It is common to see tiny wooden houses at thrift stores and yard sales. Repainting thrift store finds is a good use for these knick-knacks. They are “country style” decorations that were very popular in past decades telling by the fact that they are so easy to acquire. Turning cast-offs into lovely, whimsical treasures is a favorite hobby of mine!
So, find yourself some little wooden houses and gather a few supplies and make your own little village!
Supplies To Gather For Repainting Your Thrift Store Finds:
- Small wooden houses
- Various paintbrushes- broad tipped, and fine tipped for details
- White gesso
- Acrylic paints in preferred colors, or mix colors to suit your preference
- Rag to wipe paintbrush between colors
- Old surface on which to work
Preparing The Surfaces For Paint
The small wooden houses were stenciled with the letters to spell out “welcome” and the rooftops were painted, so I prepared their surfaces for paint with white gesso. Gesso makes surfaces more smooth and is non yellowing so it is a good primer to use before the paint goes on.
For painting on the gesso and first coat of paint, I used more of a broad tipped paint brush. I held the house by the roof and bottom, and painted all the sides. In order to paint the rooftop, I placed the house on a table and just painted the top without holding it. So the bottom has remained unpainted.
I painted a thin layer of gesso so that the houses would be more smooth and that they would dry more quickly.
After some thought, I settled on a folksy style of painting. I knew my painting would be very flawed, so I decided to embrace the imperfections. Imperfections are beautiful in my eyes because they highlight the handmade nature of an object.
Custom Mixing Paint
Next, gathering my supply of paints, I saw the colors were not what I had in mind. So I mixed my colors to suit my color palette of muted shades.
There was a blue paint, “Cayman Blue” that I mixed with “Titanium White”. That lightened the blue and then I toned it down with a dab of “Pure Black”.
Also, I used a paint color called “Deep Peach” that I lightened with “Titanium White”.
On any of the little houses, the gray I used was a mix of “Pure Black” and “Titanium White”.
Repainting Thrift Store Finds
After I had my paints mixed and ready for repainting thrift store finds, I started by painting the blue houses. Then, I painted the peach houses, followed by two white houses. I painted each of the roofs with gray paint.
To help them to look more aged, I used a dry brush painting technique. With a clean dry brush, I put a small amount of paint on my brush. I wiped some of the paint off onto a rag and then brushed what remained onto the small house. This technique gives an imperfect, worn appearance to any project.
Painting The Details
After painting all the houses, in pencil, I roughly drew windows and a door onto the front of the first house. They are all a little different but the style is similar. I made a few whimsical differences among the little village.
Choosing to paint the windows with a darker gray than the roofs, I added a dab of “Pure Black” to a lighter gray mix. I painted the door and windows with the finer tipped paintbrush.
Using the same mixed blue from the other houses kept the color scheme consistent. Because of the small details precise painting was difficult!
I painted a white trim around the windows and door and panes on the windows. I painted the doorknob “Antique Gold”.
This house, because it had no chimney, I decided to paint as a narrow townhouse style with three stories of windows. I added a topiary and a yellow door. This yellow was “Daybreak” that I mellowed down with a bit of “Antique Gold”. This house’s difference in style, I feel, really made the final results turn out nicely. Without the variation it would not have pleased my eye as much.
Next, I couldn’t resist painting a cute little clothesline on this whitewashed house with a rounded yellow door!
In the end, painting my tiny wooden houses in quaint colors updated them and they are my style now! My kitchen will feel fresh for spring and summer. I have designated a special shelf as their perfect home. Moreover, the shelf where I put them is dry brush painted as well.
If you enjoy making beautiful and useful items for your home, check out this post.
What Spring and Summer updates are you enjoying in your home? Tell me in the comments below!
Gosh, this looks like such a fun project! I have a couple of very creative granddaughters and I am going to look for some of these little houses to paint with them. Thanks!
It is really fun to paint these, I think it’s a great project for kids. I hope you have a wonderful time with your granddaughters!
Super cute. I love to remake thrift store finds. These turned out great!
Thank You! There are so many unused things out there waiting to be made into something fresh.