Warning Signs To Look For When Purchasing Previously-Owned Wooden Furniture From Estate Liquidation Sales

If you frequently go to sales put on by estate liquidators, you probably know that many of these sales include used wooden furniture. Very valuable pieces (especially antiques) will often come with an appraisal of the piece and a description of its condition. However, not all pieces will have this kind of evaluation. Without a professional evaluation, it may be difficult to judge the condition of the wood furniture you find. Knowing how to perform an inspection of previously-owned wooden furniture can help you decide which pieces are in the best condition. These tips will help you identify problems in wooden furniture, so you can take home wooden furniture in good condition.

Look for Broken Joints or Spokes

Broken joints and spokes made of wood can be cost-prohibitive to replace. Glue rarely works to make these kinds of repairs, so to fix this kind of problem, you'll likely have to replace the broken section of wood. To do this, you'll need to find a piece of wood of the right size and wood type, then you'll have to stain or seal the wood to match the color of the overall piece. For this reason, it's best to avoid pieces with broken joints and spokes.

Inspect for Wood Rot

Pieces of furniture that sit outside for a long time, and pieces of furniture that are placed in harsh indoor conditions (like garages and attics) can develop dry rot. Sometimes dry rot can appear as cracks and discolorations in the wood. When looking for dry rot, pay close attention to the areas of the furniture that come into contact with the floor or the ground, as these parts can sometimes come into contact with moisture that can encourage rot (especially if the furniture was ever once outside). Pieces that display signs of rot could require more repair than is worthwhile. Unless you're a master craftsman, these pieces are best avoided.

Know What Problems Can Be Fixed Easily

Pre-used wooden furniture will often have superficial problems that can be easily repaired, such as:

  • Scratches. Superficial damage like scratches and dents can be easily repaired during refinishing.
  • Missing hardware. Hinges, handles and other hardware can easily be replaced.
  • Stains. Stains can generally be sanded out of old wood and covered with a fresh coat of paint or wood stain and sealer.

When purchasing wooden furniture from estate liquidation sales, look for pieces that feature easy-to-fix wear and tear. Avoid problems like dry rot and splintered, broken wood. Buying furniture with these easy-to-repair problems will help ensure long-term satisfaction with your purchase. Contact estate liquidators for more information.