So let’s talk about where to score stuff to clean up, paint, and reuse or even completely restore to its former glory.
Craigslist: Craigslist is a fickle creature and you can find huge rip offs or smoking deals, it just depends on your savvy as a buyer. Personally, I’m very leery of Craigslist for one because I hate the idea of meeting a stranger in a random parking lot, without overwatch, when they know I have money. Additionally, I know from unfortunate experience that a lot of thieves move stolen property using Craigslist so buyer be very aware and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take note of the license plate of the car of whoever you’re meeting, just in case.
Antique stores: Like Craigslist, these can be hit or miss. If there’s only one in a town, it’s my experience that they tend to jack their prices. However, if you’ve got a few little shops and they’re clustered in the same business district, generally you see prices are a little more reasonable. Hooray competition!
Now some lesser known sources-
Goodwill: While the Goodwill stores aren’t bad, per se, I’ve had way better luck at their distribution and outlet centers. Basically they’re lined with rows of bins that you can dig through and find an amazing assortment of random suff. Most of the stuff is sold by the pound unless individually marked. You can find some amazing deals on stuff there but be forewarned that they’re often where stuff that didn’t sell in the normal stores goes before ending up in a landfill. Also the people watching is amazing.
Habitat for Humanity Restore: Generally focused on building materials, if you’re looking for a cool old door to turn into something or a funky lighting fixture, the Restores are gold mines. They often have furniture and things as well.
Salvation Army: I could be wrong, but it seems to me some Salvation Army stores seemed focused on some things, like clothes, while others seem to focus on furniture and things. Either way I’ve scrounged some old tools and cool furniture pieces from SA and they’re worth a look.
Nothing really earth shattering in this post. If you have another resource, please share it in the comments!