Picture frame makeover

Update that tired frame

Painting an old frame is by no stretch of the imagination a new or exciting DIY trick. Interior designers and crafters in magazines and in those home renovation shows on t.v are always slapping on a few layers of paint to ‘update’ an old frame.

Yet, I’d never felt compelled to do it myself. I was convinced it wouldn’t turn out as well.

But buying a new frame is expensive. Especially if you want something that’s good quality and looks great. So I finally yielded and decided to give it a go.


Frame before

I have this frame that’s been sitting in my garage for a while, waiting for a new life. It’s a nice frame, but needed updating.

I finally got round to buying some spray paint, my husband insisted that it be a high gloss black – he thought it would update the frame and make it look more modern.

When you are choosing your paint, make sure you use a spray paint that is appropriate for what you’re painting. For instance, the one I used can be applied to wood, plastic, concrete, metal etc. This was perfect because the frame was made of wood and the gold gilded part is plastic molding.

I removed the picture from the frame and roughly sanded the back of the frame by hand. The masking tape was so old and degraded it almost chipped off.

Frame being sanded

Then, after dusting the frame with a cloth I put down a drop cloth and began spraying.

I didn’t bother priming the surface first, since this was just going to sit on the wall and was unlikely to get bashed around much causing the paint to chip off.

Spray painting the frame

It’s important that you do several light coats, building it up, rather than one heavy coat as droplets can form on the surface (learned this the hard way). You can actually see some of the droplets forming on the frame in the photo above.

Just be sure to wait for about 15-30 minutes after each application to do the next layer, it should be dry to the touch, but it’s okay if it’s a bit tacky

Loki helping with the frame

Loki was an invaluable assistant, lying right under the frame. Good thing he’s black!

Once the frame was completely dry I flipped over the old picture and re-mounted a new one. I had left the small nails in along the back of the frame, these held the back in place, so it was just a matter of pressing them back down and re-masking over the back.

Using the high gloss spray paint gave it a really sleek, modern look, but the older baroque-style decorative elements still show through. It’s a really great balance.

And this is the finished product.

Chevron fabric in finished frame

Pretty great huh?

PIcture frame makeover detail

I made the black and white chevron print in the frame myself using masking tape and black spray paint. I will be covering it in a follow up post so stay tuned…

Leah The Crafty Rabbit