Easily Update Picture Frames With Spray Paint

6 Materials
$20
2 Hours
Easy
Mismatched picture frames or flea market finds you want to coordinate? Easily update the look of picture frames with a little spray paint!

For more tips and inspiration follow the link to my website at the end of this article!
Before Frames were Updated
This is my gallery wall "before" and I loved it for years. However, my room was feeling dark and I wanted to lighten up the color of the frames and thought spray paint would do the trick!

This project can be completed going from a dark color to a light color or light color to a dark color.

Let your own personal style direct you!
Step 1: Decide on a color!

To make sure you love the color, spray some on a small piece of paper.

Let it dry thoroughly first. Place it on the wall to make sure the color creates the look you want.
Step 2: See if you can remove the glass and artwork from the frame and skip to Step 8 if you can separate the frame, get right to spray painting!

Professionally framed art likely has a craft paper back and you won't want to disturb it. Move to Step 3.

Step 3: Buy wrapping paper with gridlines on the back. Not necessary, but very helpful.

Step 4: Gather either a paper slicer or sissors and a tape measure.

Step 5: Measure the INSIDE frame dimensions and mark those same measurements on wrapping paper.

Step 6: Cut the wrapping paper about a 1/4" inside of the measurements.

I love using a wrapping paper slicer to cut for a straighter line.
Step 7: Place the paper onto the glass and tape down.

MAKE SURE it covers up the glass, but not the frame itself.
  • Better to get paint on the glass than miss paint on the frame! You can easily scrape off paint from the glass.

SPRAY OUTSIDE, AVOID WIND

Step 8: Lay down cardboard as a base to protect any surrounding surfaces.

IMPORTANT to use the paint I recommend which is fast drying

Step 9: Spray the frames keeping 8 inches away from the frame and apply a LIGHT coat not full coverage.

LET DRY 1 HOUR

Step 10: Apply the 2nd coat making sure to get full coverage.

DRY AT LEAST 3 HOURS BEFORE HANGING
Step 11: When fully dry, hang your beautiful "new" frames!

All supplies are linked on the website listed. The cost and time is based on a couple of frames and not the entire project.

Tips for better results
  • When taping it's better to get spray paint on the glass vs. missing some of the frame.  You can easily scrape off the paint from the glass versus touching up the paint on the frame.
  • Invest in a spray gun, so you don't get a tired finger and get EVEN coverage. It applies even pressure to the knozzle for a smoother finish. You can see mine has been well "loved".
  • When using a spray gun, make sure the nozzle is centered before you spray.  If you don't, the paint will go into the side of the gun and drip on your project.  Yes, I've had this happen and it's not fun!
  • Please make sure the cardboard extends about 2 feet beyond the frames.  Spray paint floats and you don't want to get any on the adjacent ground.
  • Bend down and make sure the sides are as evenly coated as the face of the frame.
  • Don't worry if you miss any spots.  Days later I took down some of the frames and applied one more coat.
  • When spraying  a large number of frames, spray paint up to 3 of the smaller frames and 2 of the larger frames at a time to make the project easier and go more quickly.

Suggested materials:

  • Rustoleum Comfort Grip Spray Gun   (Amazon)
  • Krylon Color Master Champage Nouveau   (Amazon)
  • Frog Tape   (Lowe's)
See all materials

Porch Daydreamer
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  3 questions
  • Sue Sue on Aug 14, 2017
    I have wood paneled walls - med. to darker brown. Current frames are black & brown. Looking for ideas - what would you do ??????

  • Deb Hall Walsh Deb Hall Walsh on Aug 14, 2017
    What color did you use

  • Imani Imani on Sep 26, 2017
    My walls are olive, couch taupe,color scheme beige with touches of orange. Would taupe frames work well

Comments

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2 of 49 comments
  • Jo Ann Spofford Jo Ann Spofford on Sep 16, 2017
    There is a myriad of things that can be done to dress up old picture frames. I never throw away old frames. I have a box full of old frames. I save the glass also. A great idea for the glass is to take an old photo lay it down, place the glass over it. Using the photo as your template paint the picture onto the glass. Place the painting into the frame and hang it. The color of the wall becomes the background color of the picture. To secure the glass to the frame I run a bead of E6000 around the inner edge of the frame and lay the glass down on it. I did this as a gift for my cousin. It was a picture of he and his daughter. He loves it. I am sorry I never thought to take a photo of it.

  • Rachel Rachel on Jun 23, 2021

    I've been looking for a way to update our photos and this is a perfect idea! Thanks!

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