Today I’m going to show you a fantastic flea market flip! I took an ugly vase and upcycled it into a gorgeous expensive catalog look-alike piece!
Flea Market Flip Vase
Last month I took a trip down to the weekly Sunday flea market at Todd Farm in Rowley, MA. I brought 25 bucks in my pocket and I only spent $20 and got a couple of great finds!
One thing that I scored was a $5 glass vase with handles, let’s be honest…it was one ugly vase! It had layers of different paints and a weird texture.
But the shape reminded me of the terra cotta vessels that I see on Pottery Barn and Terrain that sell for hundreds of dollars.
I knew that I could make it look great with a little bit of work and creativity!!
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Since the ugly vase was pretty rough looking and bumpy I knew that I wanted to do one of my favorite DIY tricks…using joint compound!
I’ve done a few other projects using joint compound to create an aged pottery look and also a faux cement look.
Steps For Vase Upcycle
- Joint Compound
- Notched Trowel
- Terra Cotta Shade of Chalk or Acrylic Paint
- Waverly Antique Wax
- Valspar Limewash Glaze
01. Coat the Vase with Joint Compound
All I did was use a plastic knife and spread the joint compound all over the vase. It goes on pretty easily too.
Side note: joint compound and spackle compound are very different so make sure you get joint… to make it even more confusing they are right near each other at the store.
Once I had the vase coated with the compound I wanted to give it a finely textured look. I was actually going to run upstairs and grab a comb but then I remembered that I had a little plastic square v-notched tool ( $1) that I had used on another project.
The tool had different-sized teeth on each side and I kind of just took turns with each side running across the joint compound and all around the vase. I tried not to make the markings uniform. What I didn’t want was perfect circles around the entire diameter of the vase.
02. Let Dry Overnight
Once I had finished combing the vase with the tool I had to let it dry overnight. It may take longer depending on the humidity in your home.
03. Paint the flea market vase
I’m trying to achieve an ancient terra cotta look…like we just dug this vase up in the desert somewhere! So I’m going to paint it with terra cotta chalk paint.
It’s starting to shape up! Now I had to let the terra cotta paint dry for a couple of hours.
04. coat with Antique wax
Now to make this vase look aged! For DIY projects I love to use the Waverly Antique Wax. It has the consistency of chalk paint and you can paint it on projects. For furniture projects, I prefer a thicker wax.
All I did was brush the wax over the entire vase, then went back with a paper towel and removed the excess. The wax really got into the texture and looked so cool!
I had to remember not to be heavy-handed when I was wiping off the wax because I took off the paint underneath in a spot!
Next, I let the wax dry.
Now, I could have left the vase with the paint and dark wax and it would have looked amazing…
…but I had one more thing that I wanted to do to bring it up to the next level
05. adding a limewash glaze
The Valspar Limewash Glaze leaves a crusty, aged look to projects. It’s the only product I have ever found that gives this finish (if you know of another one leave it in the comments for everyone please!)
The limewash is applied with a wet paper towel. I added the glaze over most of the vase putting a little extra on around where the handles attach to the vase and on the rim.
It needs to dry completely to really bring out the limewash effect so I let it dry overnight…and hoped that it would look beautiful in the morning…fingers crossed!!
Finished Upcycled Vase
I was thrilled with how the upcycled vase came out!! I can hardly believe it’s the same vase!!
I ran outside and cut a bunch of red amaranth from my garden, I figured the vase deserved some drama!
The handles of the vase are my favorite part I think!! The limewash finish looks so cool!
So next time you are strolling through a flea market or thrift store keep your eyes open for ugly-looking vases! Look beyond what it looks like today and think about what you can create with it tomorrow!
Personally, I would rather find a $5 vase and take the time to make it over than buy something new.
Check Out What My Thrifty Friends Are Up To This Month!
Kim lives on the opposite coast in beautiful Puget Sound. Her home is just dreamy…and her gardens are so beautiful! Plus she can just sit on her porch and look at the water…I would never leave!!
I love seeing what she finds at her antique stores out there, and all the fun places she stops at to shop! You have to check out her Summer shopping spree
Stacy is working on a project for her dining room She’s making over an old fireplace surround and mantle and using the oven cleaner method to strip the wood. You have to see this new technique in action!
It’s going to look so good in the dining room of her new home! Stacy has been having fun thrifting and finding pieces as she goes to decorate their home. It’s so pretty…and just like Kim, she has drop-dead gorgeous gardens that you have to check out too!