The Best Ways to Spray Paint Thrift Store Finds

From baskets to picture frames, anything is possible

spray painting thrift store finds hero image

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

In This Article

Flea markets and thrift stores are a treasure trove of cool items. The problem is that these items can look a little too grungy to display as is. Luckily, with just a can of spray paint and some painter’s tape, you can change that. With so many spray paint color options and even more thrift finds to transform, you have unlimited upcycling projects to pursue.

4:10

Upcycle Old Stuff with Just a Can of Spray Paint

Spray painting is incredibly rewarding and shockingly easy. Check out these three unique ways to elevate ordinary items using just a few coats of spray paint.

How to Spray Paint Vases and Jars

Yet another common thrift store find we all love? Vases and jars! In just a matter of minutes, you can transform your containers from meh to jaw-droppingly awesome simply by spray painting them. You'll be surprised to find that the super simple technique we used to achieve this polished trendy look is really easy.

spray painting jars
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  1. Cover Jar or Vase With Tape

    Cover the areas of the jar or vase that you do not want to paint with painter's tape. One simple but effective technique is to cover either the top or bottom half of a mason jar with tape to achieve a chic half-and-half look.

    covering jar and vase with painter's tape
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  2. Spray Open Sections

    After making sure your tape is secure against the jar or vase, spray the exposed section. Make sure to hold the spray paint a good six to twelve inches away from the item and distribute the color evenly to avoid drips. Wait a few minutes, and then add another coat of paint if necessary.

    jar with spray paint
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  3. Remove Painter's Tape

    Once the jar or vase is completely dry, slowly remove the painter's tape.

    removing painter's tape from spray painted jar
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

How to Spray Paint a Basket

Turn a plain old basket into a statement piece your guests will swear is from that trendy home décor store. You can get creative with your design, but for this project, we made two stripes using painter's tape and two coats of spray paint.

finished spray painted basket
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  1. Cover Basket With Tape

    Cover the areas of the basket that you do not want to paint with painter's tape. You can adjust the thickness of the stripes based on your preference.

    spray painting basket part 1 covering basket in painters tape
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  2. Spray Open Sections

    After making sure that your tape is secure against the basket (be sure to push it snuggly against any handles or bumps), spray the sections without tape with the color you've chosen. Make sure to hold the spray paint a good six to twelve inches away from the basket and distribute the color evenly to avoid dripping. Wait a few minutes for the first layer to dry, and then add another coat of spray paint. Now wait for the paint to fully dry.

    spray painting a basket part 2
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  3. Remove Painter's Tape

    Once the basket is completely dry, slowly remove the painter's tape.

    taking off spray paint from basket
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

How to Spray Paint a Frame

Frames are another thrift store find that can benefit exponentially from a little upcycling. We offer a simple technique that results in a chic look for a truly special gallery wall effect, or a simple accent for your bedside table. We opted for a solid color with our frame, but you can get extra fancy by making patterns on the frame with painter's tape (one simple, cool option is to tape off all four corners and paint the rest of the frame).

finished spray painted picture frame
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  1. Prepare and Spray the Frame

    Remove the glass and backing, leaving just the frame. Then, holding the spray paint at least six inches away from the frame. Spray quickly and evenly to coat the front and sides.

    spray painting a picture frame
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  2. Wait for Paint to Dry

    Once you have an even coat, wait for the paint to dry. Add one more coat of spray paint, careful to cover any spots you might have missed.

    fully spray painted picture frame
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Thrifting just got a whole lot more fun (and cost-effective!). Why overpay for a gold-accented mason jar when you can make your own in no time? Now that you know how to customize some common items with just spray paint and painter's tape, you can deck out your home and add extra personal touches to your space.