10 Tools Needed to Flip Furniture

This post may contain affiliate links (disclosure here).

Anyone can flip furniture if they have the appropriate tools to get the job done. There are the 10 tools you need when flipping furniture. The top 10 items you can’t live without.

Hopefully, you have read my Where to Find Furniture to Flip on a Budget blog post and now you’re ready to get started. Here is the list of the 10 basic tools and supplies you will need to flip that first piece. (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience).

1. Furniture Cleaner

Cleaner – Most used pieces of furniture I have encountered had some form of dirt and grime. My go-to cleaner is simply a mixture of water and white vinegar. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!

My bottle of white vinegar

I use TSP only on very dirty greasy pieces of furniture. TSP is a powerful cleaner and degreaser but it is toxic and must be handled with care. It is indeed an irritant and can cause itching on exposed skin or airways. I see it as a “last resort” cleaner.

Savogran 10621 Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) 1LB (16oz) - 2 Pack

Trisodium Phosphate – Heavy Cleaner

For more tips on how to clean thrift store furniture, check out this blog post.

2. Sander & Sandpaper

A Good Sander

One of the most important items for flipping furniture is a good sander. Any used piece of furniture will require some type of sanding before painting or refinishing. Christina uses the DeWalt Orbital Sander.

Sanding using Dewalt orbital sander

The Dewalt orbital sander fits nicely in the hand, with very little vibration. It runs smoothly but still has the power to get the job done. You can also sand in any direction. The dust bag collects dust, therefore there is very little mess.

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander, 5-Inch (DWE6421),Yellow
Dewalt orbital sander

I personally own a Bosch orbital sander and a mouse sander which I like too. Should you wish to buy the best sander for furniture, make sur to check this post.


As for sandpaper, we recommend Gator sandpaper. We have tried other sandpapers, and they just do not hold up to the quality of Gator. Other’s rip and tear, but Gator holds its own. Gator sandpaper can easily be ordered on line.

My stash normally consists of 60, 80, 120, 180 and 220 grit.

My stash of sandpapers
My stash of sandpapers

3. Wood Filler

Used furniture always has some dings or chips in the wood, so a good wood filler is a must. Wood filler is also a must to fill old hardware holes in the event you decide to replace furniture hardware.

Old hardware holes filled with wood filler

I recommend Elmer’s Carpenter Natural Wood Filler if I am painting the piece. Minwax Stainable Wood Filler has also proven its worth. Both products are easy to use by applying with a paint scraper. If I am staining, I try not to use too much filler because quite frankly, there is no filler that stains very well. 

4. Glue

Wood glue is another must have. When flipping wooden furniture, you will encounter some loose drawers or loose furniture feet. Do not pass a beautiful piece of furniture only because it needs some minor repair. Learn how to make these minor repairs instead and increase your sales margin. Elmer’s carpenter glue is an great option if you are looking for a high-quality bonds wood furniture repair glue. We also like Titebond II Wood Glue which is ideal for exterior applications.

Titebond II Wood Glue

5. Clamps

Clamps come together with wood glue. They’re actually best friends! Clamps are tools used to hold two pieces of wood tightly together while gluing. They’re very useful for minor furniture repairs. Clamps can also be used as an extra set of hands in the workshop. I personally use two types of clamps: spring hand clamps and clutch clamp.

My favorite clamps

6. Rags, a lot of rags

Rags, tack cloth and shop towels are furniture flippers best friend. I use rags and shop towels on a daily basis.

Using shop towel & disposable gloves to apply wood stain

I’m fan of these shop towels. They’re especially good at cleaning up spills! I have spilled paint and even stain on occasion and they absorb quickly and hold a lot of liquid. I also use them to clean pieces and to apply stains.

Always clean your paintbrushes correctly once you’re done painting so you can reuse them.

Tack cloth is very important and inexpensive. Even after you wipe down your piece to remove the sanding dust, you will still have residue left. Tack cloth is sticky and will remove all the left-over residue on your project. You can find this at any local home improvement store, your local hardware store or order it online here.

7. Paintbrush

Paintbrush – A good quality paintbrush makes a world of difference. Christina uses Wooster Silver Tip. The Silver Tips leave very little paint strokes and clean up very well.

Paint brush and black paint in a plastic container – Ready to paint!

8. Paper Cups or Plastic Containers

Paper cups or plastic containers – These are important to use to pour your paint in before you begin a job. This will keep you from contaminating your entire paint container. Paper cups and plastic containers are also wider at the top which makes dipping your paintbrush in easier and quicker. I have saved our Chinese plastic containers that the soup comes in and these work very well! You can also order some mixing cups online.

9. Respirator or Mask

Respirator or Mask – This is very important when sanding or using oil-based topcoats. Always protect yourself! Older pieces can have lead paint and it’s hard to determine if they do or not. Wearing a mask will protect you. For furniture flipping beginners, dust masks should do the job. Disposable respirators are cheap and can be ordered on line here.

Disposable respirator

Should you sand regularly, you will need a good respirator. I got mine from Amazon and have been using it for almost 2 years without any issue. I highly recommend it.

Wearing my 3M reusable respirator

10. Disposable Gloves

Disposable Gloves – Gloves are important especially when staining. I do wear them when I paint as well because I paint inside my shop which is in my home. If I do not use gloves, my hands would be covered in paint and so would everything else I touch!

If you are allergic to latex, make sure to choose gloves that are latex-free like the ones in the photo.

Wostar Disposable Gloves Large Powder & Latex Free 4mil 100 Pcs Exam Disposable Nitrile Non-Sterile Gloves
Latex-free disposable gloves

I have made it easier for you! I have included my affiliate links (which I earn a small commission when your purchase at no extra cost to you) so that you can order right from home and get started flipping!

That’s it! I hope that post will help you get started!

Save this post for later!

Happy Makeover!

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