How To Shop For Used Furniture, And What To Do Once You Make The Buy


From Discards to Décor


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…and after!

Brenda Kelly Kramer, interior designer and mom of six (!) boys, has a knack for finding and repurposing cool old things.  Here’s one of her best finds: “I found this really cute 1950’s table at a tag sale for just $5,” she says. “Then I bought Benjamin Moore ‘In the Twilight’ paint that they sell in little pots for just $6. It was just the right amount of paint for this project. All this tired old table needed was a pop of color to come back to life,” she says.

“I always go for the cheap table at the tag sale or a discarded dresser on the side of the road that I can envision a show-stopper in a great color. But only paint furniture that is in bad condition to begin with—you don’t want to destroy a beautiful finish just to change colors. One time when I just starting collecting, I started to remove the red paint from an old table I had gotten at Chatsworth in Mamaroneck (a great place for bargains, by the way).  Luckily, a friend of my parents who was a professional refinisher, happened to be over and saw that the old red paint I was about to remove was made out of ground bricks—a technique used ages ago. I’m so glad he stopped me—I would have ruined the value of the table. I learned my lesson!”