Transform Old Pictures and Frames




About: We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. We make an Instructable to share .... :)

Find unused or discarded pictures with frames and give them new life.

If you don't have any at home you can start where I do.
The local thrift store or...

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Step 1: Keep Looking

If legal in your neighborhood, trash or dumpster diving works too!

Step 2: Take Apart

Now that you have your item -
Carefully take off the backing to separate the backing, frame, mat and picture

Step 3: Choose Colors

Pick out a couple colors that complement the picture, try them on the back of the mat.
Don't over wet the mat with paint or it may warp.

*I use chalk paint because it adheres well and I don't need to sand before painting

Step 4: Paint Mat

Paint the mat and let dry.
What a difference a little paint makes!

Step 5: Paint Frame

I have two different frames that I am painting here.
Get creative in this step, it wipes of easily if you make a mistake or don't like it.
Let dry for 10 min or so before next step

Step 6: Wipe With Damp Cloth

Do you want gold highlights or distressed looked?
Use a damp cloth or 220 sand paper on edges.

Step 7: Wax & Polish

If you use chalk paint as I have..
Wipe on clear wax then buff
If you want an "Antique" look after the clear wax you can wipe or brush dark wax on then buff

Step 8: Put Everything Back Together

Enjoy your "new" art work

Bedroom Contest

Participated in the
Bedroom Contest

Before and After Contest

Participated in the
Before and After Contest

Reuse Contest

Participated in the
Reuse Contest



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7 Discussions


2 years ago

Have you already tried making DIY chalk paint? Is it just as good or is there some reason to buy the overpriced stuff? (I just add plaster of paris to house paint, but I've heard you can also use other stuff. I've painted furniture and it goes on great with no pre-sanding.)

Artsy Fartsyseamster

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

What is a Community Manager?
After viewing several of your Instrucables, which are really nice by the way, I was hoping you might give me some feedback on ways to improve.

Artsy Fartsylynmiller

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Thank you Lynmiller!
Take a min and vote for this Instructable in the Before and After Contest if you would please :)


4 years ago

Love this! I have some old frames and photos I was thinking of selling, but I think I will keep them now!

1 reply