June 2nd, 2016

5 Tips for Scoring Interesting Flea Market Finds


To transform a flea market dresser, give it a fresh look with Rain Drop White.


I am always on the hunt for new and interesting flea market finds. It’s a fun hobby! My home offers a mix of new and old furnishings and accessories, and many of my favorite pieces are secondhand. The mix of freshly-painted flea market pieces with newer furniture helps me create a unique look that reflects our family in so many ways.

To prepare my home for my flea market finds, I started with a clean neutral paint palette on the walls to highlight a variety of furniture and accessories. My favorite wall colors are Swan White for a light and white backdrop. For darker walls, try Old Monterey Grey. A paint color like Sophisticated Navy or Opal Thai Silk can provide a cheerful but still neutral contrasting backdrop for your favorite white pieces.

With a clean and fresh painted backdrop, an interesting mix of pieces will always look great!

Here are five tips for scoring interesting flea market finds.

1. Develop your eye.
One of the secrets to great flea market finds is to be aware of what a great find actually is. You’ll see lots of items with worn finishes and colors that don’t appeal to you, but hidden under old paint could be a high quality gem that just needs a new color! In order to recognize what you discover as a deal, you’ll need to be aware of the prices for similar items you are looking for. Check out Etsy, One King’s Lane, eBay and retail shops for the types of items you are interested in. Make note of the prices, styles and quality so you will be prepared to make an informed and quick decision when you spot something similar at a garage sale or flea market. Even if you don’t know what you are looking for, you’ll feel more prepared and successful if you do a lot of advanced “window shopping.”


Flea Market Finds
Neutral painted walls (like Sophisticated Navy) provide the perfect backdrop for antique flea market finds


2. Don’t give up.
Most of the time when I’m out shopping for secondhand items, I don’t find anything special. But if I keep at it, I hit the jackpot. Had I not persevered and continued to shop over time, I never would have found some of my favorite pieces. Keep on visiting your favorite shops or yard sales and you’ll eventually stumble upon something you can’t live without.


Paint Flea Market Frames
Paint old frames for an interesting collection, highlighted by a soothing wall color like Opal Silk Green

3. Dig around.

Sometimes the best pieces are hidden, just waiting to be discovered by YOU! Look behind and under other things. You’d think the best pieces would be right out in the open, but what you are looking for might not be front and center. Take your time and stroll through a flea market, taking the time to process what you are seeing and what is available.

If you rush, you might overlook something like framed art because the condition or style of the frame didn’t catch your eye. Upon closer inspection, the art might be an original piece that would look amazing in your home with a freshly painted frame. You might even find an incredible set of old frames that you could paint and hang on the wall as a collection, even without the art!

4. Look for what could be transformed.
As you are looking for furniture or accessories, look past any worn finishes to check out the shapes and silhouettes of the pieces. Interesting shapes, lines and styles can be amazing finds with a little paint and TLC. You can use housepaint on furniture to bring pieces back to life if they have seen better days. You’ll find excellent articles and tips on My Colortopia with instructions for painting furniture.


flea market entry table
For a daring pop of color on a special piece try a paint refresh with Thai Teal


5. Think outside the box.
My favorite discoveries are objects or pieces that can be reimagined with paint, repurposed or used in an alternate way. You might find a cool old toolbox that would be a fun way to organize your office supplies, a brass ship wheel that would make a unique art piece or a boring table that could have a funky new look painted a daring color.

Do you love hunting through flea markets? What are some of your best secondhand transformations?


This post is sponsored by Glidden® paint, a PPG brand. All thoughts, opinions and paintbrushes are my own.

Categories: Inspiration