Anyone can flip furniture if you have the appropriate tools to get the job done. There are only a few that you will need to start your first flip! Hopefully you have read my “Where to Find Furniture to Flip on a Budget” blog post (click here) and now you’re ready to get started. Here is a list of the basics you will need to flip that first piece. (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience).
1. A Good Sander – Any used piece will require some type of sanding. I use the DeWalt Orbital Sander (here). It fits nicely in my hand, with very little vibration. It runs smoothly, but still has the power to get the job done. You can also sand in any direction. The dust bag collects dust, therefore very little mess. I do recommend sanding outside and wear a mask. I just moved the piece outside, right on the edge of the garage and thought it would be okay. Nope! Dust covered everything, and I mean everything! So be sure that you are outside away from anywhere you do not want dust to accumulate.
2. Sandpaper – I use Gator sandpaper (here). My stash normally consists of 60, 80, 120 and 220 grit. I have tried other sandpapers, and they just do not hold up to the quality of Gator. Other’s rip and tear, but Gator holds its own.
3. Cleaner – Most used pieces of furniture I have encountered had some form of dirt and grime. I use Dixie Belle’s White Lightning (here). This stuff cleans fantastically. It comes in powder form and has to be mixed with hot water, but it lasts a very long time! It’s very important to at have a cleaner that is touch on removing grim or grease. If any of this is left on your piece, it will cause the paint not to adhere and you will be pulling your hair out!
4. Wood Filler – Used furniture always has some dings or chips in the wood, so a good wood filler is a must. I use Elmer’s Carpenter Natural Wood Filler (here) if I am painting the piece. If I am staining, I try not to use too much filler because quite frankly, there is no filler that stains very well. Both products are easy to use by applying with a paint scrapper.
5. Paintbrushes – A good quality paintbrush makes a world of difference. I use Wooster Silver Tip (here). The Silver Tips leave very little paint strokes and clean up very well. You can also reuse them if you clean them correctly.
6. Tack Cloth – Tack cloth is very important and inexpensive. Even after you wipe down your piece to remove the sanding dust, you will still have residue left. Tack cloth is sticky and will remove all the left-over residue on your project. You can find this at any local home improvement store or your local hardware store.
7. Respirator or Mask – This is very important when sanding or using oil-based topcoats. Always protect yourself. Older pieces can have lead paint and it’s hard to determine if they do or not. Wearing a mask will protect you.
8. Shop Towels – I use these shop towels on a daily basis. There especially good at cleaning up spills! I have spilled paint and even stain on occasion and they absorb quickly and hold a lot of liquid. I also use them to clean pieces and to apply stain.
9. Disposable Gloves – Gloves are important especially when staining. I do wear them when I paint as well because I paint inside my shop which is in my home. If I do not use gloves, my hands would be covered in paint and so would everything else I touch! (Note: Make sure that if you are allergic to latex, you choose a glove that is latex free like the ones in the photo.)
10. Paper cups or plastic containers – These are important to use to pour your paint in before you begin a job. This will keep you from contaminating your entire paint container. Paper cups are also wider at the top which makes dipping your paintbrush in easier and quicker. I have saved our Chinese plastic containers that the soup comes in and these work very well!
I hope this list helps you get started on your very first project! If you have any questions or need some help along the way, send me an email. I will be happy to help!