DIY Picture Frame Upcycle

I’m a sucker for Pottery Barn decor…well Pottery Barn anything. I love the clean, simplistic look. Elegant, yet country at times. So I will take every opportunity to make something look a bit more Pottery Barn-ish.

I’m currently in a black frame decor state-of-mind and when we moved into our new house the walls needed a bit of love.

I found a set of prints at a garage sale for $5 — 3 framed prints for $5. A pretty good deal if I say so myself.

But the frames were just a plain wood with a some scratches — not horrible, but definitely had some age and needed some freshening up.

Original Frame Condition

So I decided I was going to make them dark frames by doing a frame upcycle.

I had some black paint around the house from a previous project, so I went ahead and used it. This was what I used:


The process of doing a frame upcycle is super-easy. For me, it’s just a matter of having the original vision and being able to take something that seems drab and turn it into a style you like.


1-  Take the print and glass out of the frame. (Place in a location that little hands can’t get to!)
Deconstructed Frame
2- Place the frame on a deconstructed box or butcher paper to protect your working area from paint splatter.

3- Start painting with a thin coat on the frame. (Be careful not to make the paint too thick or it won’t dry thoroughly before the next coat or it could peel once the project is done.)

4- Look to see what shade you ultimate want your frame to be. I experimented with a couple different coats and you can see the difference below — an oak look, a cherry look, and a black/espresso look.


5- I knew I wanted a black frame, so I just did about 2-3 coats with 20-30 minutes spaced out between coats. (Partly to ensure it was dry and partly because I had two little ones huddled around my work space vying for my attention!)

6- Once the frame upcycle is complete and dry, make sure to give the glass a good wipe down with water and/or windex.

7- Put the frames together again, then hang up and enjoy your frame upcycle! (And check to make sure your frames are straight before taking a picture!)
finished product

  • Alicia Starr

    Cute! Nice work.