TikTok's Viral Paint Trend Is Perfect For Halloween Decor On A Budget

With the cozy spookiness of the fall season approaching, you might be looking for some cool and innovative ways to celebrate autumn's arrival. While the stores are filled with traditional Halloween decor as soon as early August, TikTok is abuzz with a fun little DIY project that can be a great way to create distinctive and scary decor on a budget with only a piece of thrift store art and some acrylic paint.

Artist and TikTok user @brushmeoff show off their simple technique in a tutorial, which takes a thrifted impressionist street scene and turns it into a spooky seasonal piece of decor by transforming the human figures into ghosts with acrylic paint. The outlines of the already-painted figures make altering them easy, even for beginners. Their result is a perfect and one-of-a-kind piece of Halloween art you likely won't find elsewhere. You can also add other Halloween and horror-specific details like bats, spiders, and other ghoulish delights to your painting.

Painting your ghostly scene

The TikTok user begins with a piece of second-hand framed art. Thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets are great for finding inexpensive framed art pieces available for only a few dollars each. You can easily create a whole grouping of these cool DIY upcycled pieces for a gallery wall for under $20. With a brush, apply white acrylic paint to the human figures, using other colors like black or gray for details and other decorative elements that fit the season.

For glossier framed images, you can create a more hand-painted look overall by using Mod Podge to create the illusion of brush strokes to match your painted segments. When it's dry, slip the painting back into its original frame and glass. You can also take the opportunity to paint the frame to fit your Halloween decor, like gold or a rich matte black. These paintings not only look great on the wall but are also perfect for a fireplace mantel or shelf tucked amid other seasonal décor.

Other upcycled horror painting ideas

Thrifted art offers a wealth of possibilities for making upcycled altered art pieces that fit the season. In addition to creating ghosts, try painting your favorite monster amid any scene. Great options include "Godzilla," Cthulhu, or the "Creature from the Black Lagoon," especially when they're tucked amongst a seascape or woodland scene. Any rendering of a house or room scene can easily be turned into a haunted one by adding spooky details like ghosts, bloody handprints, and cobwebs.

Not just limited to paintings, you can also spookify any piece of ephemera, including vintage photographs, Victorian cabinet cards, and postcards by adding creepy details. If you don't trust your freehand painting skills, it's an excellent opportunity to use a collage process to add characters and monsters to any piece of art with no painting skills required. Just cut them out and use Mod Podge to affix them to the art. This project also makes a great easy DIY for kids of all ages.