How to Transform Thrift Store Finds with Paint

by Karianne WoodMarch 24, 2017

It is said that there is a treasure in every aisle of the thrift store. You never know what you’ll discover tucked away on a shelf behind the cookie jars and straw hats. And once you find it what do you do with it? One of the easiest ways to transform trash into treasure is with a coat of paint and a little imagination.

Here are a few tips how to transform thrift store finds with paint.


Creating your own one-of-a-kind sign is a fun project to make from a thrift store find. Look for reclaimed wood pieces or frames with old art work or stacks of fence boards. Next, clean and sand the wood thoroughly. Decide what you want your sign to say and trace the letters onto the board using a stencil. Fill in the letters with paint, let the sign dry, and then lightly distress.

Painted fabric

Pillows are a dime a dozen at the thrift store and they come in a variety of fabrics and textures. For this project, choose pillows with a smooth fabric or a tiny weave, like burlap. Select the design you want to paint on the pillow. Leaves like these are a great idea for a pop of color on a porch. You could also paint letters or even a monogram. Next, lay the pillow flat, trace out your design with a fabric marker and then fill in the design with fabric paint. Let dry and then display.


Furniture is one of the easiest thrift store finds to transform. First, lightly sand and clean the piece of furniture to remove dust and cobwebs. Next, paint a layer of primer on the piece. Let dry. Start with a base coat of paint in a color that matches your décor. Let dry and add a second coat.

After the paint cures for 24 hours, you can add additional decorative elements with paint, like these stripes. Simply tape off the stripes with painter’s tape. Press to make sure the tape is adhered properly and then paint with a contrasting color. Peel off the tape to reveal the stripes underneath.

Painted baskets

Transform a thrift store basket with a simple stencil and a little paint. To create this project, start with a basket with a flat side. Print out the numbers on the computer and cut out the center of each number to make a stencil. You can also use stencils from the store. Tape off the stencil and surrounding basket with painter’s tape. Spray paint the stencil and remove to showcase the numbers underneath.

Create unique, one-of-a-kind décor for your spaces. Projects like painted fabric, handmade signs and spray-painted baskets are just a few of the ways you can transform thrift store finds with paint. Get ready: your next trash to treasure project is just a few aisles away. is the place to dream and discover your ideal home! Are you starting to get the itch to look for your first or next home, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! Browse our real estate and lifestyle blog for home buying tips, mortgage guides, DIY ideas, interior design, lifestyle topics, general home inspiration, or just some homes fun. We are sure you can scratch that itch and find all the information and tools you need to help in your home search. Want to start looking at available real estate right now? Head to our home page and check out homes for sale or rent listings all over the country.

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About The Author
Karianne Wood
KariAnne writes the lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farm, from the back porch of her turn-of-the-century farmhouse in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky. Thistlewood Farm was awarded Country Living Decorating blog of the year as well as named one of the top 10 decorating blogs by Better Homes and Gardens. KariAnne loves to paint mismatched chairs, listen to the crickets singing in the back pasture, walk hand-in-hand with her knight-in-shining armor as the sun sets over the river and drink sweet tea with lime during a thunderstorm. And she has never met a decorating project she didn't like.

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