Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Making The Most Out Of Thrifted Wall Art

I know that if I wanted something new for the walls I could head to a big box decor shop. I would be okay with that if I absolutely loved the print but most of the time, I don't really want the same thing as everyone else. 
I remember the days when almost every young mom I knew had a Monet print, including me. 
                           It was available everywhere. 
As a newlywed, I was a little overwhelmed with the task of filling up the walls with artwork. I didn't want run of the mill but I couldn't afford to head to an art gallery either. 
I came up with sentimental and unique art for the walls by shopping for 
original paintings or vintage prints at antique malls, thrift stores and garage sales.
I think the most I have ever paid for a little oil painting was $20.00.
Most of them I picked up for just a few dollars. I try to stick to pastoral landscapes or paintings of flowers. These were usually done by amateur artists and very often they aren't valuable. They aren't always the best artwork but they can look cute in a grouping of similar subject matter. 
I have even been know to doctor a painting if it isn't muted enough. 

  Our daughter did this series of pears in art class when she was in school. We are blessed to have some of her paintings hanging in the house and at work.

My sister and her husband commissioned an art teacher to paint a custom piece from an antique photograph of his grandmother.
 The chest and the jewelry casket were hers. Love!
I'm at my sister's home this week so stay tuned for more of pictures of her lovely home.

I like to fill in with vintage prints. 
They weren't expensive in their day and they have an antique look due to the yellowing of the paper they were printed on. Most of these haven't survived the decades because they weren't expensive or precious so they were most likely just thrown away. 

I'm just captivated with their faded and aged charm.

New frame for vintage painting. $25.00

When shopping the thrift, look past an ugly frame. 
Look past the ugly painting in a gorgeous frame. If the frame is a standard size you should be able to find a print or painting the same size to fit. Hopefully in the same pile of junky art if the junking angels are watching over you ;)  Keep a tape measure in your purse to mix and match frames and prints or paintings. Try to stick to a standard size. 
Keep in mind that antique sizes were different than they are today so you may have to trim a print.

I have yanked ugly, torn paintings out of frames and replaced them with mirrors.


Finally, not everything thing on your walls has to be a picture. Incorporate shelves, mirrors, trays, old windows, sconces etc to add interest and variety. 

Not every wall needs something on it. 
Having a blank wall or two allows the eye to rest. 
Put your best piece on the focal wall. What is the focal wall? The wall you see when you walk into the room. The paintings in the room should also be of a similar genre. Florals, landscapes, architecture, bird or botanical prints. They don't all have to be match-matchy but if you can stick to a style or genre.

I hope this helps in your quest to have walls of fabulous original and unique art.

I have picked up some cute pieces over years. 
My favorite is this garden wall painting that I found at a garage sale for $8.00. 

I had hoped it was from a famous artist and that I was housing a painting worth a half a million dollars but nothing came up when I Googled the artist.
Hope you have better luck!


  1. Loving all your art pieces! I have a few so far but hope to eventually luck up on enough for a wall going up our stairs. Thanx for partying at THT!

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