The 5 Materials You Need to Start Flipping Furniture

Written by Jessica Mitchel

I've been flipping furniture for profit for over eight months. I like to share all of the tips, tricks, and learning lessons along the way.

May 28, 2022

You can get started with funiture flipping at a very low cost, but there are five essential supplies to getting started with furniture flipping.

Furniture Piece

First things first, you’re going to need a furniture piece to flip. As a beginner I would recommend getting a piece as inexpensively as possible.

This could mean using a furniture piece you already own, getting a peice from friends or family, or even finding a piece out for trash.

All of these options will allow you to try fruntiure flipping without spending any upfront cost on the furntiure piece, which can get a little pricey depending ont he piece you’re looking for.

Paint Brush

A good paint brush can make a huge difference with your furniture flips. It’s not the expensive paint that will give a nice finish on your piece, it’s the brush.

For most paints, a synthetic paint brush is the way you’ll want to go. I love Zibra paint brushes. I find that the 2″ angled brush is very versatile and is pretty much the only paint brush I use at this point.

Primer

Primer can be a big debate amongst furniture flippers. I’ve only left off primer once, on my very first furntiure flip.

Thankfully, it didn’t cause any problems. However, since then I’ve leanred the importance of primer.

It helps the paint adhere properly, prevents bleed through, and can even help eliminate smells and germs, which is definitely important when using used furniture.

Even with all those pluses, you might still decide that primer isn’t necessary, especially when using a darker color.

I would recommend at least using primer when using a lighter color. It’s not a guarantee that you won’t have bleed through issues, but will help.

I’ve gone back and forth between Kilz primer and Zinsser primer. Personally, I don’t notice much of a difference between the two primers. However, if you have a piece you are concerned about, it might be worth spending the extra money to get the Zinsser primer with shellac.

Paint

Paint doesn’t matter as much as you might think. You might even decide you don’t want to paint your piece before flipping it.

But, if you’re working with laminate you will have to use paint to freshen it up. 

Please do not make the same mistake I did and spend tons of money on expensive mineral paint. Yes, mineral paint is beautiful, leaves a great finish, and is totally worth the money. 

But it’s also complete unnecessary for a first time flipper. To save money, check out the mis-tint paint section at your local hardware store.

Poly

You don’t want to skip the top coat on your furniture piece. Trust me, I did that once on a piece that I kept and it has tons of spots that need touch ups now. Even if you’re using an all-in-one, I’d still recommend using a top coat.

But what type of top coat should you use? There are really two options- poly or wax.

In most instances, I would recommend using a poly top coat. Poly will be the most protective, so you’ll want to use this on surfaces that will get high traffic- think dressers, night stands, and tables.

The major downside to poly is that it can be easy for streaks to show after a poly coat. To combat this, use a matte poly and mix in some of your paint with the poly, especially when using a dark paint.

The other option is wax, which is really just a lot easier to apply and doesn’t show as much. The only downside is that it’s not as durable, so you need to be more strategic about what pieces you use a wax on.

Sand Paper

The last supply you will need is sand paper. This could mean an electric sander, which would be the most expensive item. 

Or just a sanding block or regular sand paper that you can use by hand.

Depending on what you’re planning on flipping, you might not need an electric sander. 

For smaller pieces and peices that don’t require a lot of wood filler, you can easily get away with sanding by hand.

For most pieces, the goal is just going to be to do a scuff sand. Which means “roughing” up the surface to help paint stick. I usually use 120 grit sand paper for the scuff sand.

To keep the paint smooth between coats of paint, I’ll also use 220 grit sand paper.

If you do plan on doing a lot of furniture flipping or larger pieces, then it will definitely be worth getting an electric sander. I mostly use an orbital sander, but detail sanders can also be great.

It’s easy to get caught up on all the supplies you need for furniture flipping. There are a lot of products that you can update as you go along, but there are really just these five supplies that are needed.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you deicde to purcahse, I will receive a small commission. This will not add any extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

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