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Paint Old Picture Frames

I decided to paint these old picture frames for two reasons. Reason number one is that they were in my booth for months and didn’t sell. Reason number two is that they were ugly and out of date.

But they had amazing potential and I’m glad I committed to the makeover. Now I’m going to keep them and hang them in the house whenever I figure out the best place. It will definitely be in the dining room/kitchen area.

how to paint old picture frames


Today is Thrift Store Decor Day and the team has been busy. You will want to check out all of the other makeovers too!

vintage frames and prints from the Nashville Flea Market

The pair of vintage framed prints are a purchase from the Nashville Flea Market. I loved the frame on wire in a second frame. Not a look I’ve seen before.

You can see what I mean about them being outdated. Vintage is good most of the time but these framed prints were not the best.

the back side of wall art

You can see the back of the frames in the photo above. I needed to remove the photo and glass so I could paint the frames and wire.

broken picture frame glass

I tried removing the contents of the small frame while it was stapled in place on the wire. That didn’t work so well. I broke the glass.

removing art from picture frames

So I removed all the staple things holding the small frame to the wire.

spray paint picture frames

My original thought was to frame the remaining cloth napkins with the citrus designs I bought at Tuesday Morning. You might remember I replaced some old prints in a frame with the cloth napkins and also re-covered a barstool seat with them.

So with that in mind I pulled out some white spray paint and sprayed the frames. The white didn’t cover very well. I didn’t have my favorite spray paint brand in white (find on Amazon); so I moved on to something else.

paint old picture frames with Beyond paint

I brushed on two coats of Beyond Paint in off-white. I used the spray paint on the wire portion of the frames and then dry-brushed the off-white on the wire.

distress paint with sandpaper by hand

Everyone knows we have to distress next! I used 100 grit sandpaper and distressed all the edges by hand.

upholstery fabric to frame in a picture frame

Now for the idea that replaced the cloth napkins. I’m in love with this upholstery fabric. I used it on a door of a vintage wardrobe.

The colors and design are too pretty. The fabric has a soft velvety finish that is hard to see in photos.

how to frame fabricI cut fabric to cover the cardboard with enough to fold onto the back. I made sure the pieces of fabric for the two frames had a nice part of the fabric design and the two were not the same.

I saved the hard cardboard back from the small frame and  I used Duck Tape to tape the fabric to the backside of the cardboard.

frame fabric and frame in old picture frames

I pulled the fabric tight so it laid nice and flat with no wrinkles or pulls.

use duck tape to hold picture in frames

Next I pushed the fabric covered cardboard into the frame and used Duck Tape to hold the cardboard in place on the back of the frame.

frame fabric to make unique wall decor

That Duck Tape is strong stuff and I don’t have to worry about it coming off. The fabric and cardboard will stay in place.

staple art to a picture frame

I used a heavy duty stapler to re-staple the frame to the wire.

add wall protectors to wall art

Before hanging the frames I added foam wall protectors to the back corners. Don’t need the wood or wire rubbing the wall paint.

unique double picture frame with wire insert

The light color paint and the pretty fabric give the outdated dull frames a totally new look.

paint old picture frames white

I like the small flower design better than the large one although they are both nice.

how to paint picture frames and frame new art

I can hang the frames together or separately. I didn’t measure the frames but they take up a lot of space.

how to paint old picture frames and frame pretty fabric for new wall art

I took a photo of one of the newly painted frames on our brown bedroom wall. Lookin’ good.

(***Today is the last day of Amazon Prime Day! Check out the sales here)

Thrift Store Decor

If you missed my video on spray painting and distressing home decor you can see it below…..

How To Spray Paint And Distress Home Decor Accessories

Time to take the Thrift Store Decor Tour. Just click the pink text links below the “before” makeovers collage…..

thrift store decor October 2020

Frying Pan Sign from Domestically Speaking

Baroque Mirror Memo Board from My Repurposed Life

Paint Old Picture Frames from Petticoat Junktion

How to Paint a Basket from Our Southern Home

How To Make A Concrete Pumpkin from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Halloween Ghost from a Wooden Cheese Board from Sadie Seasongoods

Rustic Birch Bark Vase from House Of Hawthornes



As always, thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Love the makeover. Would love for you to share your makeover over at Meraki Link Party. Party begins from Monday thru till Thursday
    Much love

  2. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon

  3. Wow! These frames were quite the find! I really like them better painted white and the fabric addition is perfect!

  4. Great upcycle and update. Gonna keep my eye out for some hardware cloth; I have a PLETHORA of frames sitting around! My very patient SO actually asked me not to buy any more frames. OOPS!

  5. My bestie just gave me a box full of empty frames and I was wondering what I could do to make them different. This came at the perfect time. Thank you! Pinned.

  6. Those frames!!! Love them and love what you did with them! I’ll have to remember the foam protector thing before I hang my next pictures!

  7. a really nice improvement! personally, i like the larger flowers! they make a great pair, if someone buys both! keep us posted when they sale, i’m sure they will now!

  8. The only thing I’ve seen similar to that frame is one with chicken wire. I like yours! Love, in fact. Thanks Kathy! How is the Husb ‘s arm?