A real estate sales hunter’s advice for vintage furniture to find yours


Buying used furniture can lead to amazing deals on one-of-a-kind pieces. However, it can also lead you down a DIY spiral, trying to figure out what can – and should – be recycled or altered to suit your style. Combining countless real estate sales, numerous Facebook Marketplace listings, and the crowded aisles of consignment stores, Victoria Capello of JolieFinds Design became an expert on the subject.

“In my ideal situation, I’m looking for really interesting, timeless pieces that need minimal work, but have a little flaw or two,” she says, noting that she likes to start with wooden pieces, especially the English pine and walnut. “That way the seller already has the part priced accordingly or is usually willing to negotiate if you ask. Always ask!”

Once the negotiation is over, the fun begins. Capello says she always starts with a little TLC. Something as simple as a good wipe down can help reveal the texture of the wood and show you what you’re working with.

“The first thing I do when I get a new piece home is clean and wax it,” she says. “Especially with the pine, it gives these pieces a whole new life.”

Once the wood has been taken care of, she moves on to the details. The hardware store can completely change the look of a piece of furniture, so they will decide to either replace it entirely or go over the handle or knobs with a product called Rub ‘n Buff to make them stand out. Now’s the time to cater to your exact tastes, whether it’s with minor details like drawer pulls or a big switch like one of Capello’s recent projects.

“My most recent project was a $220 antique side table I found in New Orleans,” she says. “I love marble furniture, but these pieces are very expensive unless you get lucky at an estate sale. I thought with the styling of my small table I could just put a piece of marble on it so that’s what I did I was able to get a piece of Carrara cut from a local stone store for $125 Total project cost me $345 vs 1 $500 or $2000 That was definitely a win in my book.

For more projects and finds from Capello, follow her on Instagram @joliefindsdesign.

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