Don’t Like Your Frame? Paint it!

by Katy on November 12, 2012 · 10 comments

I know you’re probably getting bored with posts about painting household items, well too bad because I’m on a painting streak with no end in sight! So here goes another before-and-after treat from yours truly. 😉

I picked this frame up  a few months ago in my father’s schwanky neighborhood. It was leaned up against somebody’s garbage can, just waiting for me. Sure, the dull pastel drawing of pears was far from my cup of tea, but the large frame itself was nice and neutral. The mat showed a bit of water damage, but that didn’t bother me. However, I am not a fan of double mats, especially when they’re different colors.

So I took a can of white spray paint and gave the mat a new life. Now, both mats are the same color and the water damaged part is slightly less noticeable.

And the best part is that I can finally frame a drawing that my son drew of Henry and Mudge when he was a kindergartener. It is so sweet and joyful, and if you look carefully, there’s a pile of poop under the dog. Exactly like my son . . . sweet and joyful, with a devious sense of humor. (This is an example of extreme procrastination, as this son is now 17 years old. Ha!)

My second example of frame-paintin’-madness is a bit more timely, as I’ve only owned this thrift store Elizabeth Harris print for a few weeks. Remember the hideous 1980’s frame job?

  • Triple mat? Check.
  • Brass accents? Check.
  • Super shiny frame also with brass accent? Check.


Enter cans of black and white spray paint, and this stuck-in-the 1980’s frame is welcomed into the new millennium.

The updated frame now matches my other Elizabeth Harris poster, which as you may remember was framed from the bounty of yet another free-pile.

Having a next-to-nothing budget for decorating is never a limitation, but rather a creative challenge. And in my my opinion the result is almost always better.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

tna November 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

What!? No cat on the staircase?
I love the artwork of Henry and Mudge. I would have put some new
brown paper to fill the mat but I realize that may not have been possible physically or sentimentally.

Is the second E. Harris print up the stairs by the window? If so, visually I like it better having no matting…not possible with current frame and new print I know.
The prints themselves really go well with your color scheme.


Katy November 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

No, I like the aged construction paper. It emphasizes the kindergarteny-ness of the art. 😉



tna November 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Quite understandable. I did notice the torn out spot and thought that might be part of it’s charm. (thumbs up)


AFS November 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I would have never thought to spray paont a mat. Thanks for the inspiration Kety.


AFS November 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I meant to put an A in your name, I’m not sure how the E got there.


Katy November 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Worry not, I make many, many typos myself.



Lois November 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

The Elizabeth Harris print looks much nicer now. I don’t buy new frames I stop at the thrift shop where I can get any size for .50 and then paint them. Paint has to be the best tool to have around.


Jo@simplybeingmum November 13, 2012 at 4:44 am

Not possible to get bored with painting posts. I’ve recently rediscovered the joys of spray painting myself! Oh yes!
Have had to remind myself however not to leave the cans in the garage. The last can got clogged up (presume cold weather)…it seems to be thawing though. It’s gonna get used up whether or not it’s in tip top condition!


Sara November 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Colin’s drawing is SO CUTE!!! There’s no way that should be resigned to live out its life in a box in the basement. Right on for giving it back its glory!


Katie November 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Oh man, that gold and maroon frame takes me back to my mom’s office at a Midwestern accounting firm in the mid-80’s. Nice rehab!


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