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5 Ways to Put a Modern Spin on Auction Art

While most people may pass up a lot of the art you'll find at thrift stores and auction houses - they've got a ton of untapped potential. Upcycling is the act of taking discarded objects and revamping them in such a way as to create something more treasurable than the original. Upcycling can save you a ton of money when decorating your home; people have been repurposing old furniture for ages. Now, there's a new shabby-chic craze: repurposed art. There' even a whole subreddit about 'repaintings.'

What's great about this trend is that it is an excellent, budget friendly way to add a splash of creativity to your white walls. Estate sales and auction houses are overflowing with vintage paintings that need a loving home. These thrift store art ideas range from 'kids project' simplicity to challenging enough for the seasoned artist.

Check out these 5 ways to transform an old painting into a modern masterpiece.

1. Dipped Paintings

“Without a Doubt Part 2” | Oliver Jeffers | oil on canvas dipped in enamel | DIY thriftstore art

2015 | Oliver Jeffers | Oil on Canvas Dipped in Enamel | DIY thriftstore art

In "Without a Doubt Part 2", Oliver Jeffers takes a typical oil on canvas portrait and dips it in a vat of enamel, frame and all. The result is mysterious, leaving the viewer curious as to what lies hidden behind the vibrantly colored censors. Dip a portrait into the color of your choosing to easy accent the palette of any room and add some mystifying pizzazz.

2. Fantasy Landscapes

Lovely This Time of Year | Chris McMahon | DIY thriftstore art

"Lovely This Time of Year" vis Chris McMahon

"If It Fits" | Chris McMahon | DIY Thirftstore Art

"If It Fits" via Chris McMahon

Chris McMahon spruces up boring landscapes with mythical monsters. Granted, you need some painting skills and creative thinking for an upcycle like this, but what amazing results.

3. Patterns with Painters Tape

DIY Auction Art | Painters Tape Patterns | Scott Erickson

Anyone can do this project! Check out your local auction house or thrift store for some artwork. Think about some cool designs. Do you way rays? Horizontal or vertical lines? Diagonals? The possibilities are endless. Lay your painters tape down tight, paint and pull! This is another great way to incorporate your room's color palette into an original work of art.

4. A Touch of Surrealism

DIY thrift store art | surrealism

Banksy | System Error

Banksy, via

Give an old painting some surrealist flair by adding an out of this world element.

5. Creative Cutouts

Banksy | Surrealist Paintings

Banksy, via Flicker user goldenticket

Banksy | Surrealist Paintings

Banksy, via Flicker user poly_mnia

A nifty way to update an old painting is to cut a character out, and add them back into the painting in a different context. Check out these fantastic examples by Banksy for some inspiration.

Do you have an awesome upcycle project from art bought at auction? Please post it in the comments!

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