Home » Ghost Painting – but make it Dia de Muertos

Ghost Painting – but make it Dia de Muertos

Have you seen the ghost painting trend going around? It’s so brilliant, entertaining and makes for a nice addition to Halloween decor.

BUT, my husband put a twist on this trned. Instead of ghost painting for Halloween – he did ghost painting, but make it for Dia de Muertos!


Nov 1 and 2 are the days it’s believed the souls of the dead come back to earth to visit loved ones, Dia de Muertos – Day of the Dead. Lured by the aromas set out for the them via ofrendas in home and gravesites, the spirits are allowed to go back to what they loved to do best here in the land of the living. 

Creating a Dia de Muertos ghost painting would fit nicely because you can choose a theme that fits with your loved one’s personality. Use the finished piece for the centerpiece of your ofrenda!

Video link

YouTube video

RELATED: How to make a Day of the Dead ofrenda

How to make a ghost painting

ghost painting
Visit a thrift store to find an old painting to transform into a ghost painting.


Visit your local thrift shop or secondhand store or even a flea market. Look for an old painting from decades past. Look for paintings that have good structural integrity.

Avoid paintings with tears, deep cracks, or flaking.

As you choose your painting to transform, look at all of the opportunities where you could put a scene. Perhaps one with a house, or on the beach, or in the forest.

The more you have to work with in the background will give you more creative inspiration for creating your own story for the new version of the painting.

ghost painting
This is the painting Patrick chose. It’s actually a print of a painting from the 1970s. We even looked up the artist online!


Painting from the thrift store.

Acrylic paints.

Assorted brushes in different sizes.


Once you choose your painting, check the back of it to make sure it is not a valued, one-of-a-kind treasure from a famous painter. Yes, that has happened before, I have seen it on TikTok!

Once you are good to go, remove the painting from the frame.

Gently dust off the painting using a soft brush or lint-free cloth.

If you’re unsure of the original painting’s medium, test a small inconspicuous area with your paint to ensure compatibility.

ghost painting

Choose the areas where you want to add your Muertos. Consider making light pencil marks or using a soft chalk to outline areas, but be sure you can remove or cover these later.

Start painting

Start with a white base coat.

ghost painting
Add black for the bones. I knowwww, Patrick makes it look so easy! Do your own style!

For a cohesive look, try to match the style and technique of the original artist, unless you’re intentionally going for a contrasting effect.

Add clothing on top and whatever other embellishments. Remember to let layers dry between applications if you’re using acrylics.

Ensure that the new additions blend seamlessly with the original work.

You might need to tweak colors, shadows, or highlights to ensure everything fits together visually.

ghost painting
Keep on going until you love your new painting. If you want, you can paint the frame as well, or leave it as is. Use the back of the painting to write a story to go with what you created!

Once you’re satisfied, you might consider adding a varnish to protect the painting. Ensure it’s appropriate for the type of paint you used.

Here is the ghost painting trend – as ghosts!


Jumping on the thrifted ghost painting trend! 👻🎃 #fyp #ghostpainting #thrifted #thriftedpainting #halloween #painting

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