How to Use Thrifted Art in Your Vintage Home Decor

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Thrifted art is fun to look for and a beautiful way to decorate your home for the seasons. Check out these easy ways to display thrift store paintings as part of your vintage decor!

We are almost out of school for the year.   I have been getting my summer decor, including my favorite thrifted art, out and starting to sprinkle it through our home…just in time for summer break to begin!  Above all, I love trying to create a special look in our home that helps it feel like our own “beach vacation house” for the summer!

Around here, this tag is popular: #ilivewhereyouvacation.  As a result, we try to have some fun with that and actually enjoy some of the things that the beach-going vacationers come to our area to enjoy!

The only thing I don’t have to add is the sand…we will bring plenty of that in every day, all summer long!

Thrift store art pieces are perfect for seasonal decor!

One thing our area also has a lot of are fun local thrift stores!  I can go to 10 of them and still not find a thing, but then some days, the treasures can abound.  It’s all about the thrill of the hunt, right?!  Whenever I go thrifting, I always take a quick look through the art section. I have been luck to come across some great thrifted art finds over the years!

Since we live in a coastal town, my local thrift stores and flea markets are a great place to look for thrifted art with coastal art prints and paintings.  Some of the thrifted art I’ve found are art prints while others include an original painting, an oil painting, and some gorgeous sketches.

Thrift store paintings are a great way to add some seasonal touches to your home in a budget-friendly way.  You can get a fresh look for the season by changing out your artwork and setting the decor theme for your entire living space.  

For my vintage coastal look, I live in the perfect place to look for coastal art!  My favorites are ocean paintings and sketches.

After a few years of collecting, I’ve found several vintage coastal art pieces at thrift stores, estate sales, garage sale, vintage markets, flea markets, and antique malls.  Each summer, I love pulling them out and using them in my home decorating for a vintage look.


Thrifting With the Gals

Before we dive into my thrifted art collection and why I love decorating with it so much, I have great news for you!

It’s “Thrifting with the Gals” day and that means I get to share some of my favorite thrifted finds and how I use them in our home!  Make sure to head over to the other blogger’s posts today to see their thrifted treasures and how they are enjoying them around their homes too!

If you love thrifting, don’t miss our monthly thrifting series that takes place on our blogs!  We have so much fun sharing our thrifted finds with each other and with all of you too!

Ann from Dabbling & Decorating

Rachel from The Ponds Farmhouse

Lora from Create and Ponder

and our guest host this month, Cindy from County Road 407

At the end of this post, make sure to check out their beautiful pictures and ideas for even more thrifted home decor ideas!


How to Use Thrifted Art in Your Vintage Home Decor

Use Vintage Art in a Gallery Wall

How to fill a wall with art?

You all know how much I love my gallery wall and it is most often the first thing I restyle for seasonal decor.  It seems to set the style and look for the rest of our living spaces.  However, this year, it ended up being the last thing (though I did have a plan in my head for it!)

Whether you have an entire wall of vintage thrifted art or just a few pieces, you can combine them to create a gallery wall that makes a statement!  If you don’t have a lot of thrifted art in your collection, mix them with thrifted mirrors, old frames, hanging baskets with greenery, vintage signs, and architectural salvage!  It is a lot of fun to curate a collection of items that help tell your decor story!

Often, I get loads of inspiration from a single existing piece of thrifted art in my collection.  From that thrifted painting or artwork, I can pull a color palette to inspire my decorative accessories for the season.  Then, I can use the style of the painting to inspire the decor theme and style for the entire space!

How do you make an easy gallery wall?

Pro Tip:  When creating a gallery wall, tape off a section on the floor the same size as the wall space you’ll be using for the gallery wall.  Next, lay out your wall art on the floor.  Experiment and play around with the wall art until you love the lay out!  Then, start hanging the art one piece at a time.  I like to start with the artwork in the middle and work my way out to the outer edges of the gallery wall.

How far apart should pictures be on a wall?

Most interior designers would say 3″ to 6″ apart.  However, if you want to create a gallery wall with a more vintage style, you may want to try placing your art closer to 3 inches apart.  Wider spacing creates a more modern look.

Display Vintage Art on a Shelf

How to use art to decorate a home?

Another way to use thrifted art in your home decorating is to lean the actual art against the back of a shelf.  I do this with thrifted art on the mantel as well.  Leaning art against a shelf is a great way to create layers in your home decor, which gives a look of a beautifully curated home.  

One of my favorite things to do with my decor is to add layers.  I love how layers help any space feel so cozy!  Layers can also add a lot of character and interest to your home too.

I used a favorite oil painting to create layers in my dining room shelf styling.  I’m obsessed with how this old painting that I found at an open-air market gives depth and texture to my dining room apothecary!  It just adds to the overall vintage coastal look that I love.  Secondhand shopping for the win!

Pro Tip: Layer a single piece with plantsironstone dishesold bottlesa pretty little vase, or any other collection!  This will add extra character and dimension to your shelf styling.

You can even layer thrifted art in front of other artwork.  This can create a very eclectic, curated style.  Essentially, layering your art and decor on a shelf is its own type of art!

Shelf styling can sometimes feel a little challenging.  If you need some inspiration for how to decorate shelves, you may enjoy THIS post with some tips and ideas for easy shelf styling.  Then, over on THIS post, you can see ten of my favorite things to use for shelf styling with my summer home decorations.

Lean Thrifted Art Against a Wall or Piece of Furniture

How to incorporate art in your home?

As I said at the beginning of this blog post, these are all really easy ways to style a piece of thrifted art in your vintage style home decorating!  One of my other favorite ways to use thrifted art is to simply lean it against a wall or object.  This works perfectly on the mantel in our family room!

For example, I love this vintage European postal sorter in our back living room.  We don’t typically actually sit at this spot to work.  However, it’s a perfectly wonderful place to add some decor touches, even though it’s pretty all on its own.

For summer, I leaned this sweet thrifted art piece from the World’s Longest Yard Sale against the postal cubbies.  It helps break up the white and adds some extra interest and coastal grandma or coastal cottage style to this corner.

Pro Tip: You don’t need an entire art collection to create a decor “moment.”

You can also use one favorite piece to set the whole tone for the room.  Other than this piece of art and a couple of shells and sea sponges, there isn’t much in this room that is specifically “vintage coastal”.  However, just those few pieces completely change the look and add the “summer beach house” vibes I was after!

Pro Tip: You can lean a small piece of thrifted art against a collection of larger mirrors or breadboards to give it more layers and interest.  Layers can also help a smaller piece of art have a more substantial look.  

Where do you get art for your home?

As I mentioned, some of my favorite things to use for home decorating have been finds from a thrift shop or other secondhand shopping venue.  I always make sure the visit the art section at any thrift store.

Pro Tip:  When you visit an antique mall or booths at a flea market, make sure to look up!  Sometimes great artwork is hung up high and can be easily overlooked!

However, all of my wall art is not vintage or even thrifted.  In fact, some of my favorite artwork are pieces that look like real paintings but are actually just art prints that I ordered online!  I have several collections of vintage-style artwork that is already curated and sold as a set.  Talk about easy decorating!

You can see some of my favorites HERE.  Then, check out THIS coastal inspired set that I’m using in my summer gallery wall!  I used old frames from thrift stores and garage sales to frame these realistic looking art prints.  I cannot get over how much these art prints look like real paintings!

Pro Tip: Combine old frames with new art prints or digital art for a budget-friendly gallery wall. Spray paint or rub and buff are great to transform old frames to fit your decor aesthetic and color palette too!

Have you added art to your thrifting list now?

It is so fun to look for and while I’m particular about my finds, I always enjoy hunting.  If you follow along on Instagram, I try to share my thrift hauls from time to time.  It is just so much fun!  Part of what makes it so fun is that there are a lot of easy ways to use thrifted art in your home decor.  Summer decor and easy should just go hand in hand, right?

Next, I hope you’ll hop over and see the beautiful thrifted finds that the monthly hosts of “Thrifting with the Gals” are sharing today:

Have fun thrifting! What is currently at the top of your thrifting list?  Let me know in the comments!


I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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