Essential Furniture Flipping Tools and Supplies

When starting your furniture flipping business, one of the most important startup investments is supplies and tools.

It might seem daunting to purchase a bunch of supplies without having sold your first piece of furniture. However, if you are strategic, you can make back all the money you spent on supplies from your first furniture flip.

Better yet, many of the supplies can be reused time and time again. Suffice it to say that you can certainly get your money’s worth from these purchases.

In this post, you can discover the essential furniture-flipping supplies for beginners and experts.

Furniture flipping tools and supplies for beginners

The following tools and supplies can be bought within a reasonable startup budget of around $50 dollars. These are essentially the bare necessities for anyone who wants to pursue furniture flipping. 

Cleaning solution and a rag

Cleaning your furniture is the first step of the furniture prep process. Removing any grease or dirt is important so that you don’t rub the grime into the grain of your wood when sanding.

A bit of dish soap mixed with warm water is a quick and easy furniture-cleaning solution. Simple Green, an environmentally friendly cleaning product, is another very popular option.

There are other furniture cleaning solutions for paint prep such as vinegar or even vodka.

Whatever cleaning solution you decide to use, you will need to soak a rag in the solution before wiping down the furniture.

Related: 7 Best Materials to Line Dresser Drawers

Sandpaper

Sanding your furniture is an important part of the prep process. To get rid of imperfections, and to give your primer a coarse surface to “stick” to, sanding your furniture is necessary.

Fine-grit sandpaper at around 220 grit is perfect for most projects.

Paint

  • Estimated cost: $15 – $50 (depending on quantity and quality of paint)
  • Recommended product: Country Chic Chalk Paint (available here on Amazon)

The most obvious purchase you will need to make is the paint itself.

There are numerous types of specialty paint for furniture including chalk paint, milk paint, mineral paint, and many others. However, as a beginner, if you want to keep things simple and easy, flat latex paint is an excellent choice. It’s affordable, accessible, and easy to work with.

Consider the best paint colors for flipping furniture before you purchase your first can.

Related: Repairing Split Wood Furniture: Fixing a Dresser

Primer 

  • Estimated cost: $15 – $50 (depending on quantity and quality of primer)
  • Recommended product: Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer (available here on Amazon)

Priming your furniture before painting ensures that your paint adheres to your furniture the best it can. It also prevents tannins from bleeding through and discoloring your paint finish. 

There are tons of primers out there, but any reputable multi-purpose primer is perfect in most cases.

Paint brushes

As a complete beginner, the most important tool you need to get started is a trusty paintbrush.

Choosing a paintbrush for painting furniture can be extremely overwhelming for beginners. There are dozens of different types of brushes that come in different materials and sizes.

Paint brushes for furniture can cost anywhere from a $1-$2 dollars when purchased from the dollar store to $40+ when purchased from high-end vendors. However, if you are just starting your furniture-flipping journey, you can get great quality paint brushes for $5-$10 dollars per brush.

Two-inch wide flat paintbrushes are great for most furniture painting projects. Alternatively, to reduce brush marks, purchase an oval-head paintbrush.

One or two trusty paint brushes are all you need when just starting out. However, as you build your business, you will likely want to build your furniture-flipping supplies arsenal by purchasing specialty brushes for specific use cases.

Ready to take your furniture flipping game to the next level? Learn how to flip furniture here. 

Furniture flipping tools and supplies for advanced flippers

As an advanced furniture flipper willing to take on furniture in all conditions, it’s good to have a larger variety of tools.

Additionally, certain tools and supplies will significantly enhance the quality of your paint jobs. With some extra investment in your furniture-flipping arsenal, you can upcycle furniture with professional results.

Below you will find the advanced furniture-flipping tools and supplies you will need in addition to the bare essential items mentioned previously (cleaning solution and a rag, sandpaper, paint and primer, and paint brushes).

All in all, these extra tools and supplies cost between $200 to $400.

Specialty brushes

  • Estimated cost: $10 – $25

There are numerous furniture painting brushes for various use cases such as

  • Accessing hard-to-reach spots
  • Painting rounded parts of furniture like legs and feet of dressers
  • Blending paint
  • Dry brushing
  • Fine detailing
  • Applying furniture wax

Paint rollers

  • Estimated cost: $10 – $20

High-density foam paint rollers are excellent for a few reasons. For one, you can apply paint extremely efficiently by using a roller. Additionally, you can achieve a completely flat finish without brush marks by using a paint roller.

Paint sprayer

  • Estimated cost: $10 – $20

A paint sprayer is a big investment, but it can be a game changer for applying paint as efficiently as possible. With a paint sprayer, you can cut down the time to paint furniture from 2 hours to just 20 minutes.

Specialty paints

  • Estimated cost: $10 – $50 (depending on the quantity)

Basic latex or acrylic paint is certainly a good choice for flipping furniture at scale. However, to give your projects a bit more character, consider using other types of paints.

There is a variety of specialty paints that are often used on furniture including:

  • Chalk paint
  • Mineral paint
  • Milk paint
  • Mud paint
  • Alkyd paint

Stain

  • Estimated cost: $5 – $50 (depending on the quantity)

Painting furniture is extremely popular but you can also stain wood furniture and resell it. Oil-based stains can complement practically any type of wood, dark or light.

Orbital sander

  • Estimated cost: $50 

To sand furniture more efficiently and easily, consider using an orbital sander. An orbital sander is an electronic device that quickly shifts a piece of sandpaper back and forth.

For rounded surfaces, using sandpaper by hand often is the best approach.

Protective gear: Respiratory mask, gloves, goggles

  • Estimated cost: $40 

Staying safe while working on your furniture is important. The protective gear you should consider includes:

  • Respiratory mask: Wearing a N95 or other respiratory mask is important to avoid breathing in wood dust if sanding your furniture indoors. If you plan to paint furniture outdoors, a mask isn’t as important.
  • Gloves: Wearing latex gloves prevents paint from getting on your hands.
  • Goggles: If you will be hammering new nails into furniture, goggles are important for protecting your eyes. 

Spray paint

  • Estimated cost: $40 

Spray paint is a great way to change the color of the hardware on furniture. With good quality spray paint in gold, bronze, and silver colors, you can give hardware on dressers a new, polished look. 

Wood filler

  • Estimated cost: $15

If your art has small gouges, dents, or scratches, wood filler can be used to fill these imperfections. Once the wood filler has dried, you can sand it to smooth out the surface.

Bondo

  • Estimated cost: $20

Bondo can be used to fill gouges and dents in furniture just like wood filler. However, while wood filler is good for small scratches, Bondo is generally a better solution for severe dents, gaping cracks, deep gouges, and broken drawer corners. 

Putty knife

  • Estimated cost: $5

A putty knife is an extremely useful tool for spreading bondo and wood filler into imperfections in furniture.

Hammer

  • Estimated cost: $15

Hammers are great for both hammering in nails, and also pulling out old nails if they need to be replaced. 

Philips head screwdriver

  • Estimated cost: $15

A philips head screwdriver is critical for removing hardware like drawer handles from furniture. It’s important to remove hardware before painting (to avoid accidentally painting over them). 

Painters tape

  • Estimated cost: $10

Painter’s tape is needed to mask off parts of the furniture that shouldn’t get painted. 

Drop cloth

  • Estimated cost: $15

To avoid dripping paint on the carpet or hardwood floor, it’s important to use a drop cloth. A drop cloth can protect the area of the house where you paint your furniture.

If you paint furniture outside, a drop cloth can prevent the feet from getting dirty or damaged from the ground underneath.

Tape measurer

  • Estimated cost: $15

A tape measurer can come in handy when measuring certain parts of furniture that need to be replaced. For instance, if the back panel of a dresser or a bottom panel needs to be replaced, you will need to measure these parts to obtain a replacement part in the right dimensions.

Drill

  • Estimated cost: $60

A drill is key for removing screws. For instance, if you are replacing a split dresser top and need to remove it, using a drill is necessary for unscrewing the screws and then drilling the new screws into the replacement part.

Finishing nails and brad nails

  • Estimated cost: $10

Nails are often necessary for repairing furniture. For instance, if the back panel of a dresser is missing a few nails, it might be best to secure it in place with a fresh set of nails. Finishing nails and brad nails are common nails for furniture.

Wood glue

  • Estimated cost: $10

Under certain circumstances, wood glue can be used to join two pieces of wood on furniture. It can be used for securing replacement parts and repairing minor splits in wood. 

Furniture risers

  • Estimated cost: $10

Furniture risers lift furniture off the ground slightly so that it’s easier paint the feet of the furniture.

Top coat 

  • Estimated cost: $5 – $50 (depending on product and quantity)

You don’t need to use a top coat in many cases, but it helps to give your furniture an extra layer of protection. 

There are numerous amazing top coat options including

  • Polyurethane: Basically liquid plastic that hardens into a resilient finish
  • Polycrylic: Similar to polyurethane but with unique benefits such as low toxicity
  • Finishing wax: A popular choice for chalk-painted furniture in particular. 

Floetrol

  • Estimated cost: $10 – $30 (depending on the quantity)

Floetrol is a paint additive that enhances the self-leveling qualities of the paint. Its greatest benefit is it substantially reduces brush marks in latex paint. To learn more about Floetrol see this post

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