Thrift store finds! We all love a good SCORE, and today I want to share my personal story of this hen and rooster set that will make you reconsider these rare finds. Every kitchen had chickens back in the day! Well, I thought they did. Not so stylish in today’s farmhouse, but I have a quick fix for that, and it’s budget-friendly. “cluck it,” let’s paint them.
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Transform Thrift Store Chickens Into Farmhouse Decor – Before
A few weeks back, I rummaged around our local thrift store when I spotted some familiar objects. Could it be? It was my hen and rooster set that my Grandma gave me back when I was a child. Not the ones in the thrift store, but I have the same set at home. Now, it was up to me to find them in an ocean of boxes that were packed away full of timeless memories. I just can’t let go of such things. Thank goodness I found them!
- glass or ceramic decor (thrift store find)
- warm soapy water
- paper towels
- spray paint
- drop cloth (or scrap piece of plywood)
You can also use chalk mineral paint on ceramic or glassware without any primer as a side note. It sticks very well. Butter Cream is a comparable color to the spray paint I used for this project.
Background story… My Grandma asked me one day (when I was staying with her for the summer) if there was anything in her home that I wanted. That was before she asked me to take all of her whatnots down from the shelves and wash them. Ugh! During this process, I fell in love with this pair and told her I wanted them someday. Quickly she pulled out a permanent marker (we call it a sharpie nowadays) and told me to write my name on the back of them. It’s a family joke now that if you come to my house with a sharpie, you can claim anything if you write your name on it with a sharpie. Ha! I love the idea, personally.
Paint Changes Everything On Thrift Store Finds
I started this makeover by cleaning the hen and rooster set with warm soapy water. This helps remove any dirt or oil build-up over time, and there has certainly been some time on these pieces. Rinse with clear water and dry well with paper towels. Easy peasy!
I chose an ivory satin finish spray paint that worked well with my existing farmhouse decor colors. I’m a neutral lover!
How To Spray Paint Ceramic Thrift Store Finds
Why is spray painting so difficult? Am I right??? I paint furniture all day long with a paintbrush with no drips and can’t manage to spray paint anything without running. Guess what I learned? Slow down! I tend to be in a rush on most given days… rushing from one project to the next. It’s the way my creative brain works, and I’m guessing yours too.
When spray painting anything, less is more. Always paint with multiple light coats with dry time between each coat. Always check the label for dry times. Painting at room temperature is best. I like to spray paint outdoors when I can (ventilation) and then bring my projects back inside to dry. This will result in a silky smooth finish… no runs! Hold the can 6- 8 inches from your object and use a sweeping motion. Never allow the spray flow to stop during this process. Back and forth in super light coats. You may have to repeat these steps 4-5 times before you get the full coverage you’re seeking. This project took less than 1 hour to complete.
Take your time, and you won’t get the runs. 😂 Notice there is minimal overspray on the board. Multiple light coats are the right way to spray paint thrift store finds. Don’t forget to use a drop cloth or keep a small piece of plywood just for spraying smalls.
Farmhouse Fabulous in under 1 hour!
For some of my readers, this post may be controversial. I hear every day that I should not paint some things, especially priceless sentimental items. Well, since my Grandmother taught me how to paint, I’m pretty sure she’s smiling down from heaven knowing that I’m upcycling and cherishing these little beauties. Nothing has changed, only the color.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you and get your feedback on this makeover. Feel free to comment and leave me feedback below. Not only does it make my day better (yes, it does!) it also lets me know that I’m not the only one painting thrift store finds. I do read them all! I’m inspired by my readers and get inspiration from your two cents.
Until the next project… xo, Do
So cute, love the story with the permamarker and your grandma! How sweet. And yes, I’m too much in a hurry as well. I’m trying to slow down and appreciate my time. XO
Thank you, sweet friend. It all goes by so fast. xo, Do
I’ve had a large pair of chickens sitting in my craft room for 20 yrs or more and one day a light went off! Paint! Orange and green made in Mexico chickens became white and are beautiful! Have other things lined up to do this to. Love your work.
Hi Nelda! They were just meant to be with you. Timing is everything and when the mood hits… we paint! Thanks for sharing. xo, Do
Slow and easy is just that with me in the last couple of years for doing anything.
I have come to realize that to enjoy life do not let it go by so fast that you cannot enjoy what you love doing.
Spray painting is a technique of slow easy flowing strokes.
When the item is done you can then sit back, take a look and enjoy.
Thank you for posting all your projects that look so awesome.
Keep up the slow easy enjoyment of doing what you do.
Take care xo
Thank you, Brenda! Slow and easy isn’t always easy but I’m working on it. Have a blessed week. xo, Do
I love your chickens. My Mom used to have dozens of chickens, but we sold them, except my baby sister got the roosters.
Thank you, Lori. It’s one of the few things that I saved. If we only knew then what we know now. xo, Do
What a cute idea! I’ll be on the “look out” at estate/yard sales for small items like those to “update”. Yes, your permanent marker story is sweet….my adult daughters will love the idea! 😉 Painting is so relaxing and great to get our minds off (even for a short time) all the crazy stuff right now. Love your blog and videos!
That would be so sweet to start that tradition with your girls. I have 4 boys and they don’t like paint. Thank you so much for the kind words. xo 🙂
I agree with you on updating thrift finds or memory box finds. Years ago, my young granddaughter gave me a small thrift shop metal frame painted in 4 Christmas colors encircling the word JOY. It stayed those colors for many years. One day I spray painted it black and silver. I left the rhinestone bow. Her childhood photo is in the O of JOY. One day, my now grown granddaughter saw it, and she loved the transformation. It’s small and adorable. I love it. Re-do to re-new. Thanks, Do for all your examples, and your encouragement.
Marilyn in Minnesota
I love that, Marilyn! Re-do to renew. I hope you have plans for that name. Thank you for sharing your precious story. xo, Do
So many of our nostalgic keepsakes are buried in a box on a shelf. I like your idea of digging them out, updating, and setting them out to once again enjoy. And the memory is still intact.
Also like the idea of writing the name with a sharpie. Gonna remember that one.
Thanks for sharing your creativity. I always look forward to your posts.
Thank you so much, Joanne. Yes, dig out those memories and enjoy them. We all need to be reminded of the good times from the past while sharing with others. Be blessed. xo, Do
If you hadn’t painted them so they would look cute with your decor, they’d still be in a box somewhere not being enjoyed! I cut my grammas chenille bedspread up and made throw pillows. My mom got mad, but it didn’t fit any bed I had and now whenever is see them on my bed as pillows, they remind me of her! Besides, my grandmother made curtains for her front door out of her Lacey slip cause she thought it was pretty! 😂💖
❤️ YES! I believe that very thing. It’s all about the memories. It’s not comforting anyone in a box. Good for you, Kimberle. I have my Grandma’s chenille bedspread too. I guess it’s time to make pillows. Thanks for the sweet words. Blessings xo, Do