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Top Ten Places to Find Furniture to Restore

10 places to find furniturePeople often ask me where I find my “stuff” to restore.

There are so many different avenues to finding your own funky furniture to makeover for your house, so I thought I’d share some of my secrets with you. You never know, there might be some places you haven’t thought of yet to find furniture to paint or restore.

Click here for our handy downloadable PDF list of my Top Ten Places to Find Furniture to Restore!

1) Op shops or thrift stores such as (in Australia):

Vinnie’sSalvo’sEndeavour FoundationLifeline and more. Depending where you go, prices can vary on furniture items from bargains to ridiculous. I don’t like to pay a lot for pieces here unless it’s a really nice antique piece that I know I’m going to be able to add a lot of value to. Depending on the location, they really do vary in pricing.

2) Recycle Centres:

A lot of our city dumps (okay, if you want to be all posh about it, you could call them “Waste Collection Stations”) have added a Recycling Centre to their sites. These have a lot of bargain pieces. Our local Recycle centre has a separate section for their “good stuff” or collectables where you’ll find more of the vintage or antique type pieces, but may pay a little extra for them. Look up the opening hours for these centres as you will find the most popular days are the first day where a hundred people might be lining up with you to get the best finds! (oh yeah, people can get a little crazy at these places!) Ours opens from Friday through to Monday each week, so you know you’re going to get the good stuff on Friday and less on Monday.

Logan Recycle Market

Logan Recycle Market (Pic Source: about-australia.com)

3) Dare I say it – Curb side collection!

Ha ha. Some people do this, some are too embarrassed to be seen doing this, some sneak out at night to do this! Check your local council rules for picking up anything off the curb that people have placed out for council to pick up. Some places don’t allow you to do this – not sure why, ‘cuz I’d see it as doing the council a favour since they don’t have to pick up as much! People do throw out some AMAZING junk! If in doubt, just check with the people at the house it came from. They will most always give you permission to take it away. Then at least you feel like you’ve done the right thing by asking.

(Image source: lavenderexperiment.blogspot.com.au)

4) Friends and Family:

When people start to find out that you are looking for furniture to makeover, you can get some nice offers from family and friends who are getting rid of old bits and pieces. Spread the word and you never know! My sister & her husband were getting rid of a few of these old army boxes and wanted to know if I could use them. I saw the potential and you can view the full post on what I transformed them into HERE.

Army Box

Before: an army box I was given.

5) Antique Centres:

These are a wonderful place to go … to window shop! Antique Centres are full of amazing pieces of antique and vintage treasures, but generally not a place I’d go to find furniture to restore, as prices are marked at retail to sell and traders are understandably, wanting top dollar for their treasures. I am looking for bargains that I can do up to sell at these prices. But these are also a great place to go for inspiration! Antique Centres (or Antique Malls as they call them in the USA) have loads of beautiful antique and vintage treasures to drool over!! And you might still find something special and unique for your home while you’re there.

Antique Centre

Woolloongabba Antique Centre (Image source: thesourcenews.com)

6) Garage Sales:

There are LOTS of garage sales around especially in the spring/summer months, where you can find great treasures for bottom dollar prices. Many people are happy to bargain with you at these places because they want to get rid of their items so they don’t have to pack it all up at the end of the day. The earlier you get there, the better the finds. But sometimes, at the end of the day, people are far more willing to go way down in price to get rid of things quickly, than at the start of the sale.

I found an amazing gentleman’s wardrobe one Sunday afternoon on the way home from church from a garage sale that was packing everything down. I scored it for $20 which I thought was a great deal as it was in excellent condition.
Look up garage sales online to find them in your local area.

Garage Sale

Garage Sale (Image Source: household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com)

7) Weekend Markets:

There are often second hand furniture stalls or people selling odds and ends at markets over the weekend. Check out The Market Guide, if you’re in Australia, and here’s our Queensland guide. They have a comprehensive list of what’s on where, state by state. Markets vary in types and variety of goods sold, so you may have to look further into each market’s website or facebook page to find out if you’ll actually find any second hand goods. Some markets cater more to food fare, while others are largely art and craft, and some have a great mixture of anything and everything.

Yandina markets

Yandina Markets (image source: www.weekendnotes.com)

8) Online classifieds such as Ebay or Gumtree, Craigslist, etc.

Lots of pieces start at low bidding prices for auctions on Ebay and you can even find “buy it now” options at very reasonable prices. Just make sure you check descriptions carefully for any details to make sure you really want the item. If you have any questions you can usually ask the buyer through the website itself. Some people even allow you to inspect before buying. I usually search by “distance nearest” first and also look via a price range search for items under $20. You’d be surprised what shows up at starting bid prices as low as .99 cents. I bought this lovely antique wash stand off Ebay for $30 a few years ago:

Wash stand

Antique wash stand I bought off ebay for $30.

9) In your own back yard!

Sometimes we have pieces of furniture right under our nose that can be given a makeover to upcycle into a fantastic piece to suite your living space. When I first started restoring I found an old cupboard in our garden shed that belonged to my grandfather many years ago. I was surprised at how well it transformed from a greasy tool cupboard to a gorgeous little cabinet that now takes pride of place in our home. You can find out more about that piece and the surprise I found while restoring it HERE.

Grandpa's cupboard

Before: Grandpa’s cabinet was holding tools in our garden shed.

Grandpa's cupboard

After: Restoring this treasure was fun. Click the picture to read about the surprise I found while doing it up.

10) Make your own furniture!

Pallet racks are found in so many places near industrial type areas or shopping centres, pet stores, or furniture stores. Make sure you check with centre managers or shop owners before helping yourself as companies re-use these pallets and return to pick them up. There are loads of exciting pieces of furniture and decor you can make with these and other random pieces of wood found lying around the place. But for this option, you need to be pretty handy with a hammer and some pallets are tricky to pull apart. Check out Pinterest for ideas or just Google “Pallet furniture” and you’ll come up with lots of inspirational ideas. Here’s just one idea:

pallet bed

Pallet bed (image source: www.101palletideas.com)


Subscribe to my blog via email to stay posted with more hints and tips and be inspired to transform your own pieces of “junk” into timeless treasures!
Join me on my Facebook page, or one of the other social media sites using the icons on the top left corner of this page. If you can think of any more options I may have missed, I’d LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments below. Where have you found furniture to paint or restore?
And where is YOUR favourite place to find them?

Happy Painting!

Sharon.

We are authorised retailers for Fusion Mineral Paint and Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Australia. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    modular office furniture
    June 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Thank you for posting the great content…I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharingFurniture stores bangalore

  • Reply
    Seven Tips on Selecting Quality Restorable Furniture | I Restore Stuff
    July 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    […] to look for old furniture. I wrote a whole blog on “Where to Find Funky Furniture” HERE. You’ll be surprised at the number of places you can go to find “stuff”. I […]

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    October 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

    […] Top Ten Places to Find Restorable Pieces […]

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    French Country Bedside Tables - Custom Color Mixing - I Restore Stuff
    March 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

    […] Our local Recycle Market is a place I’ll often find furniture to upcycle, and that’s where I found these two rustic country looking “love-birds”. For other places to find furniture to up-cycle, check out my post: Top 10 Places to Find Furniture to Restore. […]

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    French Country Bedside Tables - Custom Color Mixing
    March 31, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    […] Our local Recycle Market is a place I’ll often find furniture to upcycle, and that’s where I found these two rustic country looking “love-birds”. For other places to find furniture to up-cycle, check out my post: Top 10 Places to Find Furniture to Restore. […]

  • Reply
    Denise Thomas
    December 5, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I get some real bargains (sometimes even free) by being a part of our local area Facebook group – we have 45,000 in ours and advertising is free.
    You do need to be prepared to jump on the bargains when they turn up (hint -most people seem to post in the evenings).

    • Reply
      IRestoreStuff
      December 5, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Yes! So true Denise, which is where I got my most recent piece of furniture from. I need to update this post to add the Facebook Marketplace. I wrote this some time ago, so will add this in. Thanks.

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