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Collecting Vintage Artwork

The artwork that adorns the walls of your home is as unique as you, so when it comes to collecting, there is no right or wrong piece for you. As you’re searching for your next piece of vintage artwork at an estate sale near you, keep the following in mind.


Before you head out to find your next piece, determine the amount of wall space you’d like to fill. Measure the area and take a tape measure with you. As you shop, make sure the piece will fit nicely in the area you plan to fill.

You will also want to think about lightning. Not only can the sun’s UV rays damage or fade some paintings (like watercolors), but the lighting will also impact how the color appears. For example, if the room is dark, a dark painting will essentially disappear.

The Subject

When looking for artwork, you want to think about the kinds of subjects that speak to you. Do you prefer landscapes, florals, or portraits? It’s up to you, but along with planning, know the subject that will fit best in the space.

As your collection grows, you will likely learn more about each painting and start to better understand the story of each piece. It’s a rewarding journey!

Buy What you Love

If you stumble upon a piece that speaks to you, buy it! It doesn’t have to be a rare piece with a high price tag. It should make you happy, and you should feel proud to hang it on your walls.

Building your Collection

It’s important to remember a thoughtful collection will take time to build. But that’s part of the fun! You never know what you might find as you search for your next piece.

We recommend you look in a variety of places, including estate sales and flea markets. Be cautious of buying art at a thrift store and inspect it carefully as some pieces are often damaged.


Frames are often just as important as the artwork itself. As you build your collection, don’t pass on a box of frames you might see at an estate sale. Look and see if any could be a better fit for existing artwork.

Once its Home

Vintage artwork will likely bring a bit of dust along with it, so you will want to take some time cleaning the piece. We recommend you work as carefully as possible as you clean using dry brushes to remove dust.

Once it’s clean, it’s time to hang it up. Check out this great post from Studio McGee that will help you hang your artwork correctly.

Collecting vintage artwork is a fun and exciting journey. There is nothing better than finding the perfect new-to-you piece for your home. If you’re looking for your next piece, check out our upcoming estate sales to see if we have what you might need.


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