This TikToker Shows How to Turn Thrift Store Ceramic Figurines Into Dark Academia Bronze Statues

published Jan 19, 2023
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Credit: Vitezslav Halamka/Shutterstock

How many times have you come across a little ceramic figurine at the thrift store that is definitely cute, but definitely doesn’t fit your style? If only it was decorated with different colors or had a more elevated finish altogether, right? Thanks to TikTok user Grotto (@9rotto), you can turn those cute little figurines into bronze statues worthy of any dark academia decor scheme using a bit of black spray paint and $8 gilding wax.

“Today, we’re spray painting these little figure guys that I got at an estate sale,” Grotto said in their recent TikTok video. “I think I can turn them into something that looks expensive. I’m going to go for that dark academia bronze statue look.”

The first step is to spraypaint your figurine a matte black — brush painting with acrylic paint works, too. But spray paint will help you get into all those little cracks and crevices in the ceramic to give the piece an even finish.

“Here’s the star of the show,” Grotto continued. “This is gilding wax — specifically [the] Michael’s brand, which I prefer because the packaging is a lot better than the Rub ‘n Buff tubes.”

The pot-style packaging allows you to dip into the gilding wax with a dry brush and pick up the exact amount you want to achieve either super shiny brass or a more rustic bronze finish.

Buy: Premium Wax Metallic Finish By Craft Smart, $7.99

“Hit the high points and leave the lower points, or more receded points, darker,” Grotto recommended. “It gives just this beautiful gold finish. It’s very shiny and it sets down, too, so you don’t have to seal this or anything.”

So the next time you hit the thrift and you see a figurine that looks cute, pick it up and test out this gilding project yourself! That dark academia look is just a spray and a brush away.