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How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds

Buckle your seatbelts, y’all! You’re about to witness the simplest Bless’er House post ever.

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

You ready for it? Spray paint. The end. Thrift store pitchers everywhere lived happily ever after.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself like I always do. But this is one of those simple tips that comes in handy a lot when I’m out thrifting and I thought I’d pass it on.

I don’t know about y’all, but I lurrrrv ironstone. If you don’t know what that is, search “ironstone” on Pinterest, and then basically you can expect to drool on your keyboard. Or at least I do. Boy, that’s a gross image.

Ironstone is (as the ever spectacular Miss Mustard Seed puts it) a glaze-covered earthenware- gravy boats, pitchers, soup tureens…all that jazz. Some pieces sell for hundreds each! And sometimes, you can get lucky and find pieces for fairly inexpensively. But apparently, I live in the ironstone desert because I never find it in my budget. (And by budget, I mean like $3 ’cause that’s how I roll.)

So here’s what I do instead to fake the ironstone look:

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

Whenever I visit my neighborhood thrift store, I find ceramic pitchers almost every time. The ones I happened to take a before shot of this time around were actually pretty nice as-is. But others I’ve found have been wild and crazy colors with all sorts of patterns that don’t really fly in my house.

Since I only use “ironstone” to decorate with and not to drink or eat out of, I use almighty spray paint. The Rustoleum Gloss White kind to be exact.

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

I spray three light coats to prevent the paint from getting splotchy and drippy. I can’t even tell I’ve spray painted it!

Once they’re dry, I put them everywhere. I have several “ironstone” pieces in our china cabinet.

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

It’s my favorite thing to change out with different flowers and greenery for the different seasons. I used it all over the place in the fall tour back in September.

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

For Christmas last year, I made a centerpiece out of a spray painted $2 pitcher with a few trimmings from our tree and thrift store books. El cheapo, baby!

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

Olivia’s room has a couple of “ironstone” pitchers with pink flowers too.

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

Her pitchers make appearances at the occassional teddy bear tea parties. The girl’s got style, what can I say?

How to Fake Ironstone from Thrift Store Finds | blesserhouse.com

So now you know. I’m a fake…at least in the ironstone department. Have you ever tried this trick yourself before? Or have a favorite thrift store treasure that you’re always on the hunt to spray paint? Although if you shared what it was, I guess we’d have some fierce thrifting competition, huh?

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22 Comments

  1. Lauren: Thanks so much for the “Ironstone formula”. I had an idea that you reply was correct, but I wanted to be sure and checked with you before I started spraying. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing your tips. I never new those beautiful white pitchers I see everywhere with Hydrangeas in them were called Ironstone. Love the fact that they look like the real deal.
    Thank again for sharing.

  3. I love this! I too am cheap( well ” inexpensive”) and have several ironstone wanna-be’s around my house! I love it!!!! So versatile!

  4. I love all of your projects!!! Great Job!! I’m in the process of updating my kitchen and den. Part of my old window treatments consist of wooden woven blinds, which are a little pricey. So I started looking around on line to see if anyone has tried to spray paint them. What do you think?

    1. Hi Susie! Thanks! I think I have seen people spray paint blinds. I’m not sure how well they hold up since you do have to worry about friction with them, but since yours are wood, they probably stand a better chance than the plastic ones. Just be sure to use a good spray primer; my favorite brand is Zinsser.

  5. Spray paint—fun in a can! The transformation is amazing! I’ve brightened up dingy little white plastic outdoor tables with primary colors of spray paint; shades of blue, too, and given them new life. Turned a green metal watering can lamp barn red to give my porch a pop of color. Spray paint gives new life to old objects. Find a thrift store treasure you love, but it’s the wrong color? Just spray paint it! It’s great fun.

  6. I love your blog! As a Minnesotan, it seems I save up spray paint projects but only seem to remember them as winter approaches. This means I’m constantly checking the weather in the fall and squeezing in the last efforts before temps dip below the paint can’s recommendations. I might plasticize my front entry in a couple of days – a cracked window with a fan along with the most distance from my furnace should be safe. There’s a floor lamp from my Mother’s estate screaming for entry into this decade.

    1. Thank you, Marie! Ooh that would definitely be a challenge. We run into the heat/humidity problem around here. It’s not often I paint anything in July/August because it’s so sticky hot around here and the paint doesn’t cure well. DIYer problems, right? 😉 Hope your floor lamp turns out well!

  7. Yup. Love it. I’ve done the same thing myself. I come by it honest though. The family saying was ‘don’t stand still long or Mama will paint you, sew a slipcover on and rearrange you’. My Mom was just like that~~before there was a Martha Stewart or any that came after her.

  8. The simplest projects are the most fun. I wrote a post about the magic of a can of white spray paint because it is amazing what you can transform just with a can of spray paint! Love it!

    1. This one is my favorite! High gloss white vases would be beautiful too. I bet they’d look like vintage milk glass.

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