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How to sell your second hand furniture

When it comes to selling your second-hand furniture, appearance is everything. Clean and tidy always sells better, but lucky for you, you don’t have to get too hands on to make your furniture more appealing for buyers. 

Be realistic

Let’s be real… if your chair has a leg missing or smelly upholstery, save yourself the hassle and wait for the council waste collection. In order to sell second-hand furniture, the item in question needs to be in working condition at the very least.

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: Painting takes practice and patience. If you’re new to DIY, you might want to stick with a natural finish. If your furniture began life 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 the 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.

When you're looking at selling your furniture, ask yourself whether you'd buy the piece that you're selling. 

By following the above guide, you should be able to get your furniture closer to its former glory - or give it a new lease on life altogether.

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