If you’re in the furniture flipping scene, you’re bound to have heard of Marcus. Regularly reviving and repurposing second hand furniture, including everything from dressers to desks, Marcus lists his final pieces on Facebook Marketplace, after sharing the process over on Instagram. We managed to catch Marcus away from his tool kit, and ask how he discovered his knack for DIY, plus his tips for thrifting second hand furniture and repurposing easy-to-find pieces.
How it all began 🕕
“So I actually saw another lady listing a bunch of night tables on Facebook Marketplace that she had re-finished herself, and this kind of inspired me. I have always been very frugal and enjoyed thrifting and I also liked to paint since I was little, so I thought this could be the best of both worlds.
Then it just so happened that my sister found a dresser on the side of the road a day or two later. We picked it up, brought it home, flipped and sold it and that's how I got started flipping furniture!”
Sourcing second hand furniture 🪑
Habitat For Humanity is great because they have such a wide variety of thrifted furniture to look through and for a relatively good price. They have dressers, buffets, side tables, tallboys, honestly anything you can imagine. Their restores also offer a great opportunity to scout the pieces, to make sure the quality and design is what you want and that there isn't any damage. Honestly any thrift store would be a great place to start, but Habitat is definitely my number one spot!
Not only is Facebook Marketplace a great way to list items for sale, but it's also super convenient when looking for older furniture to work on! Prices are usually pretty good, and you can find rare pieces that you might not be able to find in thrift stores. You can also browse hundreds of pieces right from your home, which is pretty great!”
Top tips to assess the condition of pieces 🔍
1. Look for brand marking ✅
“Try and find a stamp or marking with a manufacturer's logo. The name of the brand alone may increase the value even before refinishing, or could be a good indicator of the quality of craftsmanship of the piece.”
2. Look at the back 👀
“Most of the time you'll be able to see if the furniture is solid wood by looking at the top and sides from behind the piece. If you're able to see the pattern of the grain then you know it's wood, but if there is no grain and it looks spongy or like wood chips then you know it's MDF or particle board.”
3. Test everything 🧪
“No matter how good the quality of a piece is, if it's damaged it may need major repairs or could be worth nothing. Check every drawer and cabinet door to make sure they are working, don't be afraid to remove the drawers to check the tracks. Lift up one end of the piece, check the legs, make sure the top is well secured etc.”
Ideas for repurposing furniture ♻
Dressers turned Vanity
“This a great cost effective way to create one of a kind vanities, that can be made from dressers of all sizes and unique designs to suit one's style. You can even install Vessel sinks on top to save the cost of countertops!”
Desk turned Night Tables
“I've done several of these in the past, but old desks offer a great option for creating night tables that can fit into smaller rooms or spaces. They are typically taller, narrower and even deeper drawer-wise than traditional night tables for added convenience when designing your space.”
Armoire turned Coffee Bar
“I have seen these everywhere! The cabinet doors are taken off and an open concept coffee station is set up inside, with the drawers below offering additional storage. This is a great cost effective replacement for kitchen cabinets or expensive shelving when you need more storage or counter space in your home.”
Dressers turned Work Bench
“Old dressers can also easily be used as work benches and you don't even really need to paint them or make them look nice. They offer a large worktop with tons of storage and drawers, some even have wheels on the bottom for added convenience or for less than $50 you can add your own.”
The dated dresser project 🔧
"The dresser was in pretty rough condition, the old finish was peeling and damaged, so it needed some TLC. First thing I did was remove the old hardware and save them for another project. Then I sanded down the drawers and body of the piece, using 120 grit to buff out the marks. The drawer tracks were also wobbly, so I used wood glue and nails to reinforce them."
"I wanted to add some texture to the drawers so I ordered a bamboo table runner off of Amazon. I removed the fabric edging and cut the bamboo to size using an exacto knife and my mitre saw. Once that was done I used my sander to scuff up the bamboo for the paint, and to smooth out the bottom side. Then I used wood glue to secure the bamboo to the drawer front and weighed it down using textbooks until the glue dried.
Once that was done it was ready to prime and paint, I used the color Jet Black by Wise Owl, and installed the brass hardware once it dried.
I added low friction tape to the side and tracks of the drawers so the drawers glide more smoothly, and it’s complete!"
To top it all off 🌟
“When designing this piece I wanted hardware that would stand out when put with black paint, with a MCM touch to complement the style of the dresser. Once I saw the BECKER in Brass with matching backplates, I knew they were exactly what I was looking for.
The grooves of the pulls added detail and depth and the backplates added to the simplicity of the design. The pulls also perfectly matched the original hardware holes, which were hard to find, and the way the BECKERs shine in the sun just can't be beat. So they were a perfect match!”
Go-to inspo 💭
“I would say Instagram or Pinterest are the best for inspiration. Instagram more so to see the process of how a piece was transformed, and Pinterest to help visualize what I want my end piece to look like.
There are so many accounts that you should follow, but here’s three that do such great work on old furniture and in such different ways. I really like the colors and tones they use and I highly recommend checking them out!”
Xiomara of @woodandhomeaccents
Aisha of @aisha.redesigns
Ashley of @studio_adash
They all do such great work on old furniture and in such different ways, I really like the colors and tones they use, I highly recommend checking them out!”
Getting into the DIY groove 🎶
“I am a huge country music fan, so honestly I’ll listen to anything country when I'm painting or working on a piece to help me get in the groove. Nate Smith and Bailey Zimmerman are definitely two top artists for me right now!”
Intrigued by Marcus? Follow him over at @thefurnitureguyyy, to see more of his skillful furniture flips.