Custom Picture Frames

You can pick up picture frames at your local thrift store for a fraction of what they cost new, and therefore can be a major budget saver – either for your home decor or…as wedding decor. But finding coordinating frames as-is is not so easy. The solution? A couple quick coats of inexpensive paint in whatever color you desire!

Using color to tie together mis-matched items is really very simple. (Check out this post on Style Me Pretty – a mish-mash of items look seamlessly matched when they share a common color!) The paint department at any home-improvement store is a great place to search for just the right shade. Once you have your pot of paint, anything is fair game!

In my experience, after collecting various thrift store frames, the prep-work to paint is minimal – just make sure the frame is clean; or if the frame is very glossy, lightly sand it down with fine-grit sandpaper, and then make sure all the dust is wiped away.

It’s easiest to paint the frames with the glass and backing removed. If you can’t remove the glass, use masking tape to line the edges so you avoid getting paint on the glass.

Then, paint away! I found that I needed a few coats of paint for good coverage. Make sure you wait for the paint to dry between coats.

If you want to make your picture frame into a blackboard, this is also very simple!


You can get blackboard paint at most fabric/craft stores. You can paint directly onto the glass, or any other surface (cardboard, wood, etc). I recommend several coats with a really fine-bristle paintbrush; let each coat dry thoroughly, and sand lightly with a really fine-grit paper. This will ensure your chalkboard surface is smooth (a rough surface isn’t as nice when you’re writing on it).

It feels good to update old items to make them new! And for me, after they’ve done their job displaying info at my wedding, I’ll probably be painting them again to put in my home! Gotta love recycling and re-recycling. 🙂

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1 Comment

Filed under DIY, projects, tutorial, Wedding

One response to “Custom Picture Frames

  1. Great to see people reusing old picture frames, as you quite rightly say its not difficult to find them really cheap these days and some tlc can bring them back to life to create fantastic custom picture frames for your artwork or photography. Absolutely love the blackboard idea btw!

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