DIY Tacky Vintage Painting Upcycle

Vintage Thrift Store Painting

I picked up this oversized painting for $25 at the MCC Thrift store last week. (Have I mentioned MCC is one of my favourite stores?) I’m always pumped when my day off lands on a Tuesday because they restock on Mondays! Anyway, I had seen this a few days prior and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I got lots of “looks” as I proudly left with this baby under my arm.  Not sure why….it’s a real beaut!  Remember, when you’re “thrift shopping” it’s not about what you see, but all about the potential you see and the vision you have for a piece.

We have been making over our staff room at school (for the last 3 years) and our current project is the creation of a staff Coffee Bar. It’s actually almost finished, but not yet set up. We just finished painting a beautiful antique buffet and are now planning how to pull it all together. We thought it would be cool to have a chalkboard sign above the coffee station. The buffet is very large, so when I saw this frame (54″ X 21″), I figured the size was perfect. I loved the detail in the ornate frame and the upcycle was simple.  All it took was some TSP to clean off any residue and scuff up the gloss finish a bit, a coat of primer and a coat of paint. I’m not a big fan of gold, so paint was must. I was going to purchase a piece of wood for the chalkboard, but quickly realized that I could probably get away with sanding down the original oil painting. (I know someone out there is cringing at the idea that I ruined this piece of art…so sorry!) I used my mouse sander to smooth out the surface and then primed and painted overtop with spray paint. For this project I used chalkboard spray paint, but often just make my own homemade chalkboard paint.Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 1.28.11 PM


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I’m just in the planning stages for the chalkboard word art that will be applied. It will be something simple, but the intention is for it to be a permanent sign, not a message board. Here’s to hoping the coffee station all comes together nicely and proves to be more functional for our large staff at school.