>I painted another piece to go into my youngest son's room. Of course I found this chest of drawers at the thrift store. I was attracted to it because of those over-sized drawer knobs. But, looks aren't everything! I thought I'd give you a quick 101 on how to buy used furniture.

When I find a piece that looks good I make sure it passes a few other tests.

First, I place one hand on each side of the piece of furniture. I add a little pressure by leaning into it and then I give it a good WIGGLE. This little test tells me how sturdy the piece is. If it wiggles, it's an indication that the areas where the wood is joined together are loose and it will need gluing and possibly nailing---usually more work than I care to do.
Next, I try all of the parts that move. I open and close doors checking to see if they line up straight and if the hinges are in good shape. I slide out drawers, checking to see if they slide easily. I also check the construction of the drawer. A well built drawer has dove tail construction. The edges are cut in a tail shape and fit together like a puzzle.
Vertical dove tail construction is the next best. That's where the drawer side is cut vertically into the tail shape and it is slid into the drawer front.
This is also a good time to see if the piece is made from solid wood, veneer or particle wood covered to look like wood.
I also check the weight of the piece. I like furniture that is heavy, not wimpy and light weight. If the furniture passes these tests, I know that it's worth investing my money.
I LOVE buying used furniture because I can afford quality pieces and with a little work and paint they can be customized to fit my home and family.