Summer Sale: Spruce Up Tired Furniture for Sale

When it comes to selling used furniture, appearance is everything. You don't have to particularly 'handy' to get your second-hand furniture looking more appealing to buyers.

Be realistic

Not all furniture can be saved by a fresh coat of paint. Some may be beyond repair. If an armchair has a leg missing, broken springs, and stinky upholstery, save yourself the hassle. To sell second-hand furniture it needs to be safe, clean, and usable.

If you can't make it tick all those boxes, there's always the council waste collection. On the other hand, don't be lazy. There are lot of simple tricks – from getting dents out of wood to leather repair – that can help make your furniture beautiful again. Identify the problem and get on Google. There are people who make a living out of finding, repairing, and then selling used furniture, so give it a try.

The basics - Wooden

Wooden furniture can come up beautifully with a bit of spit and polish. If you’re a newbie, YouTube has plenty of DIY videos for every type of wooden furniture.

Here are the basics: 
1. Clean: Wipe away dust and dirt with a mild detergent and warm-water solution. 
2. Repair: Tighten spindles, handles and knobs. Glue down veneers. Fill in cracks and scratches with wood putty or glue, or wax or shellac sticks. 
3. Sand and prime: Lightly buff your furniture with sandpaper, then wipe it down with a soft cloth and apply an even coat of primer. 
4. Polish: Polish your furniture for a natural finish. For the glossy look, go with varnish, shellac or lacquer. For matte, go with oil or wax. 
5. Paint: This takes practice and patience. If you’re new to DIY, you might want to stick with a natural finish. If your furniture was painted but now looks worse for wear, you can sand it back to its natural state or re-touch the paint where it’s peeling or chipped.

The basics - Upholstered

Old upholstery stains can be hard to remove, but don't give up before you try a few things.

1. Vacuum the upholstery to remove dust and debris.
2. Check its label for cleaning dos and don’ts.
3. Spot-test with a mild solution of water with soap, detergent or vinegar. 4. Steam the stain to loosen it with your iron’s steam function.
5. Blot, don’t rub, and repeat to fade (literally).

The basics - Outdoor

Most outdoor furniture (wood, rattan, wicker, aluminium) can be cleaned with mild detergent and water. For rattan and wicker, start with a dry brush to get at those hard-to-reach places. Don't use anything too abrasive when cleaning to avoid scratching, and simply wash off the detergent with the hose.

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