Flipping Furniture: What’s in my workshop


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I decided to put together a list of all the supplies I feel are essential when flipping furniture. I literally use ALL of these supplies on almost every project! It’s a long list…I know. You definitely don’t need every one of these items if you are planning on refinishing one piece of furniture and calling it good but if you plan to start refinishing furniture as a hobby, I highly recommend slowly investing the supplies listed below. Let’s briefly go over them and why I can’t live without them!




  1. Rigid Palm Sander– This is my baby. If you’re planning on refinishing a piece of furniture with new stain, you will definitely want to invest in a palm sander! It’s much easier to sand off existing finishes than to mess around with a chemical stripping agent. I recommend Ridgid brand to everyone because if you follow the intstructions and register them online, Ridgid will replace them at no charge to you if they malfunction or break. When it comes to sanders, orbital sanders are the best in my opinion. It creates a constant orbit motion, making it easier to work with so it doesn’t take gashes out of your wood!
  2. Hand Sander– This comes in “handy” quite often when you want to quickly sand a surface and don’t want to break out your palm sander. It also provides even pressure so you’re not sanding some areas heavier than others. If you want a really smooth surface and you plan to use a 1500 grit sandpaper, you will want to use a hand sander with it. It takes a lot of the labor out of sanding and hand sander’s are relatively cheap ($5) so I feel it’s worth it!
  3. Sandpaper- With all your sanding tools, you will need all different grits of sandpaper. From really fine (2000 grit) to course (60 grit) they all have an important role to play when refinishing furniture. The courser the sandpaper, the more rough the surface. The finer the sandpaper, the smoother the surface. I usually use 80 grit sandpaper when I’m stripping off stain or paint. I use 220 grit when I’m smoothing a surface to prep it for paint and I use 1500 grit or finer when I want that “glass smooth” touch.
  4. Paint brushes of all kinds- You will want to invest in a variety of paint brushes. You will want a good quality one for painting large areas but you also may need a smaller one to get in-between groves, spindles, etc. I like to keep a very used, somewhat course brush on hand for those times when I’m white washing or adding in some paint streaks. Don’t throw out all your old brushes once they become used and their bristles aren’t soft anymore-they come in handy for certain projects!

  5. Pour Spout– This may seem silly to include in my “essentials” but it’s been one of the most convenient tools when painting. I used to just dip my paint brush into the open can of paint, brush out the excess paint on the side of the can, etc. But it doesn’t take long for that paint that you’ve brushed on the side of the can to dry and crumble and fall into the paint can! I hate picking out chunks of dried paint off my furniture when I’m painting. This pour spout saves me from the headache of contaminated paint! It’s a lifesaver.
  6. Dollar Store Tupperware- For the same reason above, I always pour my paint into a different container so I’m not junking up my entire can of paint. You’re using these containers for paint so go for the cheap ones and save your Martha Stewart’s for your leftovers!
  7. Foam Brushes– There’s several different ways you can apply stain but I hate, HATE cleaning paint brushes so I choose to apply stain with these disposable foam brushes. They are super cheap and I can toss them in the trash when I’m finished.
  8. Paint Stir Sticks- Shaking a can of stain or paint is never a good thing so you always want to have one of these on hand. Any time I go to Home  Depot or any other paint store, I swing by the paint section and grab some stir sticks.
  9. Disposable Gloves- If you plan to use stain, you will want these. Stain is messy and…it stains!
  10. Mask– One of the many great things about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is it doesn’t have that chemical smell like latex or oil based paint does so I don’t where a mask all the time, only when I’m using my palm sander. That thing kicks out a lot of sawdust and you definitely don’t want to be inhaling a bunch of product that was used in the 1950’s #nothanks.
  11. Wood Filler– Every now and then I’ll stumble upon a great piece of furniture that doesn’t have ANY dents or chips out of the wood but most of the time there’s at least one area that needs filling. You might not think it’s super important but once you paint over that area, that chip or gash is going to stand out like a sore thumb and it won’t look pretty.[adtoappearhere]
  12. Baby Wipes- Something I have in bulk at my house! They come in handy for cleaning off a dusty piece of furniture.
  13. Wired Brush– I’ve already mentioned how much I hate cleaning paint brushes but this tool does make it easier and helps get the most life out of my brushes. Brushes are expensive and they don’t last as long as they should so cleaning them thoroughly is important if you don’t want to throw away money. They are also great for cleaning tile grout!
  14. Clean rags– I have a stock pile of clean rags. I use them for waxing or just dusting off furniture. These specific rags are lint free which is essential when using wax. For about $1 a piece at Walmart, it’s worth it.
  15. Plastic Wrap- If I paint in the morning and I’m planning on painting another coat that afternoon, I’ll wrap my paint brush in some plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. You can do this with foam brushes too. They won’t last forever in plastic wrap but I usually can leave them in plastic wrap for a couple days! You will definitely want to do this if you are staining with foam brushes, otherwise, that’s a lot of money to be throwing in the trash each time you apply a coat of stain.
  16. Apron– I usually go outside to do some kind of furniture task multiple times a day and I hate changing my clothes all day long so I prefer to throw on an apron that I can wipe paint on and it protects my super fancy clothing (yoga pants and my husbands t-shirt).


And there you have it! All the supplies I use almost daily. Thanks for reading!


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  1. Suzanne Melton
    September 1, 2016

    Hi, Jamie,

    Pinterest sent me!

    Really appreciate your tool list. I haven’t refurbished any furniture yet (still trying to finish an upholstery project) but I’ve bookmarked your list for the future.

    One question about your comment, “Shaking a can of stain or paint is never a good thing” — why is that not a good thing? The Benjamin Moore store always shakes our paint. Is it only because they’re tinting the color or the primer?

    Dave even bought a paint-shaker from Harbor Freight so, if it turns out we can’t begin painting right away, he makes sure the paint is mixed thoroughly.

    Thanks. First time I’ve been here; probably not the last.

    1. jamiejowilliams
      September 12, 2016

      Hi Suzanne!

      Great question. I should clarify that. You don’t want to shake chalk paint or stain/polyurethane but it’s definitely ok to shake latex paint which is why they always shake your can of paint in the store. Chalk paint and stain or polyurethanes are very different from latex paint and that’s why you want to thoroughly stir them and not shake them! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  2. Olivia
    February 12, 2017

    Hi! I’m Olivia.
    I recently started getting into flipping furniture. My first project is a small hanging cabinet. It’s really cute, I love it! I was wondering in general how much this list would cost somebody if they went out right to buy all the supplies? I could just look it up but I’m just wondering if you’d know like ballpark pricing?

    1. jamiejowilliams
      February 17, 2017

      Hi Olivia!
      With all the tools listed in this post, I probably spent several hundred dollars. It’s well worth the investment if you are going to flip furniture regularly and sell it. You will make that money back with just a couple pieces of furniture that you sell! If you aren’t planning on doing this on a regular basis, I would just invest in your basics like paint brushes, painters rags or cloths, and possibly a sander. Once you start flipping, you’ll figure out fairly quickly what tools will make your life easier and which ones you can live with out. I hope that helped! Thank you for your comment! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Rana
    February 27, 2017

    I started flipping my furniture due to tight budget but at the same time wanting something fresh for our new home.
    I started with only a few things in your list, but eventually I ended up NEEDING everything that you have listed. I was borrowing my neighbor’s sander, but would like to invest in a good one. I will go with the Rigid brand at your suggestion. What shape would you recommend?

    1. jamiejowilliams
      March 16, 2017

      Hi Rana! Sticking with Ridgid is a good choice! Just make sure you take the time to register your product online so you can secure that lifetime replacement! I personally love my round orbital sander. It’s very user friendly. The disc orbits randomly which means you can use it on any direction. If you buys a square sander or something similar, you will always want to sand with the grain! Hope that helps. Happy Flipping!

  4. PatBigbie
    October 4, 2017

    Thank you so much, now I can start collecting tools etc as I can afford too. I am thinking of adding a good hammer and an orbital saw, because there are a LOT of pallets around here. I can take them apart with my hammer, and cut to size with my saw to make little, easy pieces around? What do you think,

    1. jamiejowilliams
      October 6, 2017

      Hi Pat! It definitely sounds like a good idea! Pallets can be a lot of work to rip apart so just make sure to eat your wheaties that day! 😉

  5. tara fletcher
    June 27, 2018

    Hi, I painted my dining table and the paint is chipping off, how do I just remove all the paint to start over?

    Thank you.

    1. jamiejowilliams
      June 28, 2018

      Hi Tara,

      You would need to sand it down so that there are no more paint chips chipping off. If it was a water-based paint you can paint right over the top of it with chalk paint. Otherwise, you will need to sand it all off or prime it before painting again. Hope that helps!


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