Painted picture frames are one of my favorite, budget-friendly DIY decor projects. Picture frames can be so expensive. If you want a gallery wall, your total price will add up quickly!
Instead of buying designer frames, consider the DIY route. Just buy inexpensive craft store or thrift store frames – you know those plastic black/brown frames? Yep! We are going to give them a major face lift with this tutorial. All you need is chalk paint and a candle. Keep reading!
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These are the exact paint colors and products that I used:
- Devine Compass
- White – custom color from The Home Depot (see image below)
- Chalk Paint Powder – to turn my white and light blue paint into chalk paint. I love, love, love this chalk paint powder, since it allows me to make custom color chalk paint.
- putty knife
- fine grit sandpaper
Tutorial – Distressed Painted Picture Frames
You can watch the video below for a quick overview of the project. There are written instructions below as well.
Step 1 – Navy Paint
Paint one solid coat of navy blue paint. If you are not happy with the coverage of your paint, go ahead and do a second coat. Let dry.
Step 2 – Light Blue Paint
Using a dry brush technique, lightly paint on some light blue paint. There is no need to buy separate light blue paint. Just mix a tiny bit of your navy paint with some of your white paint. Let dry.
Step 3 – Wax
Roughly wax each frame. Just use an inexpensive tea light for this. Don’t be stingy either – just wax around the edges and the front parts that you want to appear worn. The areas that have wax are the areas that will appear distressed and poke through your final layer of white paint.
Step 4 – White Paint
Add a layer of white paint. You can use regular white chalk paint, but I strongly recommend using this chalk paint powder. You can mix up small batches of chalk paint in literally any color!
Step 5- Distress
Once the white paint is completely dry, start distressing.
First, gently scrape the frame surface with a putty knife. This will give you an idea of where the wax is, as well as where you should focus your distressing efforts. Second, lightly sand with fine grit sandpaper. The key here is: lightly sand. It’s always easier to distress more than it is to add more white paint back!
That’s it! Step back and admire your handy work:
It’s Not Always Picture Perfect
I’m not sure why I feel compelled to share this with you all, but share it I will. This wall was a labor of love and a true step outside of my comfort zone. See, I built that sofa table from scratch. I had never done that before.
I built that table, stained it, painted it, and then distressed it. Whew!
Then I painted these frames, and took a stab at video making while I was at it – Yep, in case you can’t tell from my serious iMovie skillz, this was my first ever video.
After all of my hard work, I was ready to photograph my beautiful new family room wall. I just needed to vacuum…
Well, as I vacuumed the floor, I noticed the table was about one centimeter off the wall. I gave it a little nudge to make everything perfect. The next thing I knew, this was my perfect new wall:
All was not lost though. I still think things look OK with just 7 frames.
The Big Reveal