My sister recently moved into a new apartment and she’s hunting for cool decorative items. She dug through her trunks and boxes of old stuff and found this wooden picture frame. The wood carving was quite delicate, but she found the black and gold colors outdated. It did not match her new home decorating style. Now, onto the whitewashed picture frame makeover.
I decided to give this small frame a whitewash look. Using a gray base for whitewashing.
Prepping the Upcycled Thrift Store Frame
First, I gave the wood frame a good clean using a damp wash cloth and let it dry for a few hours.
Painting the Wood Frame
For this makeover I used gray chalk paint. After the first coat of paint, I found the gray color too dark. So, I decided to mix gray paint with white paint before applying the second coat.
I was satisfied with the lighter gray. Two coats of paint were enough to obtain complete coverage of the former black and gold colouring. No need for a third coat!
I let it dry for a couple of hours before starting to whitewash.
After the paint has dried completely, I lightly sanded the frame using a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. Then, I used a piece of tack cloth to remove any sanding dust. Here is the result after the second coat.
Whitewashing the Picture Frame
I wanted a thin application, so I mixed equal parts of white paint and water.
I applied the watered-down paint with a brush, and I went over it right away with a cotton cloth. The technique was amazingly easy.
Since I sanded a little too hard on the left side of the frame, I added some more gray paint using a small brush.
Adding the Top Coat
To seal the piece, I decided to use Clear Paste Wax. I used lint-free cloth to apply wax all over the frame. I allowed the wax to dry for about 2-3 hours and then buff the wax with a clean, lint-free cloth. One coat of wax was enough.
Adding New Glass to the Picture Frame
The old frame was missing protective glass and hardware on the back for hanging. To add a new glass to the whitewashed picture frame, I used an old frame we purchased in a dollar store more than 20 years ago. The idea was to swap the glass.
The glass was too large for the painted picture frame. If the picture frame is not a square or rectangle, always make a template. You should also make a template if the picture frame is old. Angles may look straight but they are rarely a perfect 90 degrees. Trust me! We didn’t use a template on the first try and the resulting piece of glass did not fit the frame. We had to find a new piece of glass and cut again.
If you don’t want / can’t cut glass yourself, you can purchase a pre-cut or specially cut piece of glass.
Then, we cut the frame back the same size as the glass. This part was easier. We used the new glass as a template. The frame back that comes with the glass was a MDF board. We simply used a hand saw to cut the piece.
I cleaned the new glass and installed it into the frame. I also installed new hanger on the back of the frame (sorry, no picture and the frame already left for my sister’s place). Since the frame is small and light, I attached a single small triangle hanger on the back of the frame.
Here is the final whitewashed picture frame makeover! My sister loved how it looks! I will share another photo once my sister has placed a picture inside the frame.
New art frames are usually quite expensive. But the good news is, you can buy cheap frames at your local thrift store. At my store, it costs $1-$2 for a small size picture frame, $2 – $5 for a medium size. Revamping vintage frames are easy and cheap DIY projects.
My recycled picture frame safely arrived at my sister place. It is now hanging on her guest bedroom wall!
In less than one hour and with some chalk paint, you can give an old picture frame a whole new look.
Supply List for the Whitewashed Frame Makeover:
Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience at no extra cost to you. I make a small commission, thank you for your support!
White Chalk Paint and water: Dixie Belle Cotton
220-grit Sandpaper (optional)
See other thrift store makeovers here: