They say when it comes to thrift stores: one person's trash is another person's treasure, but most of the time when rifling through the paintings bin you might just think that it's all trash. It's not like a lot of thrift store art is inherently bad, it's just that it's a little bit boring–like it belongs in the bathroom of an Italian restaurant or it's growing mold in your grandma's basement.
A lot of discarded paintings from unknown artists go unloved because of their plain nature. Sure, a landscape is pleasant but it just doesn't fit into the modern home aesthetic. What might be fun, though, is to take these paintings off the store's hands, grab some paint, and make these uninteresting paintings fun.
10 Make It Modern
There's something about generic landscape paintings that may feel a little lacking, but it doesn't have to stay that way forever. The reason why these pieces feel like they would only ever belong in a motel or your grandma's house is because they're in an older style. To make them fit into a more modern home, the paintings just need to be upgraded a little bit.
Tape is a crafter's best friend, and with just a little bit of tape and some paint, you can make cool geometric patterns that make a boring landscape a lot more interesting.
9 Adding Some Fun Characters
This painting of a cute little European port town is a fairly good painting on its own, but it seems to be missing something. The way the painting is done, it feels like the artist set up a good area in the foreground for something interesting to happen, but just gave up last minute.
Whoever found this painting thought it to be the perfect setting for their own Mortal Kombat scene and after seeing the final result, we definitely agree that these two fighters make this painting way better.
8 It's Always Aliens
If you're ever in a creative funk when trying to figure out what to add to an old painting, UFOs can always be an answer to that problem.
A lot of thrift store artwork has themes of pastures and farms, which is perfect for an alien abduction scene since UFOs seem to always be picking up cows during their journey through Earth. The artist here did a great job blending this mysterious aircraft into the painting–it almost looks like this scene was meant to be there all along.
7 Add Some Words
Everyone loves a good motivational quotation with a nice landscape in the background, so why not also try and do that with old thrift store paintings?
Having an oil painting of a small coastal village may not fit in with your more modern home aesthetic, but with some paint and a few nice words of wisdom this old piece of art may have a found a place on your living room wall. One nice quotation can turn a forgettable piece into something that looks inspiring and pretty.
6 Some Humor Never Hurt
When you're revamping an existing painting, there's really no limit to what you can do. Some people like to enhance the painting in a more subtle manner and stick to the same style as the original. Others would just like to paint a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man about to wreak havoc on this old-timey Parisian street.
What we love about this painting is how out of place the Marshmallow Man looks in the rest of the scene–and how nobody else in the painting seems to notice this giant fluffy character looming over them. Plus, it's a nice nod to the classic Ghostbusters.
5 A Pokémon Oasis
Some paintings aren't boring–they're just not finished yet! Sometimes they're not appreciated enough by their original owners and end up in the old painting bin at Goodwill, but if the painting is lucky enough it might just end up in the hands of someone with an artsy eye.
To be frank, this painting doesn't have much going for it on its own. Seeing a boat of people on a pond is not very interesting, but this image is also a perfect place for some Pokémon to hang out. The fictitious creatures look like they belong in the painting, even though the original artist probably never intended them to be there in the first place.
4 Dip It!
When there's nothing left to do to spruce up a less-than-exciting painting, it might be a good idea to just paint right over it–or just most of it. This dipping idea is quite interesting since it takes almost zero effort while making a boring portrait painting look cool enough to hang in your living room.
The contrast between the solid block of color and the more intricate painting behind it is a cool look that definitely brings this painting into the 21st century.
3 Turn It Into A Meme
Memes that revolve around classic paintings are nothing new, but it doesn't mean that they're any less funny. If you're someone who has some old paintings that you're not a fan of, but you're also not a fan of inspirational quotes, this project might be for you. Word art doesn't always have to be pretty and fancy–it can be funny and even crass sometimes.
While this painting of Boy with Flute is pretty entertaining on its own, the added text really makes this piece something to be remembered.
2 A Cuter Landscape
To spice up a landscape piece, you don't need to go all-out and add dinosaurs or aliens to make it interesting. Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of decoration so that the painting tells more of a story than a painting that's simply nature might have.
Adding in treehouses and a canoe makes this picture a little bit nicer and more interesting–it's also always a good idea to add triangle flags into anything.
1 Paint A New Outfit
A horse painting is fine, but what about a horse wearing a wrestler's mask and a cape? That's much more interesting than anything that realism has to offer. Another great way to improve a bland painting is to give the characters in it cool new outfits.
There's a story behind every picture, and the story behind a caped horse is way more interesting than the story of a regular one. This can also be fun for portraits, where the subjects in them usually look very serious from having to sit in one place for hours.