Step-by-Step Guide: Frame Painting Ideas for a Fresh New Look

Do you have old photo frames or wall art frames stored in your house? Let’s give them a little makeover with some fun and easy frame painting ideas.


These projects are perfect for transforming your old frames into unique pieces that can be part of a stunning gallery wall.


In this guide, I will walk you through three different frame DIY projects that will help you refresh your home decor.


This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

Tools and Materials:

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Craft ideas for photo frames

Refreshing an Old Frame with Craft Paint

Prepping the frame with painter’s tape

1. Prepare the Frame

For your first frame, start by removing the mat from the frame. Use painter’s tape to tape off sections of the frame. You can be symmetrical or asymmetrical with the taped-off sections.

Applying craft paint to the exposed areas for a fresh look

With a small paintbrush, brush craft paint onto the exposed areas of the frame.

Frame DIY project

Don’t forget to paint the sides of the frame as well.


Apply a couple of coats for a solid finish or leave it with just one coat to let some of the original frame color show through.

Personalized wall art

2. Add Detail to the Mat

Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the painter’s tape.

Touching up the paint

If needed, touch up any areas with your brush and then reinsert the mat into the frame.

Painting crafts

Using the painted blocks on the frame as a guide, lightly paint a broken line onto the mat extending from the painted blocks.

DIY wall art

3. Add Artwork

Take some artwork or a scrap of wallpaper in a coordinating color and tape it to the backside of the frame with painter’s tape.

Finished painted frame with coordinated mat

Enjoy the unique patterns you’ve created on this frame.

Unique frame ideas

Creating a Neutral Frame with a Pattern

Spray-painting the frame in a neutral color

1. Spray the Frame

For your second frame, start by spray-painting the frame in a neutral color. I chose bright white for this makeover.

Drawing a pattern on the frame using a quarter

2. Draw the Pattern

Use a quarter to draw a pattern on the outer edge of the frame. Lay half the quarter on the edge of the frame and trace around it with a pen or pencil.

How to paint photo frames at home

Repeat this around the entire perimeter.

Outlining and filling in the pattern with craft paint

2. Paint the Pattern

With a small paintbrush and craft paint, outline the curvy pattern and fill in the space on the frame. Be sure to paint over your pen or pencil tracing lines.

Adding peel and stick wallpaper to the frame

3. Add Wallpaper

For this frame, I used a sheet of peel and stick wallpaper from the dollar store. Since this photo frame didn’t have a mat, I simply opened the frame, peeled the wallpaper, and stuck it to the inside of the frame.

DIY frame painting techniques

Next, I cut off the remainder of the wallpaper.

Easy frame painting projects

Close up the frame and you are left with instant wall art!

Frame painting for beginners

Creating a Watercolor Effect on a Gold Frame

Spray-painting an old gold frame

1. Spray the Frame

For the last frame, start by giving an old gold frame a dusting of spray paint.

Mixing craft paint with water for a watercolor look

2. Create the Watercolor Mat

Pour some craft paint into a plastic cup, add water, and mix thoroughly.

Using a foam brush to apply the watercolor

With a foam brush, use the watered-down paint to paint the mat.

Painting old frames ideas

Variation of color is encouraged to achieve a watercolor effect.

How to customize frames with paint

3. Assemble the Frame

Once the mat is dry, put it back into the frame.

DIY home projects

Tape a piece of bold wallpaper to the back of the frame.

Personalized frames

Flip the frame over.

Wall decor ideas

With a paint pen, draw a pattern on the mat that reflects the artwork.

The finished frame with a bold wallpaper background and watercolor mat

And that's our final painted frame finished!


Need More Frame Makeover Ideas?

Check out the Gold Frames Gallery Wall project for additional inspiration on frame decorating!

Gallery wall of painted frames

Frame Painting Ideas

Now that your frames are complete, display them as part of a gallery wall.


These frame ideas will surely add a personalized touch to your home decor.


Give it a try and see how you can transform your frames with just a bit of paint and creativity.

Sonata Home Design
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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