To Paint or Not to Paint : Recent Thrift Store Finds

To paint, or not to paint?  That is the question I hope you can help me with.

My daughter’s vehicle was acting up, so we had to drop her off at work.

The town where she works is nearby, so I went to a thrift store after dropping her off and scored some good deals!

This wood recipe box was my first find.

I always check the sections in thrift stores for their wood items.

The wood is in good condition, but I can’t decide whether to paint it or not.  What do you think?  If so, what color would you paint it?

To Paint or Not to Paint : Recent Thrift Store Finds

It’s handmade as you can see from the writing on the back.

The next wood find is a souvenir napkin holder from the Ozarks.  The plastic deer thing has a broken tree tip, so I’m going to try to remove it.

The other side doesn’t have anything on it.  We need a napkin holder, which is why I bought it.

Assuming that plastic part can be removed, paint or not?

To Paint or Not to Paint : Recent Thrift Store Finds

Then I went to see what was in the glassware area.  What I found was a bee skep incense holder.
To Paint or Not to Paint : Recent Thrift Store Finds

It’s also handmade and has the maker’s name on the bottom.  It’s cute as is, but I could also paint it.  Yes or no?

I also found the glass cheese dome with a wood base.  I won’t paint the glass dome but I’ll paint the wood base because it’s scratched.

What color would you paint it and what you do with it after painting?

To Paint or Not to Paint : Recent Thrift Store Finds

My last finds were in the metals area.  I found four brass candle holders.

Years ago, I used to paint these all the time and sell them in my Etsy shop, as seen in the photos below.

Would you paint them or leave them like they are?

That’s it for my recent thrift store finds.

I look forward to hearing your opinions!

Vaya con Dios,


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  1. I love everything you do. I have that same cheese dome. I painted the wood base matte black and distressed it. Love it. And I really like the brass candle sticks painted. Never saw that before but they look great. Thanks for all your great ideas.

  2. Mellisa Stuckert says

    I would paint everything but the bee skep and glass dome. I’m into painting my thrifted finds a mix of matte black, cream and mint green chalk paints, and grey stone effect spray paint. Anything metallic is hammered copper or copper gilt.

  3. Teddee Grace says

    I think it would be fun to paint just the bottom of the recipe box in a cream color and leave the top plain wood like some dining tables I’ve seen. I like that look. I guess brass is back in, but I’d probably dig out my favorite Krylon Brushed Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze paint or a cream (I like that one candlestick you are showing) and use it on both the candlesticks and everything else but the bee skep, which I’d leave natural. Look forward to seeing what you do.

  4. Barbara Warner says

    I would paint the napkin holder to match your kitchen/dining colors, but I don’t think I’d paint the skep. I’d just scrub it up good and let it look old – maybe just oil it with a little linseed oil??? I would paint the wooden base to the cheese dome and put a flower or succulent under the dome – artificial. I tried putting a real succulent under a cloche and I killed it!

  5. Don’t paint the brass. Don’t paint the napkin holder.That wood is beautiful! Paint everything else. The cheese domes are great for displaying keepsakes and heirlooms.

  6. The recipe box is really nice. I was going to say not to paint it until I read Teddee Grace’s suggestion to paint the bottom cream and leave the wood bare on the lid. That combination really appeals to me. I would definitely paint the napkin holder whatever color goes with your kitchen decor. Red? Or a neutral with a word stenciled on the front—maybe EAT. Or your last name initial–C. The cheese dome I wouldn’t paint but you could paint the wooden base. If I weren’t going to use it for food I think I would paint the base black and distress it slightly to be used to hold a display item of some sort. That leaves the pottery bee skep which I would not paint. I like the natural look of the glaze. I’ve never tho’t of painting brass candlesticks but I like the look of those you show. I’d probably paint them a matte black so they looked like cast iron. What type of paint did you use to paint your candlesticks?

    Can’t wait to see which of all these suggestions grab you!

  7. In my opinion you have to paint the recipe just looks dated. You cannot
    Go wrong with black or white..maybe add striped or a plaid design on top (I even think
    You could do a transfer from the Chalk company you use.) would also be nice to find some kind of a decorative raised onlay or pretty knob. I love the campy look of the wood
    On the napkin holder so it would be great to find a way to keep the wood or at least some of it. Maybe once you take off the deer you could somehow do a tree cut out like on those
    Cottage shutters or make it look like that. Or even apply or paint some kind of black silhouette maybe trees or even if you are feeling a bit crazy..Big foot.
    The pottery looks great how it is..The candle sticks..I am thinking bright colors
    Like turquoise..or even try to do a brushed finish with a scotch bright pad.
    Now the cheese dome. I am thinking off white distressed with a red grain cloth stripes.

  8. I’d paint it all. I like the idea of painting the bottom of the recipe card holder and leaving the lid as is and using a stencil on the top. I wonder what the heat will do with the paint on the bee hive.

  9. angela carrera says

    well. great finds!!! the dome with the wood base? I once found a wood lazy susan which I painted with the stripes of those towels? and in the middle was a fish. it was so long ago, I forget where or what or when. BUT I still have it. so maybe something like that? the others? I love LOVE what you did with your other candlesticks. have some of my own that were in my mom’s collection, wonder what kind of paint adheres to brass, etc. as you can see?? I am not that creative when it comes to recreating but I try hard!!!! thanks!!! love your stuff.

    Angela from NJ!!!

  10. Nancy Biancheri says

    An idea for the cheese dome is to paint the wood and one of the brass candlesticks. Then attach the candlestick to the bottom of the cheese dome. You can then put a small jar with a plant cutting, such as ivy, under the dome and it would be a small terrarium. If the candlestick does not seem to be sturdy enough to hold the dome you can always find a squatty wood candle holder to use.

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