Use this simple, but amazing, thrift shopping hack and you’ll learn to see thrifted finds in an exciting new way. One basic tool makes all the difference.
Previous post in the series:
Have you ever walked into a thrift store and didn’t even know how to find a great deal?
Random items are everywhere and if you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to know what’s worth getting and what’s better left on the shelf or rack.
Prices are usually good in thrift stores, but getting a great deal is far more than just a good price tag.
Check out all the posts in the How to Thrift Shop Like a PRO series to learn how to do it.
Your Thrift Shopping BFF
Hack #2 is one simple thing to keep in mind when you shop:
Almost anything can be transformed with paint!
This may seem like a basic concept, but it’s simply amazing how this basic thrift shopping hack can make so much difference.
When you move into a new house, what’s the first thing you want to do?
Paint, of course!
Paint has the amazing ability to freshen, update, and totally change the mood and feeling of a room. And it can do the very same thing for thrift finds.
In fact, most things you find in thrift stores are desperately outdated anyway. Paint is your #1 tool for updating these given-up-on pieces.
Think of it as your thrift shopping BFF!
Here’s some of my favorite thrift shopping before and afters, transformed with paint:
With the power of paint in mind, you can train yourself to totally ignore finishes when you shop. Instead, you can look for specific shapes, sizes, textures, function, or material, and shop for your specific design style.
If you’re more visually oriented (like me), it may take a little practice to train your brain. I’m drawn to beautiful colors and let’s face it – a lot of what you find in thrift stores doesn’t fit that description.
But that’s totally okay because we can indulge in color on the paint aisles of home improvement and craft stores!
Here’s a simple project that shows you what a difference paint can make.
I found this ceramic trivet at my favorite thrift store a few months ago. It was just $4, and wasn’t that bad of a piece at all.
It was just that blank face that needed some attention (in my upcycling opinion).
I’ll show you how this one simple tool – paint – can make a big difference:
First, I chose a stencil. This arabesque stencil fit nearly perfectly – and it’s gorgeous too.
Instead of a basic painted stencil design, I decided to try something a little different and add some texture. I blended a little paint with modeling paste and mixed it together until I got a nice shade.
To create the stenciled design, just swipe the mixture across the stencil with a pallet knife and scrape away the excess. You can lift the stencil right away and clean it up while the textured paint begins to dry.
Adding texture to the paint extends the drying time, so be prepared for that when you use it.
Need a last-minute gift idea for a crafty friend (or a handy wish list to pass along to your gift-givers)?
Paint Changes Everything
Now the once-plain trivet has a glowing personality – all because of the power of paint!
So the next time you go thrift shopping, remember this:
The finish is usually irrelevant because you’ve got the power of paint!
Look beyond the current color or finish and imagine the possibilities.