was in was only available to students. So a few weeks before my graduated I hopelessly applied for a new position with the company and I was lucky enough to score a promotion to become Manitoba’s event coordinator for Bumble. This meant I was in charge of collaborating with locals to expand brand awareness, choosing sponsorships we want to support, and creating our own events throughout the city to promote the Bumble app.  I was SO excited, and this opportunity came weeks after the announcement of the world-wide pandemic, which meant I was laid off of my part-time bartending job. It felt like everything was falling into place. I was so excited and thankful for the opportunity to have a position with a great company that would lead to more opportunities, and what I thought would turn into my career.

Unfortunately I was only in this position for 1 month until they announced that they were doing a large rebranding, which meant that they were removing all Canadian jobs for the company. Safe to say I was quite upset by the news…

Fast forward a few more weeks, and my serious 3 year relationship also came to an end. Although it was for the better, it’s safe to say that my life was a complete whirlwind during the month of May/June 2020. A global pandemic, university graduation, a job promotion, 2 job terminations, and a break-up. WOOOOW what a time.

But this is when I’m going to remind you all that everything happens for a reason. When you lose everything it clears a place for a fresh start.

 
What next?

Ok so believe me when I say that I had a lot of time on my hands at this point. After being attached at the hip with my roommate for weeks and weeks, I decided it’s time to start a project. With absolutely no experience or knowledge, I decided it would be fun to paint the dresser that had been sitting in my garage for years. With a little bit of Pinterest inspiration, and a few google searches later, I hit up Canadian Tire for an orbital power sander, paint brushes, some chalk paint, and wood tinter. I blindly started painting the dresser (I forgot to add that I have absolutely no artistic ability so my expectations were quite low for how it was going to turn out). But to my pleasant surprise, it turned out great, and I couldn’t get over how satisfying the feeling was to look at the piece of furniture and be proud of what I created (image below)

After this piece I became obsessed with searching marketplace for the next piece of furniture I could flip. My 1 car garage, filled with junk from 4 different roommates became my new hangout spot. I spent all day long in there creating new pieces (lots I’m proud of, but also many I’m not). But the best feeling is when you make something kick-ass and finally sell your masterpiece, justifying all of your hard work. And the cash is addicting! It’s a constant game of “can I make this next one even BETTER?!” and “can I sell this one for even MORE money?!”.



This is when it finally clicked to me that I had finally found the thing i’m passionate about. From that point on I was constantly doing research on how I could make a living doing what I do, and I realized it’s totally possible. But I also knew that it wasn’t going to come easy.

After spending my entire summer in my non-insulated garage, I knew that fall was coming and that I needed to find a new place to do my work. So I started searching for shops and garages to rent across the city, only to find that it cost even more to rent a shop than the amount I pay to rent my 3 story duplex, ugh. 

Thankfully all 3 of my roommates and their significant others (yes it’s a busy house) allowed me to take over the living room space and do my projects there for the past 7 months. The house was an absolute disaster during all hours of the day and my main floor was a revolving door of different furniture. Luckily my roommates never once complained about it and I am forever grateful for them and their support
























Fast forward 1 year later and here I am, doing work for large companies and helping clients design and update their kitchens with my help. But even though i’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, I still have a lot more to go. 

 

For instance, this is my garage at the moment. Tomorrow i’ve cleared my schedule and am planning to clean out and organize this mess for the warmer season. Hoping that a hard working summer can lead to a fully functional shop for next year 😉
Basic tips and tricks for beginners…

If I could go back a year and give myself a few basic pointers in order to create the best looking final pieces, here’s what I would tell myself:

  • Buy quality pieces that are made of real wood
  • leave Latex paint alone and Invest in the quality furniture paint (it makes ALL the difference) 
  •  Invest in tack cloth and make sure to wipe your surface between every paint/stain coat. Tack cloth removes all of the fuzz and dust that attaches to the wet surface while drying.
  • Stripping is better than sanding. Here is my favourite stripper 
  • Neutral coloured pieces sell more quickly
  • A light sanding on your paint for a distressed look can make the world of a difference. It creates texture and dynamics to your piece which makes it more appealing to the eye
  • Always use top coat on stain and paint in order to seal the piece
  • Always work in natural lighting in order to create the best results
  • Bear in mind that every time you reach an obstacle, Youtube will have the solution 99% of the time
  • and lastly, don’t discount thrift stores and garage sales to find your pieces of furniture! The less you pay for the initial piece, the higher ROI!

Remember that when you’re searching for a new piece to flip, always look for the potential of what the piece COULD be, instead of discounting what is in front of you. Keep in mind that it’s possible to make almost anything look better as long as the piece of furniture itself is of quality!