Upgrade Inexpensive Frames With Paint

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  September 6, 2013 — 5 Comments

Frames are expensive. Even Target frames are like $15 each at the lower end and that sort of thing adds up when you’ve got a bunch of blank walls to fill. My go-to sources for inexpensive frames are Ikea and discount stores like Family Dollar or Dollar General. The only downsides are that 1) Ikea is 250 miles away, and 2) discount store frames look like they came from a discount store. Examples: these two extremely old photos of “art” that I hung in my bedroom using frames from Dollar General.

I mean, they’re alright. They’ve been there for like two years and I didn’t hate them enough to take them down, but when I was rearranging my room recently I decided to spruce them up a bit with some paint. It was done on a whim so I didn’t think to take any pictures of the process but I was so pleased with the results that I couldn’t resist sharing it with y’all. Mr. Pavo Real is now hanging behind the bed by himself.

044 (364x570)

001 (570x380)

And the smaller locally-inspired print is still in the same spot above the dresser.

045 (360x570)

I actually just mixed some black and white acrylic paint with a little bit of metallic silver–all craft paints that I already had–and slapped on two coats after taping off the glass. It was really easy to scrape any mistakes off the glass with my fingernail, so if you’ve got a steadier hand than me then you could probably get away without taping. And even if you don’t have any paint on hand a little tube of craft paint is only like a dollar. You could choose practically any color of the rainbow! I love that something so simple and completely free made these cheapo frames look way more expensive and custom. I think it’s the matte finish that I dig so much. Of course, if you were putting your frames anywhere that they might be bumped into or whatever you might want to use primer or some sort of protective coating, but like I said this was done on a whim so no such sensible measures here. If the paint gets scratched I guess I’ll just put my head into my hands and cry. And then touch it up with more paint that I already have.

I hope you each have a wonderful weekend! LSU is playing their first home game tomorrow and my husband is over-the-moon excited. It’s a non-conference game against an opponent we’re expected to smash so he actually was able to snag a ticket. He’ll be bringing Jack while I sit home and eat bon bons and take a staycation from motherhood. Color me delighted!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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5 responses to Upgrade Inexpensive Frames With Paint

  1. Good tip! I have another: thrift shops. I’m lucky enough to be close to an Ikea, but I actually buy most of my frames at thrift shops. For a few dollars, you can buy huge frames and — like your tip above — transform them with paint.

    I have a small gallery wall in my bedroom, all of the frames were purchased from thrift shops, and I painted them all white. I love that they look similar — in that they are all the same color — but they are also each a little bit different.

    I love the tip about mixing paint colors together to form a unique shade. Your “new” frames look GREAT in your bedroom, especially with that fun peacock print.

    • Second thrift shops! Also yard sales. People are always trying to get rid of ugly frames but with a coat of paint some of these uglies can actually be cute.

      Are your cheapy frames plastic? I tried to upgrade a few $2 plastic frames from Michaels but they ended up peeling badly. Next time I’ll prime first or just shell out a couple of extra bucks for wood.

      • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

        I think mine are real wood. That’s a good point about plastic, though. Might be best to use primer or maybe spraypaint.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Oh yes definitely thrift shops! I forgot about that. I just got a huge one at Goodwill the other day!

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  1. DIY: Thrift Store Kitsch to Antiqued Mirror | Living Well on the Cheap - September 10, 2013

    […] two things happened recently to inspire this latest project. A) two commenters on this post reminded me that thrift stores are an excellent source for frames, and B) I read this post on […]

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