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February 20, 2014

Restoration of a Kitschy Vintage Asian Chalkware Wall Plaque!

By Sara In AZ

I am sure by now you all know that I just can’t pass up a piece of kitsch at the thrift store – ESP. if it is cheap! I found this vintage Asian chalkware wall plaque for just $1 and I totally had to bring her home.


If this had needed A LOT of restoration…say a bunch or facial painting of some specific paint color matching I would have probably left it behind as I am not very adept when it comes to painting faces or matching VERY specific paint colors. But, since she just needed a bit of filler and some overall paint I thought I was up to the task!

You can see the chips and dings.


The original paint was in sad shape, showing weird discolored areas here and there.


The poor little plaque was just not in the best of shape.


Lucky for me I am great with a spray paint can! ha!


So I took the plaque outside and sprayed it a brass color that I just happened to have around the house.


Then I took the plaque inside and painted all the black parts back in.


Then I decided I completely HATED the brass color that I had just painted the plaque….it was just WAY over the top…like I was trying to ‘out Trump’ the Donald in his love for all things shiny and gold or something…..eeps! So I went out and bought a more muted gold color and re-sprayed the whole darn thing!

Here is the plaque with only the bottom half sprayed.


And here we are with the second coat applied.


Of course I had to paint all the black sections back in all over again.


And here she is FINALLY finished!


I know it is hard to tell from the pictures, but this second gold color is MUCH better…even my husband commented that he liked it better!

After I was done with the black paint I took the entire plaque out and sprayed it with a ‘matte’ finish spray – to me it just did not look right with a super shiny finish.

Whew, glad that’s done!

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12 Responses to Restoration of a Kitschy Vintage Asian Chalkware Wall Plaque!

  1. sherree Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Great job Sara! I like it much better now 🙂 And thanks for saving an item that might have otherwise ended up in the trash.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      February 21, 2014 at 1:46 am

      Thanks Sherree! And you are right – this probably would have ended up in the dumpster had I not rescued it…..and that would have just been sad!

  2. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Great job, Sara! She’s super cute!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      February 21, 2014 at 1:46 am

      Thank you VERY much Miss Eartha!

  3. Andrea Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 11:32 am

    That looks great Sara! Fantastic job giving her some new life!

  4. Janice Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Nicely done! Thanks for the inspiration for when I see something that’s not in great shape, a relatively easy fix is possible. I’m afraid I would have walked away from this and wouldn’t even have thought to do what you did. Now I’ll take a 2nd look at this banged up treasures! Thank you! You did an awesome job!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      February 21, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Well thank you Janice! And yeah, totally don’t pass something up if it just has a few dings and looks like it will be an easy fix…esp. if it’s cheap….. it’s totally worth a try!

  5. Angie Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I just have to put this out there it may not matter to you and if so great but I have to ask, Doesn’t fixing it ruin the value of the piece or is it that it is so far gone it wouldn’t really matter?

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      February 21, 2014 at 2:01 am

      You know Angie, I think in certain instances doing too much to repair/restore a piece can hurt the value…..I have also seen it swing the other way and people have tried to ‘shabby chic’ vintage. 🙁

      I think it really, really depends on the piece though, and in this case this was probably originally sold as a cheap decorative item, it will never be worth millions…or even hundreds for that matter, there were no manufacturing stamps…so who knows who really made it, and basically it looked like crap……so I thought why not try to spruce it up a bit.

      Honestly, I can’t see anyone wanting to hang it on their walls the way it looked when I picked it up…so it was either headed for the dumpster or it needed a bit of “fixing”. I wanted to stay true to the way it was originally painted though – so that it still looked like it did back when it was manufactured.

      • Angie Reply

        February 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        That was what I was thinking when I wrote it. There are some things out there that are worth something even if they are beat up that much but I guess chalk wear is not that sort of thing. It is like a piece of Pyrex that has been through the dishwasher, it is never going to be worth anything so why not use it until it breaks. And I soooo agree with shabby chic, those people should be shot, not really but maybe a stern talking to with finger waggling and everything. How dare they! Well the piece looks lovely either way. I can’t wait to see it on the wall.

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