The first lesson in furniture first aid is how to spot your victim. Here's what's important:
1. Forget what it looks like. Think about what it can look like. Take Mr. Orange. Ugly. Yet, he had potential!
2. Look for pieces that are solid and real wood (or at least mostly real wood!). Although laminate can be painted, I've found that it doesn't seem to have the same nice finish as wood does.
3. Don't pass by a piece because it needs some repairs. Get creative! For example, Sweetie Pie had water stains on the top and I simply gave her a new wood top.
3. Choose shapes and styles that you like. Changing the color is easy; changing the shape is not. For example, I loved the shape of Miss Skinny Legs and she's still hanging out in my living room! How can you refuse those legs?
A few other tips:
1. Know what you can repair. If you've got the skills, go for it. If not, start with the band-aid needed victims and then move up to the victims that need a surgical ward!
2. Hardware is removable. Don't be afraid of the sixties knobs or the 80's gaudy pulls.
3. Cheap doesn't make it worth it. I've bought a few things that I've regretted because they required way more work than they were worth.
4. Before buying, look it over well. You don't want to miss a major injury and then bring it home to find out you don't have the tools to fix it!
Want to see my current victim?
Not the best picture, I know. This is the table Josh bought us right before we got married. It was actually our first piece of furniture! But, after two years and some change, the table has gotten stained on the top, eaten on the bottom (by Mr. Mac), and just never looks clean. So, it is currently on the stretcher! Stay tuned for how to prep the victim!