Furniture Flipping with The Idaho Painter

Furniture Flipping - What To Use

Every year, twelve million tons of furniture is tossed in landfills - and that rate has been continually rising. Out of everything in our households, furniture is the least recycled - so if you’re looking for a new hobby, and maybe some extra money on the side - furniture flipping may be for you! 

Many people who attempt to take on side hustles, like this, are often discouraged by not taking the longevity and actual work into account. But if you know what products to acquire, a lot of them are reusable for 5-10 jobs, and if you’re a professional painter, like me, a lot of these products you may already have in your paint trailer! This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything you can use to help you on your furniture flipping journey, but these are the things I’ve been using the most this winter. 

A furniture flipping business can be incredibly profitable, and it’s a great way for you to earn some cash on the side. Furniture is easy to find - you might see abandoned pieces on the curb, out by trash cans, and just about every garage/yard sale has got something to pick up! Not to mention thrift stores, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace as other valuable resources. 

Some of the best furniture to flip are common items that people might be looking for often: small tables, night stands, dressers, etc. And if you stick to pieces that are already in good/useful condition, you won’t have to do a ton of work to spruce them up! 

Read about some additional tips, tricks, and products here. 

Uneeda’s 3x4 Sander and Vacuum System

A good sander is essential for working on furniture or cabinets. One of the best ones on the market is Uneeda’s 3x4 sander. The company also sells 5-inch and 6-inch random orbital sanders, but the 3x4 sander has a smaller profile that is perfect for sanding small areas and surfaces, like on furniture. Sanders from Uneeda have a longer life due to their brushless motors, variable speeds, and being DC-power driven - which means that your investment into one of their products will be worth it and last you a long time.

The 3x4 sander is a direct-drive orbital sander, which orbits in a circle with no random patterns. Having a sander as small as this means that sanding around contours and edges is quick and easy! For more information on which abrasives to pick for your specific project, read here

If you’re also looking for an easy solution to deal with the dust from sanding, Uneeda’s sanders are compatible with the Ekasand Vacuum Series 2. This product is a premium dust extraction system with a manual self-cleaning HEPA filter that will remove up to 99.97% of particles. Easily hook your sander up, and worry about dust no longer! But, even when using a vacuum system, always remember to wear protective gear, like eyewear, a respirator mask, and gloves. Additionally, you can use a separate vacuum or duster brush before your product application to ensure the cleanest and smoothest surface possible. 

Aqua Coat White Cabinet Grain Filler

The next product I want to discuss is Aqua Coat Grain Filler. I’ve been using this product for quite a few years to eliminate grain when painting cabinets and furniture. Aqua Coat is an easy to apply water-based gel that helps achieve a smooth finish on wood surfaces like those made of oak, mahogany, and other porous woods. Aqua Coat penetrates and seals the pores minimizing the absorption of primers and paints for a glass smooth finish - a super efficient grain filler! Use on bare wood, lacquered, varnished, or painted surfaces, and millwork. The company recommends using this product on: kitchen cabinets, tables, chairs, desks, bathroom vanities, wood-shelving, and bookcases. Whatever your project, I recommend using at least one coat of a grain filling primer! 

Aqua Coat is eco-friendly, safe-handling, non-toxic, and has a low odor! My preferred application is with a Bondo spreader, or even with a credit card. Whatever you want to use, just make sure it’s plastic so it doesn’t scratch the wood. When you’re done, easily clean up with water, even if it’s dried on the application tool. From my experience, a quart of Aqua Coat will be able to be used on 3-4 average sets of kitchen cabinets, depending on the number of coats needed to achieve the desired finish. 

One of the qualities I like about it is that it’s tinted white, so you know exactly where you’ve applied it. Therefore, you know exactly where to sand. There is also a clear version, but I definitely prefer the white, which is formulated with better solids and has better adhesion compared to the clear. 

I prefer the application process of Aqua Coat - troweling/skimming it on - compared to spray-on grain filler. With Aqua Coat, you’re able to push the grain filler into the grain and the pinholes to fill them up. With a spray-on product, you’re going to be using more product and you’ll be doing more sanding to get the smooth finish you want. Meanwhile, Aqua Coat is great for achieving a super flat finish! 

Knowing the finish you want when you go into the project will help you a lot, and will determine how many coats of Aqua Coat you should apply. You can apply as many as needed - the more you do, the finish will be smoother. A lot of times, I use 1-2 coats of this product. I don’t want to completely eliminate the grain - I just want to get rid of pinholes, any dark ugly spots in the final product. You can even add tint to Aqua Coat to create a personalized touch to your project. 

Apollo Precision 6 PRO LE HVLP Paint Sprayer

Using an HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) paint sprayer has been a game-changer for my furniture flipping projects. You can still apply your paint with a brush or roller, but nothing is going to achieve the smooth finish of a sprayer - plus it’s quicker! If you’re a professional painter, you’ve likely got an airless sprayer already, but there are many benefits an HVLP offers over a traditional airless sprayer. An HVLP paint sprayer is perfect for controlling precise pressure, enhancing product transfer, and limiting overspray dust. Perfect for cabinet jobs, furniture flipping, and spraying wrought-iron fences. 

The Apollo Precision PRO LE HVLP sprayer is sleek, polished, and looks professional. This is easily the best HVLP sprayer I’ve ever used! With the award-winning 7700 Atomizer spray gun (control the pressure at the gun!) and the remote pot setup, you’ll be off to the races. The Precision-6 can be used for a wide range of coatings - solvent, water-based, clear, pigmented, faux paints, gelcoat, latex, multi-spec, etc. This sprayer has been my go-to for paint application this winter, and has produced some amazing looking pieces of furniture over the past couple of months. 

If you’re looking for additional information on this spraying system, or how HVLP sprayers work, read this in-depth blog post here

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