HERE’S HOW I STARTED MY FURNITURE PAINTING BUSINESS WITH FREE FURNITURE… AND WHERE YOU CAN FIND FREE FURNITURE TO PAINT AND SELL FOR PROFIT.
Hi creative friends! If you’re just starting your furniture painting journey or looking for a cheap (FREE) way to style and decorate your home, today I’m sharing a where to find FREE furniture!
When I started this furniture painting business, I was strapped for cash. I was working as a part-time special needs bus driver making a little over 14K per year. I LOVED working with the kids, families, and EAs however it wasn’t a lot of money to upkeep a household. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but one winter I was so broke I didn’t have money to buy new snow boots. I wore leaky thrifted snow boots that I had to line with a plastic bag just so my feet wouldn’t get wet.
I stayed positive, followed my heart, and started painting furniture on the side which I had been doing as a hobby and enjoyment for years prior. I would pick up old discarded furniture on bulk day and restyle them for my own home. I remember when I met Nick and he came to my home for the first time, I joked that my entire house was filled with ‘junk’ and ‘thrift’ finds. He thought I was joking but it wasn’t far from the truth. I loved finding and transforming these pieces so much that one thing led to another and Salvaged Inspirations was born. It’s been twelve-plus years and financially the business is doing well yet finding a FREE piece of furniture to paint and transform is still my all-time favorite thing to do!!!
Below I’m sharing where to find freebies. I’ve also included a few of my FREE Furniture makeovers throughout this post and have included the link to each one if you’d like to see the products and paint techniques used to get the look.
CURB SHOPPING IS STILL MY FAVE!
Remember the old saying… “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. So true! I like to keep track of my city’s bulk pick-up dates. So many treasures can be found by the side of the road. I find the best free furniture comes from older areas of the city. I find more quality solid wood pieces from older homes rather than the Ikea and Structube furniture from newer homes. The older the neighborhood the more chance they are redecorating, updating, or planning on downsizing/moving. You’ll be amazed at what vintage/antiques are put curbside for free.
Cute story, my sister drives a city bus. All her co-worker friends know what I do. They keep their eyes peeled around town for free curb furniture. If you know anyone with a driving or delivery job, ask them to keep an eye out for you!
FRIENDS – FAMILY – CO-WORKERS
Don’t be shy about telling people in your life that you’re looking for furniture to refinish for your own home or to sell. I’ve gotten furniture from my friends, family and co-workers, neighbors, and even people I barely know. Put the word out. Most people would rather give away an old piece of furniture to someone who will give it new life than put it in the trash.
Here are a few tips when putting out the word that you’re looking for free stuff…
- Tell them what you’re doing. Are you trying to furnish your home on a budget? Are you looking to start a business re-loving and re-styling old furniture? Let people know what you’re doing and be honest. If they mention they have their grandmother’s old china cabinet and you plan on painting it to sell, tell them. People like to know where their stuff is going and take part in the process.
- Have a plan for pick up. Make it easy for your family/friends to give you their furniture. Do it at a time of their convenience. Don’t expect them to deliver it to you when you want.
- Be grateful. Always let them know how much you appreciate them thinking of you.
My neighbor John offered me this vinyl chair he was putting on the curb.
FREE CLASSIFIED ADS\MESSAGE BOARDS
Here’s an old-school way to find great free furniture. Peruse the classified section of your local newspaper or look at the message boards at your favorite supermarkets or your local library. You can find some hidden gems listed for free.
At the end of the day, bulky or damaged furniture often hasn’t sold. Chances are if you talk to the organizers, they’ll be happy to let you take that unsold buffet, table of china cabinet for free just to get it off their hands.
ONLINE FREE FURNITURE
Many online platforms have a free section. You can also sign up for certain apps. As of writing this post, a lot of free stuff is available in the following…
FREE FURNITURE APPS
There are also free furniture apps you can download to your phone that are available for Android or iPhone. As of writing this post, these are available…
- Freecycle and Freegle
- Freebie Alerts
I hope you enjoyed this curb-shopped FREE FURNITURE roundup and all the unexpected places to find free furniture. If it’s inspired you to try painting something, you can grab your Dixie Belle Paints HERE!
Happy furniture painting my friends!