Thrift Store Silver

Hi Ho Silver!! Can I just tell you all how much I love thrift store silver? I love that I can go get pretty little shiny platters, trays, and catch alls, and not spend more than a couple of dollars. I happened upon this discovery a couple of years ago when I was hosting a barbecue and needed some inexpensive serving platters. I first went to target, my go to for cheap generic, and couldn’t find anything that was nice enough to suit my fancy, but cheap enough to suit my budget. So I hit the thrift stores – gorgeous silver for $.99 – $4.99, right up my alley. Now every time I go to the thrift store, I have to, just have to, stop by the silver plate section. I can’t help it, it’s a compulsion now. But really, can you blame a girl for wanting lots of beautiful silver pieces at those prices? I think not.

The one drawback to having gorgeous antique silver splattered throughout the house? Silver Polishing. Ugh. Really… ugh. It’s a chore that needs done about every six months, not too bad considering. I usually turn on some good ol’ reliable Netflix, sit down and enjoy the polishing ride. But I thought I would share with you how I polish my silver… nothing ground breaking, but it may come in handy some day.

Assemble the silver needing polished


Gather polishing equipment. I use Wright’s silver polish, paper towls, and cleaning gloves. Random tangent: I usually try to limit my paper towel consumption; damage to the planet and all that jazz, but for this job I make an exception. The polish and tarnish it rubs off gets my rags filthy, and I can’t wash them with anything else without leaving silver polish marks on my laundry. So what’s worse: wasting water or using paper towels?

And for the record, I have tried the ‘green’ method of polishing silver with baking soda too. This works much, much better. I will do a review comparing the two methods next time I polish.

Be sure to use gloves, this stuff is creepy on your skin. I know – I’ve done it without them before. Eeeewww…

Squirt a little dab of polishing cream directly onto the silver. Buff to a high shine. On the third picture you can kind of see the tarnish coming off and revealing the true silver.


After you have polished all of your pieces, wash them in warm water and dish soap. Here is how my silver looks post polish.


And a before and after shot for comparison. What a difference it makes.


Usually when you bring home your new silver from the thrift store, you will need to give all pieces a very thorough polishing. After the initial polishing just maintain by regular six month polishing. The first polishing is always a nightmare; but don’t fret, many have survived this torture. And it truly is the only time you may momentarily question your purchase of antique silver. 🙂



3 thoughts on “Thrift Store Silver

  1. I totally went thrifting today and got a couple more silver pieces to go with the ones I got out in Virginia. I haven’t spent more than $15 all told and now I have a variety of platters, plates, etc. that look super nice, and hold things like my keys, candles, whatever. Thanks for being a creative and sharing your ideas!

    • Don’t you freaking love it?? So funny how such small things make all the difference in the world. Glad I converted you to the antique silver team!!

  2. Now you’ve got me hooked…I’ll be looking for silver and cast iron pieces…along with tropical shirts…thrift stores are fun!

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