Whenever I can stop in a Goodwill or Salvation Army I am always on the lookout for three items. furniture, jewelry armoires, and picture frames. Let me show you how I overhauled my thrift store frames into old world style decor.
Supplies you will need
- Picture frames-the more decorative or ornate frames are better for this project.
- Paint Colors of your choice: I used both Dixie Belle and DIY paint. Dixie Belle’s Caviar, Dixie Belle’s Hurricane Gray, DIY Apothecary and DIY White Swan
- Flat Sealer
- Dixie Belle’s White Lightning
- 2″ Chip brush OR Fan Brush (Cheerleader) and 4″ cheap paint brush
- paper plate
- painters tape
- 220 sandblock
- Plywood: I had mine cut down at Falveys in Albia to 16″ x 20″ to fit in one of my frames.
- Glazing points or you could use a staple gun and staples
- hand sander, sand paper (if you need to use plywood for your frames)
- Embellishments: I plan to arrange my frames together with a wreath hanging from the front one.
The first step after you find your thrift store frames is to take the backing of the frames apart carefully, see if the backing can be repurposed for this project and then clean the frames of dirt and debris.
I have a bottle of water with a few teaspoons of White Lightning mixed in to clean my items before painting. Be sure to rinse the frames thoroughly with plain water after using the White Lightning to ensure when you do paint these items, the chalk-style paint will adhere to your project.
I have a blog post all about White Lightning, click here to check it out!
For two of my thrift store frames, I was able to re-use the backing that came with them. The third frame, I had to have a piece of plywood cut down to fit to complete this project.
I sanded this plywood I purchased for the third frame before moving onto the next step.
Once your frames are clean and dry we are ready to start painting!
To start with I choose three colors for my three frames but to get a different look with each one however still go together as a set, each frame had a different base coat.
The base coat for frame one was Caviar, frame two was Apothecary and frame three was White Swan.
My first frame I went with the darkest color, Dixie Belles Caviar, when painting the base coat make sure to get in every groove of the frame.
While painting these frames in an old world style, I am not worried about getting a smooth finish, I am actually wanting to add texture so don’t be afraid to dab or pounce your brush when you are painting your first layer.
Once this first layer was dry, I was ready to start “aging” my frames with a dry brush technique.
With dry brushing, you can use any brush you would like, but it will be easier with a cheap 2″ chip brush. Or you can also use the fan brush.
To dry brush paint, it’s best to use a paper plate to help off-load some of the paint on the brush since we will use very little paint with this technique.
For this step on my first frame I used DIY’s Apothecary.
Lightly dip your chippy brush into your paint and use the paper plate to “wipe” some of the paint off.
Lightly brush, swipe or sweep across the top of your frame with the chippy brush. The raised decorative areas of the frame will catch this layer of paint adding character to your frame.
Complete this process around the frame. If you want to go back over again using this same technique until you start to get the look you like. Or even better, move onto the next step and we can go back and repeat these steps as many times as you’d like.
Tip: With this dry brushing technique we are only “painting” or aging the raised areas of the frame.
Next is my third color, DIY White Swan
I used the very same technique with this paint, only I was not as liberal with this coat of paint as I was with the DIY Apothecary.
Remember, we can repeat the previous steps as many times as we like until we get the look we love!
For the background of my picture frame, I wanted a old weathered board look without having to cut wood strips and piece them in and still distress them.
So instead I created the look I wanted with paint.
I chose to use the more textured side of the backboard.
For my first frame, I continued with the same theme and painted the backboard, Dixie Belle’s Caviar.
Once this was dry. I used my 4″ cheap brush and using the dry brush technique, I lightly dry brushed the DIY White Swan in a straight line from top to bottom on the backboard.
When this was dry, I did the same thing with DIY’s Apothecary.
Once this was dry, I used my 220 grit sand block and in the same direction that I dry brushed my back board, I sanded the backboard.
Sanding helps to smooth these areas a little while blending the paint and help to make this look like old worn weathered wood.
Once you complete this step, if you want to keep adding layers, feel free to repeat these steps over again. Adding more layers will give your project more character.
Once you have the look you love, it’s time to apply a coat of sealer over the weathered backboard and frame.
When this is all dry, you can reassemble the weathered backboard and the frame using glazing points or staples and a staple gun.
Decorating with your upcycled thrift store frames into Country Cottage Decor
There are so many options to embellishing your new decor.
For my first one I added black jute rope and a flocked wreath to one of mine.
I plan to arrange three of these together on my fireplace mantle, once that project is done.
I have another collection of frames I am working on and plan to turn them into personalized sign with stencils I made from contact paper, click here to see how.
Plus I have a collection of Prima transfers designs I want to use and thought these would be perfect with my old weathered up cycled frames.
To see video tutorial click below
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