In this post I’ll show you how to spray paint thrift store plates for a quick and inexpensive way to update the decor in your home.
The thrift store is a great place to find plates and dishes of all different shapes and sizes. I usually keep an eye out for all-white dishes that I can use in various places around my home. The great thing about buying cheapo dishes at the thrift store is that if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, there’s no harm in experimenting a little to see if you can modify something to suit your needs. There are a couple of different areas of my home that I thought could use a few white plates after a few plate-y photos caught my eye on some other blogs so I decided to just make my own! Here’s how to spray paint thrift store plates if you like the white dish look too, or even if you have a different color in mind.
How to Spray Paint Thrift Store Plates: Find the Right Pieces
You want to think about the size and the shape that you need for your plates, but also keep in mind that the texture of the plates matters as well. Any embossing or textural patterns that are on your plate will still show up once the plate is painted so keep that in mind.
While you’re in that section of the store, have a look for other types of dishes as well! Look for big ugly platters, tea cups that might make cute planters, or soup tureens that you could paint and display in your dining room for an eye-catching traditional dining room kind of look. Thrift store ginger jars are amazing as well! My set that I shared a few years ago actually broke so I’m on the lookout for more of those too. 🙂
How to Spray Paint Thrift Store Plates
These steps for how to spray paint thrift store plates will actually work for any type of thrift store dish, whether it’s plastic, china, ceramic, or glass.
Start out by cleaning your plates or dishes really well in hot soapy water. Use a green scrubby to really scrub away any gunk that’s on the plate. Since we’ll be painting these you don’t need to worry about any small scratches, you just want super cleanliness.
Next, wipe over the entire surface of your plates with a paper towels dipped in rubbing alcohol. This will remove any trace of leftover oil or grease that could keep the paint from sticking.
Then it’s time to paint!
Working in a well-ventilated area, or a non-breezy outdoor space, spray your pieces very lightly to prevent drips. It helps if you can elevate your pieces a little bit so you can easily reach around the edges of your dishes. Let your pieces dry for about 10 minutes in between coats and do about two more coats. If you need to, flip your piece over after allowing the pieces to dry after the third coat of paint and repeat it all over again!
For the paint, I like to use something with a built-in primer in a gloss or a semi-gloss for a more realistic look. You want your plates to look as though they’ve always been white, or whatever color you’re working with.
How to Use Painted Thrift Store Plates
I’m not sure that I need to mention it, but just to be on the safe side: These plates are not meant to be used for food and will be for decorative purposes only. If you’re hoping to spray paint a platter in a particular color for party decor or something like that, you can always lay a piece of parchment paper down on top of the plate or platter and set your cookies or cake or whatever else directly on that.
When it comes to decorative purposes though, your possibilities are endless! You can use your plates as wall decor either hung directly on the wall with plate hangers, or on a plate wall like I have. Or vases, utensil holders, or whatever else you need!
Spray painted dishes are also great for filling in blank spaces in dining room or living room shelves. Using pieces in various shapes and sizes all painted in the same color will give your shelving decor scheme a really nice, cohesive look.
Spray painted dishes can also be used out in the garden in a lot of different places as planters, saucers under flower pots, or just as little pieces of garden decor in among your flowers.
Do you have an area around your home where you could use some spray painted thrift store plates or dishes?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.