Posted by: |  Posted on:  |  No Comments »  |  Add comments  | 
Category: Decorating

Reclaim and Upcycle for Stylish Painted Picture Frames

Recycled Picture Frames Painted White

White on White – Upcycled Picture Frames are Given a Stylish new lease of life – Image found on Pinterest

If you like the chique cool styling of reclaimed picture frames and photoframes as shown in the picture above then find out how easy it is to get the look in your own home.

You can search in junk shops, charity shops, online auction sites like ebay or gumtree, or advertise a ‘wanted’ ad on sites like preloved or Freecycle to find picture frames

Once you have the number and styles of frames you need for your project you are ready to prepare the frames for painting. You may have different challenges to overcome depending on the frames you have chosen, here are some of the questions we have been asked about preparing picture frames for painting:

1. The Paint on my Picture Frames is Flaking

Sand down the frames if they are a fairly simple moulding and then apply a primer before painting with your final choice of paint.

If you have a heavily detailed frame you can apply paint remover, and we would recommend you try eco-solutions Homestrip because it is just so safe and easy to use. The you can apply primer followed by the paint of your choice.

Plasticote White Primer

Plasticote White Primer will give a good base for top coat finishes

2. How do I Prepare Metal Picture Frames for Painting?

Make sure you thoroughly degrease them with white spirit or a degreasing solution such as Grime-Go then the easiest way to treat them is to use a spray paint like Hammerite or Plasticote after you have primed the surface with a suitable metal primer.

Grime Go cleaner and degreaser

Grime Go is a cleaner and degreaser which is excellent for preparing surfaces to be painted

See a video on how to use Grime Go by clicking on the image above and then clicking on the video link in the store.

3. How do I Paint Glass Frames?

As you are looking for a cool white on white effect in this project you might simply want to clean up the frame with a cleaning and degreasing solution such as Grime-Go.

However if you want to paint them white you can use spray paint (as for metal above) or you could use a tile paint which would be just as effective on glass surfaces.

Tile Paint

Tile Paint can be used on glass providing you prepare the surface thoroughly

4. How do I get an Even Paint Finish on Decorative Frames?

You may find it is easiest to use spray paint on very decorative mouldings. Make sure the surface is thoroughly degreased using Grime Go or white spirits and then spray a series of thin coats on the frames, allowing each coat to dry in between sprayings (consult the manufacturers instruction for drying times).

5. What if I Change my Mind?

Once the frames are prepared for painting you can use whatever colour you like. If you don’t like the effect simply re-coat with a different colour.

Bear in mind that it is easier (and cheaper) to change the colour of your frames than the wall.

If you go for a white wall, or another neutral colour, you could then opt to go for bright bold colours on your frames, or a series of neutral tones in slate, stone and moss if you prefer muted colours.

Bright Coloured Picture Frames

Bright Coloured Frames Look Great on a Neutral Wall – Image found on Pinterest

You can also use metallic colours such as bronze, copper, silver or gold to mix in with black and white frame. this will give a traditional style to the arrangement, but you can mix in other details such a lettering, stencils or a touch of colour to put your personal stamp on the display.

You could even go for black frames on a white wall, and perhaps just pick a few to paint in an accent colour of your choice, which you could echo in soft furnishings like a bright blue, hot pink or vivid green.

There are some great uses of accent colour in the article where this image below comes from.

Accent colours against grey

Accent colours look great against neutrals like grey – image from

If you end up with too many coats of paint and you are losing the details in your frames then you can simply start again by stripping off the paint and re-priming.

Find out more about how to Prepare Surfaces for Painting in our DIY Projects section on the main website.

Picture Frames

Find Decorative Picture Frames and Paint them in Colours that suit your Home’s Style

Signup for the DIY Doctor Newsletter

See our Other Great Content