Gorgeous Dollar Store Frame Flips!

6 Materials
3 Days

This is a very easy way to flip dollar store frames!

We found these frames at The Daiso over here in Japan. If you don't have a Daiso in your area, check out The Dollar Tree.

The Dollar tree also has an online shop with a large selection of $1 embossed photo frames. Just go to the site and search "photo frames."

Here's a link: https://www.dollartree.com/search/go?w=photo%20frames
These are the finished frames. It's amazing what paint will do to cheap plastic.
You'll need:
-plastic primer
-calcium carbonate (chalk powder) for texture
-black paint for the first coat
-gold paint for the second coat
-black paint for the third rubbed off coat
-green paint for accents

A topcoat is optional. We didn't use one, but it will protect your paintjob

These are the dollar store frames. We found them at The Daiso in two sizes.
The calcium carbonate gives the frames an aged texture. You can leave it out if you don't like that rusty grainy look.

We mixed 1 tablespoon of calcium carbonate with 1 tablespoon of water. After that add black paint until the mixture is dark.

We haven't tried mixing other stuff, but I'm sure there are other options too.
These frames were originally white and vivid pink. After priming them we painted them with the calcium carbonate and black paint mix. We used milk paint, but any paint should work. I'd actually like to try chalk paint next time.

It took two coats to get a good cover.
When the black paint mix is completely dry, paint the frames gold. It only took one coat of gold for a good cover.
When the gold paint is dry, you're going to paint the frames black again and then rub off the black paint with a rag.

Use the green paint to dab on accents.
We also did this same paint job to an old mirror we found.
Here is our staircase picture wall. The best part about these frames is that they're incredibly light weight. We get a lot of earthquakes over here in Japan, so I always worry about what I hang on the wall.

My clocks are all anchored in, but it's hard to do that to every single frame.
Check out Bryan's Workshop on Facebook for more DIY ideas!
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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Em
    on Jul 30, 2019

    I understand the entire process except the first coat of black with the calcium carbonate. Why didn't you just add the calcium carbonate to the gold layer, then the black and then green?

    • Em
      on Aug 1, 2019

      It DOES make a nice cohesive collection! Thanks for the reply.

  • Kathy Peacock Cortez
    on Aug 15, 2019

    Where do you get the powder stuff from

  • Bre
    on Sep 23, 2019

    These turned out beautiful!! I have two questions: 1) Might one use a dark wax to age, rather than another coat of black paint; and 2) Might one get the same, if not better, results with a copper/patina paint kit or through that process?

    Thank you for your time and for all that you share.

    • Mcgypsy9
      on Jul 29, 2020

      Another great project to add to your collection! Really came out perfect for that vintage look! I have done these with paint and aged them with wax. Pretty much the same effect but having a variety of ways to do this is great!

Join the conversation

3 of 84 comments
    on Nov 12, 2019

    I have used Plaster of Paris (calcium carbonate) from Lowes and Home Depot for many years, to make my own chalk paint. It is simple...you can find recipes online, but I have made it so much, I just use a spoonful of plaster to a couple of cups of paint. Also, I have used Rustoleum's Clear Topcoat that is found with their chalk paint supplies, and I LOVE it. I used it in our main bathroom, where I chalk painted the cabinets and it is nice and smooth. No wax to mess with, no odor. Score!!!

  • Cat
    on Dec 3, 2019

    These are ao awesome LOVE it!

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