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. Gretchen@BoxyColonial says

    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!

  2. amy of while wearing heels says

    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.

  3. Tara @ Surburble says

    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! :)

  4. disqus_eihKufZY6p says

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

  5. Tara @ Surburble says

    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! 😉

  6. Tara @ Surburble says

    Hi Disha,

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


  7. says

    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 @

  8. Tara @ Surburble says

    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

  9. SiloHillFarm says

    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!

  10. Tara @ Surburble says

    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!


  1. […] THE GOLDEN STATUE We all have that funky home accessory that doesn’t quite fit in with our décor, but we can’t seem to let it go! It’s time to re-purpose with a fresh coat of metallic paint and turn it into a show-stopping conversation piece you can display on your mantel. Check out Suburble! […]

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