My office is a little sad- especially the wall art. I’m on a budget so I was brainstorming how to make a big impact on a tiny budget. I decided to thrift some picture frames and give them a new life! This used picture frames makeover has a hint of rainbow and I’m so excited to show the process! It’s a zero to hero project over here.
used picture frames makeover
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
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Here’s my office before I started this project. I slowly took off the old art work that I was sick of and added a few mismatched pieces. It is not cute- lol! But I’m ready to change all that!
- Thrifted Frames. I bought 18 frames for $28
- Paint- 1. Beloved Pink, 2. Shy Smile, 3. Coral Fountain, 4. Lamplit, 5. Corn Stalk, 6. Frittata, 7. Sparkling Brook, 8. Green Aqua, 9. Mirador, 10. Tinted Ice, 11. Early September, and 12. Blue Chalk. I buy the sample jars in the Marquee line (highest quality) in an eggshell finish
- Botanical art. I have these available as a free download below!
Price breakdown- I bought $28 in frames and spent $20 in art and printing it. So this was about a $50 project. Which is a lot of bang for the buck!
step 1- buy frames and make a plan
I went to the thrift shop and grabbed frames- 18 for $28. While sorting through the huge assortment of frames, I tried to find interesting shapes in a few sizes. I choose a wood finish for them all since I thought that’d take paint best.
Next, I hung the frames. And honestly they looked terrible and I was super nervous that this would be a waste of time. But I knew that hanging them first would help me know what color to paint each frame and the orientation for when it came time to creating the art for each frame.
My pro method for hanging a gallery wall is to hold the art where I like it and then put my finger where the art goes and hammer in the nail right there. It’s fast and easy and accurate.
Then I started to make a plan. I numbered each frame and wrote down what color I’d paint them in my notebook as well the orientation. This was helpful to refer back on later.
I also wrote on the back of the frame the same number in a sharpie. That way when I was painting the frame and the glass was separate, I could make sure that the glass and frame were reunited when it was time to assemble the frame.
step 2- paint
Next, it’s painting time! I have a bunch of latex paint in rainbow colors that I set out with the frames. I used 12 colors and painted each color on 1-2 frames. They all needed a few coats of paint so this was a slow process.
The good news is that they all dried really beautifully! I love the colors and they feel so much more fresh than the wood tones.
step 3- assemble
If you thrift frames to paint, I suggest selecting ones that are easy to hang- adding the saw tooth hanger on the back is a bit of a pain. I also suggest getting frames where it’s easy to change out the art.
For the art, I used vintage botanical prints and color matched the background so the art will perfectly coordinate with the frame. I love how these turned out and was excited to assemble everything!
Since the frames are used, it’s important to clean both sides of the glass. Also, make sure the glass is totally dry before putting the art in the frame or it’ll get stuck to the glass and get ruined.
How gorgeous does all the art look in the rainbow painted frames? I got really excited here because I could finally see this project coming together! They no longer look thrifted.
step 4- hang art
Finally, hanging the art up was actually pretty quick. The nails were already hammered in so I just put them up in the original order.
And here is the final look- isn’t it so gorgeous?! I now want to cover all the walls in here with more frames just like this. I find the colors with the vintage botanicals so beautiful!
And now my office is no longer boring. I’m so happy with how it turned out!
Is this a project you’d try? It’s affordable, a big impact, but is a lot of work. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!
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Jen at Everyday Old House says
Wow – looks gorgeous! Looks like a sophisticated and welcoming office space to inspire more projects. (seen through arty-fartsy link party)