Friday, June 27, 2014

Selling and A French Style Console

I could have easily titled this blog post "How not to style furniture for sale" but then again I like it when I find furniture not styled or photographed well, or not dusted, or the name incorrectly spelled as that usually means I can buy it at a very good price.

I bought this console online via classified ads and there was only one tiny out of focus badly lit photo. I could just make out enough of the shape to take a risk to buy it and drive the distance to pick it up. The buyers were a lovely couple who had lots of quite ornate furniture in their house and the husband thought this console table wasn't ornate enough. (The wife loved it though and was a bit sad about letting it go) but they sold it to me at a very good price as they hadn't had any other interest in it.

the sellers only photo
It was extremely shiny, high gloss varnish in brown , but the console is solidly made, a lovely shape, with three dovetailed drawers on runners.

I knew that ASCP French Linen would make it all much better! I gave this piece a very good sanding. While Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is capable to adhering to furniture with no sanding required, it works much better on rougher, less glossy pieces. Paint needs a little key to adhere. Sanding will provide that key. You do not need to fully strip the piece though, just a good light sanding is required. I will post more about sanding furniture tomorrow. I gave the piece two coats of ASCP French Linen and then when it was dry and the paint had cured for a day I waxed it first with ASCP Clear Wax and then gave it a white washed look with Miss Mustard Seed White Wax. This toned down the French Linen and gave it a bit of a coastal feel. I then distressed the edges of the console and drawers. Once the wax had dried enough I buffed the piece for a lovely sheen.

The day I finished it and had it in my room to photograph, my husband threw a surprise birthday party for me and one of my friends saw it and bought it. They have been looking for a console for their lounge room for over a year so I am happy they loved this one enough to buy it.

Tips for online selling

So when you are selling your old furniture online, I have a couple of points to remember to maximise your sales price:
  • dust and clean it (a little Mr Sheen can work wonders)
  • good even lighting for photographs (natural light is best)
  • make sure you photos are in focus, (try using a tripod)
  • pretty styling
  • no background junk
  • correct spelling of item name
  • correct category insertion (on ebay, gumtree etc)
  • you can always come down in price, but you can't go up

cheers Fiona


  1. Hi Fiona,
    Thanks for the info re selling! Hoping to get that far one day, but just not sure what the market will be down here in Wollongong.

    I'm curious about the distressing part of the process. You said you'd applied two lots of wax prior to distressing. Is there a reason you leave the distressing until after wax application? It sounds illogical (not that I can draw from too much experience!), and I would've thought it'd make more sense to do it before waxing, so the wax would then seal over the wood you've removed paint from. Very interested to hear why it's done this way????

    Thanks Fiona. :)

    1. my mistake I finished a while ago, yes i probably distressed first.

  2. that piece is so pretty and i second all your tips!!!


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