My finds.... And, why I do what I do! - Lynn Fern

My finds.... And, why I do what I do!

I often am asked where do I find the pieces of furniture I paint.  I've often been told not to divulge my "digging" spots.

I don't mind giving up where I go to find my treasures.  Not everyone is looking for furniture to recycle, refinish, upcycle, rehab, or fix up (whatever term you choose to use). 

I won't lie.  I've been extremely lucky in some of my finds.  Right place at the right time.

Many times I find items at auctions that need work.  A drawer might be sticking, veneer is peeling off, a gouge in the top, etc.   Most people don't want those pieces & so I usually grab them. 




I also go to Habitat for Humanity Restore.  I love giving back to the community & I feel that when purchasing from Habitat I am doing just that.  The money goes into building or renovating a tear down for a family.



Yard sales, estate sales, moving sales, tag sales.... I make my way around.  I don't mind jumping in the car and taking a road trip to check out new places.  I've been known to jump in the car going nowhere but everywhere...





Goodwill, thrift & junk stores are other places you'll find me digging around.

Oh and one of my favorites is the DUMPSTER!!  Yup I don't mind digging items out of the dump (or letting my wonderful husband dig it out for me) :)


It is free & if I can't save it then I will figure out something else to do with it if it doesn't work out by breaking it down & using the pieces.


I also have family & friends give me furniture that they are either getting rid of or no longer need or want.





That is where I start...  Finding, searching and picking up my pieces.  I then bring them home, a vision will at some point enter my mind with each piece.  Sometimes I already have something in mind that I'd like to create, just waiting on a special piece.

I set up my work area, clean my piece of furniture (usually using a non-invasive cleaner...vinegar and water with a squeeze of lemon to offset the smell).

I fix or repair any areas that need to be repaired.  Sometimes this includes ripping the entire veneer off the area or gluing it back into place.  I then need to wait for the glue or wood filler to dry.

Sanding then takes place if needed.  Sometimes I get lucky, well really a lot of times, and I don't need to sand.  I wipe the furniture down with a rag removing all sanded areas.

And, then the painting begins.  I use many techniques from reverse stenciling, faux painting, distressing, etc. I like to experiment with new techniques, try new colors...

At the end of the day it is the vision I see for what I have created.  I've reworked or redone paint jobs...sometimes simply because I just don't like how they turned out.  I want for whoever decides to purchase a piece I've done to be happy.

The pieces are antiques (some extremely old) so there are going to be imperfections no matter how much restoration you put into them.  That is what makes them unique, not cookie cutter.

It is work.  Hard work.  It takes time. I sweat.  I bleed.  I have cuts & bruises some days that look like I literally got into an all out war with the piece I am working on.  Even though a piece might be free, by the time I am finished with the product it is no longer free.  I think all of my fellow furniture rehab(ers) would agree.  Some pieces take longer or more materials put into them than others.  But, I love what I do.  I love saving a piece of furniture. Breathing new life into something that someone else was otherwise going to throw into the dump.

This is just a tiny glimpse into what goes into salvaging things for me.

With much love, peace & happines

~ Lynn





Back to Top