Buying Artwork at Yard Sales

I love yard sales.  I keep a list all year long of items to look for during the next yard sale season.  This summer my list included artwork for my walls.  I scored and scored big.  woot!  Most of the 5 items I purchased I only needed to clean up some.  But  two of the prints I purchased needed more.

See that long strand of yuck hanging off this frame?  Well, both frames were covered in it..  Along with a bug or two for good measure.  Experience with purchasing at yard sales has taught me that often there’s magic under the bugs.  This time was no exception.

Both pictures had been professionally framed and double matted.  Alas, the forest green matting screamed 1980 and was incredibly bleached out.  I knew I’d have to replace the matting when I opened up the frames to clean everything.

Unfortunately, pre-cut mats in this size only came in black. Not the color I needed. Then there was the issue of mats this size running over $20.00 EACH.  Custom mats were much more expensive.  BOTH options were totally out of my budget.

Luckily I have me some major spray paint love under my belt.

A quick trip to the store and a can of Krylon paint later and all was well.  $3.49 cents WAS in my budget for updating these pictures.  Score!

A HUGE tip:  When spray painting, go with LIGHT coats.  Trust me on this one, k?  LIGHT coats.  It’s a spray painter’s mantra.

BTW, can you tell what color I went with?

While my mats were drying I went in to start cleaning the frames and made a cool discovery!  What I thought would be poster type prints, we actually ORIGINAL hand painted water colors.   They are GORGEOUS!  Talk about a score!

These would have cost MUCH more than the $4.00 I paid (frames and mats included!) at a yard sale.

I simply love how these turned out.

Because of the lighting in here I can’t get a decent shot of these beauties.  You’ll just have to trust me…..they are gorg!

These look so much better in real life.  My camera just isn’t doing them justice. Frustrating.  Oh, well. Now to decide if I should paint the frames or not.  hmmmmm….

BTW, I’m linking this post up to Metamorphosis Monday. 

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.


  1. Wow, you sure DID score!! Beautiful! I love yard sales and thrift stores, too, and have gotten some pretty great stuff. Love what you did with the mattes!

    • Tammy and Parker says:

      Thanks, Becca! It’s driving me nuts that these pics don’t do this pictures justice. Maybe I’ll retake them again tomorrow when the light is better!

  2. What a great score! They are beautiful… I love watercolors! Yard Sales ROCK!
    Have a Great Week!
    ~Rainey~ @ The Project Table
    Rainey recently posted..6 Daze Till Halloween Coach Light ProjectMy Profile

  3. Fabulous post! Great job. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  4. Lovely! I love real art! :)
    And can I say… it looks like your white balance is way off. I don’t know what kind of camera you have, but almost all of them have some way to change the white balance. If it’s indoors and you have regular light bulbs (ie, not the new compact fluorescent) then you will want the icon that looks like a little light bulb. It is also called incandescent.
    Also, some basic photo editing software will do a decent job of correcting for this type of color issue if you let it do it automatically. Again, I don’t know what you might have and I’ve not tried some of the free ones like picnic.
    Alternately… email me the original and let me see what I can do… if you care! ;)
    PS. Is the mat purple? Nice!

    • Tammy and Parker says:

      `I can do that! And I’ll look for that icon. What I DON’T KNOW about photography could fill a book!

  5. You had me with “artwork” and “yardsale”, Tammy – two of my favorite words! And I love these two watercolors. Where do you think they’re supposed to be? Spain? Italy? Oh, I just tried to take a closer look and it looks like one of the signs says “Vins” so maybe this is France? You did a great job sprucing up the frames and replacing the mats!

  6. Kim Davis says:

    Bloggity Blog Stopping by from the Alexa Hop on Helicopter mom! Very nice my walls are covered with paintings I got either free or cheap. You did a great job!

  7. Wow, what a beautiful find! Now I’m inspired to dig a little deeper when thrift-shopping!


  1. […] This weekend I saw a LOT of great furniture.  There was a drop down table that I  would have loved to have been able to pick up and paint.  I’ve been wanting a desk so I can set up my sewing machine and leave it up rather than having to take it down and put it up over and over again.  It’s not in the budget now though, but it is still fun to look and day dream. […]

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