She’s Thrifty: Draft Horse Goes Gold and Glamorous!

I love thrift stores. In my books, they’re a very close second to garage sales (because the ability to barter trumps the “Say whaa…?” prices that I occasionally see in the second-hand stores). The trouble is, in the damp, nearly-spring weather, garage sales are few and far between.

I was browsing the aisles of our local thrift store with Lucy – my little helper – trailing along behind me, when I came across this gorgeous sight:


Yes. It’s a plastic draft horse with full (broken) harness. You’re confused. It’s okay.

Unlike every other person who had walked past this toy, I stopped and considered it. I had recently seen a post at Rain on a Tin Roof where Jenna took a toy horse and spray painted it into majestic wonderment.

I could feel my fingers twitch. This was potential mantel art! For $5!

I brought the little guy home, and relieved him of his tack. He wasn’t looking any better. In fact, I had now revealed little patches of glue where his bridle and harness were attached. He looked more plasticky, if that was even possible. I could feel my stomach sink a little. Maybe this wasn’t going to work out? Maybe a dumpy little plastic horse was just that?

Thankfully, two buddies showed up to reassure me: Bin (which is a primer that sticks to pretty much anything – so be careful!) and Rustoleum Metallic spray paint. I’d done my research; Rustoleum Metallic is supposedly the best and most realistic gold spray. I took all three of my fellas outside and got to work.

I primed the horse first, and then waited 30 minutes – as per instructions – before I used the gold paint. I don’t know that I really needed to prime the horse, but because it’s plastic, I didn’t want to take a risk. For some reason, plastic is a tough nut to crack when it comes to painting.

After two even coats of gold splendour, my awkward, glue-spotted horse became this majestic creature:

You are, Golden Beauty. You are.

I’m thrilled to bits with this gold-nugget-in-the-rough. He’s an impressive little piece that stands on the mantel. Gold is very “in” right now, and I’m seeing it everywhere. And when I can save a buck (or twenty) while being on trend? Sign me up for the Happy Dance Club.

Or, maybe don’t. I’m not sure that club would want a Sarcastic Sally like me as a member.

Either or, I’m amazed at what a little bit of time and even less paint can do to revamp a piece. I’ll admit that I’ve become enamoured with spray paint (not in the sniffing-’cause-it-smells-so-gooooood way, don’t worry) and have been looking for projects all over the house. Watch out, inanimate objects! Things are about to become disco-fabulous in a big way!

Let me know if the spray paint trigger-finger finds its way to you! It’s a thrift-store junkie’s best friend!



  1. April 10, 2013

    I have been painting little animal figurines lately too. I love the gold. I have been wanting to incorporate it into my house. I love the horse. I am hosting a link party and would love it if you would share this.

  2. April 10, 2013

    Very nice! I just made my first foray into metallic spray paint, too, and now I’m itching to try it on something else. It’s so fun!

  3. April 10, 2013

    I have been dying to spray paint some trinkets I find at the thrift store, I absolutely love the gold!!! What a cutie 😀
    Thanks for sharing-

    Kim @ Two Ten

  4. April 10, 2013
    Linda at Two Sisters

    I wanted to let you know that I featured your golden pony! It’s so cute and made from a TOY yet. Love it. Pinned also. The new linky is open, too. Thanks for sharing. Love your stuff. Linda

  5. April 10, 2013
    amy of while wearing heels

    Tara, I feel as if I have found an undiscovered and brilliant blog (yes, I realize, I just visited yesterday but still..). It doesn’t seem fair that your brilliance hasn’t gone viral yet. I have full confidence this one day will happen and I’ll be forced to say, I knew her when.

    I love the time you take to make your blogs both clever and witty.

    I can’t wait to see your other disco-fabulous transformations.

  6. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Amy, you’ve made my day. I’d say something witty here, but all I’ve got is, “Thank you”. I look forward to following your blog as well.

    Witty ladies unite! 🙂

  7. April 10, 2013

    Who would have thought you could do that with just a bit of spray paint! Fabulous, and I want one, too!

  8. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Oh, just you wait until I get a bit more dry and sunny weather. I think that a certain wall hanging (that you despise) may get a glam makeover! 😉

  9. April 10, 2013
    Disha Mishra

    Tara this is wonderful transformation. Horse looks like made of brass. I also have done one such transformation. You can have a look here:

  10. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Hi Disha,

    i journeyed over to your blog and saw your gorgeous golden Buddha! Well done! Have you enjoyed having it in your garden?


  11. April 10, 2013
    Linda at Two Sisters

    I’m so glad you came by to link up!!! YAY!! I think your golden horse is so unique! Best wishes, Linda

  12. April 10, 2013
    Bethany Kline

    looks awesome! amd just between us, I like yours better than the original! new follow on Bloglovin’! can’t wait to see more cool stuff!

    <3 Bethany @

  13. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Thanks, Bethany! That’s quite the compliment!

  14. April 10, 2013
    Linda at Two Sisters

    BEAUTIFUL!! Who would’ve thought? I have to keep that in mind in my travels going to tag sales. I’d love to have you share this at What to do Weekends Party also. Following on Pinterest, too. Linda

  15. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Oh, it’s amazing what you can find when you’re thrifting with an open mind! I joined your linky party! Thanks for the invite!

    – Tara

  16. April 10, 2013
    Jenna LaFevor

    I LOVE it! I’m so glad I could inspire you to create some “majestic wonderment” of your own!! Love, love, love!!! Sharing it on my Facebook page!

    Jenna @

  17. April 10, 2013

    I love spray paint! Sadly I have no garage and have to wait for the best days and then haul it all outside! This is a fun piece and now I’m going to be eyeing all of those .25 junk boxes at the thrift store!

  18. April 10, 2013
    Tara @ Surburble

    Oh, we’re in the same boat then! I don’t have a garage either, and all of my spray painting has to happen in the open air. It makes winter a very “paint-free” existence.

    Oooh… you have $.25 junk boxes at your thrift store? That sounds very tempting!

  19. May 7, 2013

    Such a great transformation! Good job. 🙂


    • May 7, 2013

      Thank you, Dom! I’m quite proud of my little golden horse! I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

  20. June 6, 2013

    I had to see it to believe it, but now I want a glamorous gold horse! I’d love if you’d come and share at Inspire Us Thursday
    Susan recently posted…Inspire Us Thursday Link Party #2My Profile

  21. July 21, 2013

    Ooo I can’t wait to try this!
    Rach recently posted…Road Trip in PicturesMy Profile

    • July 22, 2013

      Rach – Let me know if you do! I’d love to see how it turns out!


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

More infoto instagram

Don't miss another post!

Get recipes, tutorials, projects and decor inspiration delivered to your inbox for free!

Enter your email below and follow along with Suburble!