Vintage Owl Redo

This lovely (and heavy) owl was a $2.50 find at our local retirement community thrift store and with those bright orange eyes we knew he would look awesome in our Habitat for Humanity Upcycle Challenge room, so home he came with us.


He sat on the shelf for about a week as we were trying to decide what would be the best way to give him a makeover, as you can see in the above photo he definitely was showing some wear and tear, so we knew we needed to give him some TLC.

The first step in his TLC plan was to sand him lightly and remove dust using tack cloth.  If you haven’t used tack cloth before, it works wonders in getting up those loose particles of dust and dirt and can be purchased at your local home improvement store.  It is a definite must have in your DIY arsenal of products.  Here’s the kind that our local Lowe’s store carries:


Using cheesecloth – another must have product to have on hand – we applied espresso gel stain to his darker areas and dabbed in to all parts of him, using a pouncer brush and rubbed off the excess.  

A side bar on cheesecloth in case you haven’t used it before – it is is a loose-woven gauze-like cotton cloth that has a variety of uses, from painting, staining and antiquing to waxing and polishing furniture and most wood surfaces.  It is also good for use in the kitchen, for straining, canning or creating spice bags.

Okay, back to Mr. Owl.  After letting him dry for a while, we applied a walnut gel stain to his brown areas, using the same method.  When completely dry we applied a gel varnish to seal, and buffed lightly.

We rather liked his before coloring but now that he’s a little darker you get to see a lot more of his feather dimensions and he really looks like a very expensive piece that you’d see in a high-end catalog.


Here’s the before and after view:owlbeforeandafter

We picked this guy up for only $2.50 and using products we had on-hand at home gave him some TLC and love his new look.  We just know he’s going to love his new home in our Upcycle Challenge room too!   We’d love to know what you think and if you’ve you ever tried any of these products in your DIY products?

Also, later this week we’ll also be featuring a bird of a different kind who went through another kind of TLC treatment, so stay tuned!

Love, Kate

Tags: , ,

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post


  1. Reply

    Wow!!! He looks so much better and I would actually consider buying him! You did an amazing job!!! Love him!

Leave a Reply

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