35 Times Artists Gave Thrift Store Paintings A New, Stunning Life

Because art isn’t always as fun when you start from a blank canvas.

Thrifting is like a treasure hunt where the prize is the sheer unpredictability of the haul. You could unearth anything from a vintage lava lamp to a sequined disco ball. And yeah, while I’ve always been on the lookout for that one-of-a-kind chair to upcycle or a quirky lamp that just needs a new bulb, I never really thought about paintings. Not until now, anyway.

So some talented artists are taking those forlorn paintings you often breeze past in the thrift store aisles, the ones with the sad landscapes, and giving them a total glow-up.

This isn’t just refurbishing; it’s reinventing. It’s taking something that was gathering dust and turning it into a conversation starter, a piece of art that’s as unique as it gets. And let’s be real, it’s also a pretty cool way to give new life to something that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

1. “Suddenly”.. ( “The Scream” Repainting ), Me, Oil, 2021

2. “Unsolved Mystery…”

3. “All Work And No Play – I Had A Lot Of Fun Painting This One!”

4. “Repainting Or Original?”

5. “Found A Cool Print At Thrift…thought It Could Use Some Krakens!”

6. “Stumbled Upon This Work Of Art”

7. “Whom Will Thou Call?” Acrylic On Old Art Print. She Used To Be Holding A Guitar And I Swapped It Out

8. I Thought This Scene Looked Like A Place Darth Vader Would Go To Bask In His Loneliness

9. “I Had Planned On Adding Buzz Lightyear But Was Persuaded To Add Alice Instead. I Think She Was The Right Choice”

10. “The Lover, The Dreamer, And Me” Repainted A Couple Years Ago

11. “Monster Flowers”

12. “A Repaint I Finished A Few Days Ago – I Auctioned It To Raise Money For The Hunger Project…”

13. “I Bought A Print From A Thrift Store And Felt Like It Needed A Cat!”

14. “Jake The Dog”

15. “Prepare For Trouble.” I Always Knew I Wanted To Add A Hot Air Balloon But Originally I Planned To Add Rocky And Bullwinkle. I Think The Meowth Balloon Was A Better Idea

16. “My Glow In The Dark Repainting From A While Ago”

17. “First Painting Of This Year”

18. “Here Is My First Attempt At Doing A Repainting, I Couldn’t Be Happier With How It Turned Out!”

19. “Great Harvest Of The Single Slice” – David Irvine

20. “This Belongs Here”

21. “We Can’t Stop Here, This Is Rabbit Country”

22. “Draw 4”

23. “Mine Isn’t As Cool As Some Of These Others, I Just Taped Off A Piece My Husband Brought Home From His Office When They Remodeled. It Gets A Lot Of Compliments Though”

24. “Sky Waffles”

25. “Repainted this vintage garden gnome I found tucked away in a thrift shop.”

26. “Make America Great. My First Political Piece And I’m Slightly Nervous Posting As A Brit As So Many Of You Are American I Think?”

27. “Stay Puft – acrylic on thrift art”

28. “KIRBY”

29. “Painting-Bomb!”

30. “I added googly eyes to this thrift store nature photography. It’s hanging in my dining room.”

31. Could You Please Say “Hi” To Peany?

32. “Nautical Nonsense – Acrylic Paint On A Thrifted Art Print”

33. “For A Year Now I’m Giving New Life To 2nd Hand Wall Plates And Transforming Them In To Very Ugly Plates And This Beauty Is One Of Them”

34. “I Did My First Repainting Recently!”

35. “Thrift And Drift”