It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good thrift store transformation, hasn’t it? That’s probably because my emphasis the past year has been on sending things to the thrift store, not bringing them home, haha! I still visit thrift stores, (estate sales, tag sales, or wherever you find used things- even online stores like ThredUp) but my list of things to look for is a bit more specific – although I love white pottery, old books with cool bindings, and lamps, I don’t need anymore right now.
So even though it goes against one of my guiding rules of used shopping, my list is now mainly things I’ve seen and would like to add to my home or wardrobe at a cheaper price point. Which does mean that most of the time I leave thrift stores or garage sales the same way I came – with nothing. But whether it’s a black leather belt, vintage-looking baking items for photo props, or a china cabinet in a certain style, I’m finding that patience often pays off – nicely.
Which is what happened with this plaster bust of Hermes – I had been looking for years for a bust in this size – 1 foot – instead of the small heads you usually find. I love the classical look these busts add to the homes of many home decor bloggers I admire (like The Nester) and how adding wreaths, necklaces, or more can make a fun seasonal statement. After visiting Greece, I knew I for sure I wanted to add a bust to our decor as a memory, but, wow, were they more expensive than I thought for some plaster (and they weren’t cheaper in Greece, like I thought they may be).
So when I found this for $5.99 during a quick stop to a thrift store a few months ago (that was actually for my daughter to find something and she didn’t, ha!) I couldn’t grab it fast enough! The gold color though? Um, just no. A makeover was definitely needed.
While I was researching prices of plaster bust sculptures to find a comparison, I came across a site that sold almost the exact same Hermes bust I found (above) – for $59.99. As you can guess, I’m super happy with my $6 for a silly little decor item – it’s not in me to ever pay $60 for something like this, though I love when I score a deal!
It did take a couple coats of white paint to cover the dark gold and the chips, but that’s all that was needed to bring him back to a $60 look. Spray painted transformations are probably my favorite – talk about covering a multitude of sins! And with no skill needed and just a couple bucks for the can.
During the holidays, I moved him to the dining room and made a rosemary wreath to rest on his head. I’ve always loved pairing rustic and refined – baskets with mercury glass, chipped tables with china – and the classic bust on the industrial bar cart worked in the same way.
He may migrate to our bedroom to hold necklaces, or not, but I love how he turned out and that waiting was worth it to get a look I wanted for cheap.
Have you found anything worthy at used sales lately?
Organize, Plan, Cook & Beautify Your Home with Free Printables
Enter your name and email and you'll get access to the AOC subscriber only library with printables, eBooks, checklists & more - with new things added regularly! Plus, the popular weekly newsletter with behind-the-scenes, updates, and useful links.