Thrift Store Chic

  Today's tutorial isn't exactly new, I've seen different versions of it scattered across the internet; the basic idea is that you take an old figurine and paint it a solid colour to look chic. It's really popular with animals, particularly birds. 

    I've seen painted owls in high end decor shops, and their prices are rather outlandish, so I decided I'd rather paint one for myself. It's been a few months now, and I've finally found the owl I was looking for! I scooped him from a thrift shop for only five dollars, and he's quite large. I knew I wanted to paint him either a bright pink, lime green, or electric blue. As you can see in the photo, I went with blue. I'm very happy with my results! This is my 'Thrift store chic' blue owl tutorial.

    If you are interested in trying this project out for yourself follow the step by step guide below...

   A figurine - This can be pretty much anything you desire, although what's trendy now is large figures of birds, or animals that are indigenous to your area. 
   Cleaning materials -  I recommend some mild soap, water, a scrubby brush, sponge, cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol, and paper towel.
   Paint and Primer - Figurines are typically made of plaster, or resin, however you may find one made from wood or plastic. If you do you may require a different kind of paint, like plastic paint. You can ask a knowledgeable sales associate for more information at your local hardware or craft store. 

***You may wish to seal your work with a top coat of your choice. The paint that I used is glossy, and I may coat it using a high gloss top coat in the future.


Step one

     After you've found the figure that you want to use I recommend giving it a good cleaning. This is important for the painting process, but also these items can collect a lot of dirt, which is just unpleasant. Take mine for example, it looks like a snowy white owl, but it wasn't to begin with. When I brought it home from the thrift store my owl was brown and beige. Yeah. It was covered in a good decade's worth of nicotine. Gross. I intended to clean it for the sake of painting, but after one swipe of rubbing alcohol I realized just how bad the situation was. It took me nearly an hour to clean him entirely.

   I advise you start with a scrubby brush, or sponge, and gently wash the figure down with a mild soap and warm water. When cleaning use cotton swabs to get into small crevices. Soap and water could be all it takes to clean your item thoroughly, but it's still important to wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. Do not use nail polish remover in place of rubbing alcohol; it is not the same, and it could eat away at the material. Wet some paper towel with rubbing alcohol and wipe your figure down. Let it dry, and you should be ready to move onto the next process.

Step two

    Prepare your painting surface by laying down some cardboard, or newspapers. Spray your primer over the figure, and let it dry. Repeat coats if necessary, I recommend two. 

Step three

    If the instructions on your primer suggest sanding the figure prior to painting, do so. I didn't have to, I moved directly into painting. Paint your figure as directed, and apply as many coats as necessary. Let dry, and apply a top coat if deisred.

And you're finished! I'd be happy to see your results ^-^ drop me a line.

Pleasant crafting!

-Little Miss Phantasm



Kater said...

I never would have thought to do this! Great idea! Now to find the right figurine....

Little Miss Phantasm said...

Thanks ^-^
If you try it out, send me pics!