Before this DIY post and the last, I’d never used eBay for anything other than swooning over vinyl albums I couldn’t justify buying and gawking at celebrity auctions (Pharrell’s hat, y’know?). Honestly, when it came to buying large items, I’d always considered myself more of a Craigslist-kinda person. It was easy to browse and everything is basically free. But once you reach a certain point in your adult life, you start wanting things that other sites don’t bring to the table. And this had been my conundrum, as of late.
We’re at a point where we want to start having nicer, cleaner things in the house: cleaner lines, cleaner surfaces, and things that are a bit less, “used”—or at least things that look that way. Our old dining table and chairs were mismatched and kind of junky to begin with, and it’s long been time to find a new, grown-up set.
Still there’s a weird little thing about shipping that had kept me away from making large furniture purchases on eBay… until this post. I hadn’t realized it, but there’s a local pickup option that’s seriously the same thing that I’m used to with other local want ads/garage sale sites. I’m also not really into the whole bidding-war thing, but the Buy It Now feature (which I got to use in our last post) absolved any and all lingering anxiety over that. And then consider the added bonus of making a secure financial transaction.
So as with any thrift and vintage shopping, I started with my eyes open for a good opportunity, and my mind open to making little adjustments once I got the piece that would really make it “my own.”
I used the advanced search options to set my location within 100 miles of my home, my budget at $150 or less, and the “Buying Format” to “Buy It Now” and started adding item after item to my Watchlist (p.s. another great feature that I was stoked to discover, “Watchlisting” is super helpful when you don’t really want to buy something immediately buuuut like it and want to think about it—like wishlists on most other retail websites).
After a week or so of casual browsing… I FOUND IT. Wicker, brass, wood and white—it was just what I had in mind. And it was well under-budget. I snagged up the pieces and made arrangements for pick up. It was a smooth transaction, communicating with the seller through eBay, but I could also email them directly, which I appreciated.
Once I brought everything home, I realized it looked a bit washed-out in our sad little rental kitchen, so I skimmed through my “Color” Pinterest Board and found a colorful image that felt right for the set:
I decided I wanted to reupholster the seats and paint the wicker and edge of the table to brighten up the room. With a little help from a more experienced friend (I’d also never done an upholstery job before, if you can believe that) I gave the set a quick weekend rehab.
Some words of advice for similar projects:
– If you’re doing reupholstering, one of these staple removers will save you SO much time.
– If you’re doing any painting, remember to use a primer first.
– Get almost double the fabric you’ll think you’ll need.
– If you’re painting wicker, spray paint is definitely THE way to go.
So… consider me a convert. It’s totally addicting. I’ve been building up my eBay Wishlist for the past two weeks and am ready to stock three very-adult houses full of furnishings, all within driving distance of our own home. What a find!
The Design Milk collections were curated as part of our collaboration with eBay. The thoughts, ideas and projects in this post are our own.