Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

WHAT to look for when searching for furniture to fix up!

We started out this morning sharing WHERE we look for great furniture finds, and now it’s time to talk about WHAT to look for! There are a few basic guidelines to remember… but as always, there are exceptions to every rule. So follow your gut!


Search for pieces that are solid.

And by solid, I mean… structurally sound. Although, being solid wood is definitely a bonus. If you have the tools and knowledge to make repairs, by all means, snag a piece of furniture that needs a little  extra structural help!

  • The older the better!

This is just a general rule. Furniture was built better back in the day, and if you ask me… they have a lot more character than some of the cheaply built NEW pieces they make these days. There’s nothing wrong with buying a more recently constructed piece, but they tend to be more expensive, and not as quality.

  • The worse the BEFORE picture, the better the AFTER!

We actually look for pieces that seem extra tragic or terrifying. We love the challenge.

  • Be a tight-wad!

That’s right! Once you become familiar with the going rate for furniture-types in your area (by being a regular at these types of places), don’t even consider a piece unless it’s a SUPER deal. (Unless it’s exactly what you’ve been searching for for months and months… just say no!) We don’t buy a piece of furniture unless it’s a ridiculous steal… or FREE. And don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. It doesn’t hurt to try!

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If the piece is so tragic that you’ll put it off for years… pass on it! If you already have several projects lined up… pass on it! If you’re a hoarder… pass on it! If you know your spouse will roll his eyes at you when you drag in your kill… just bat your eyes, and let him go spelunking in your cave later that night. Did I just say that?

Well, that’s all I’ve got. And as usual, feel free to add to the list! We’re by no means experts on, well, ANY matter. We just like to learn as we go and share our limited knowledge with the masses! Happy Junkin’!

If you missed our post on WHERE to find great pieces of furniture to DIY, check out this post!

13 Months
WHERE to look for furniture to fix up!
  • Liz Brown

    Spelunking in your cave? Hahaha.

    These are good tips … I love looking at the before/afters but the in between is sometimes a little terrifying.

  • Anonymous

    Yes you did just say that. And on behalf of all the husbands who got to do some spelunking because of it, I thank you :)

  • Anonymous

    LOVE the spelunking comment…that made me LOL at my desk 😀

  • Courtney Elizabeth

    Thank you for this blog! I just bought a bookcase for $10 from a Facebook garage sale and have been working on fixing it up. It’s been so fun and so I have been wanting to do more! I love all of your tips and the way you use vinyl and paint and make expensive looking furniture. I hope to make some pieces half as good as yours and maybe sell some! :)