Learn How to Makeover a Frame From Goodwill.

6 Materials
2 Hours

Learn how to makeover a frame from Goodwill using chalk paint and sandpaper. You can make your own customized antique, shabby chic frame to display your art or photos.I want to teach you how you can makeover a frame from Goodwill. Have you ever tried to check out the price of frames at big box stores like Target, Walmart or Homegoods? I have. They can cost well over $100 for four or five frames, if you can find them on sale.

I had a big project I wanted to do to makeover my wall. It would require way too many frames that I couldn’t afford. I decided to give Goodwill a try. It was astonishing the collection of frames I scored. I found some beauties. You can see them here.

I picked up quite a few that definitely needed some care. In this post I’m sharing how I took one of the frames and turned it into something that displays perfectly on my wall.

The frame below was a small investment. It cost me $1.99. Can you believe it?

Before photo of Goodwill frame.

If you’re a regular Goodwill shopper, you’re probably not surprised by how much I paid. I’m not a frequent shopper. This was a moment that definitely proved that thrifting is the way to go. On my way to pay for these frames I scored some other very priceless treasures. They are one of my best purchases at a thrift store. You can check out that story here.

Below I will take you step by step.

I will be taking you step by step through the process of painting a frame and finishing it by giving it a rustic, shabby chic look with some sandpaper. If you’d like to learn how, please follow along how to makeover a frame.

Prep Time: 20 mins

Active Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 40 mins


I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

  • Goodwill frame.
  • Folk Art Paint in white


  • Small Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Pliers or Mulitool
  • Screw driver – found one similar.


  • First, gather all your tools. You will need a screw driver, pliers and scissors for this project.
  • For this Goodwill frame I replaced the art and needed to open up the paper backing. If yours has a similar backing, this is how to do it.
  • Run your fingers across the back. Take your scissors and slide the tip to cut it open. Completely remove the backing. I taped the backing back together. You don’t have to do this step.

Use a screwdriver.

  • If your frame has staples holding down the cardboard and art. You will need to remove them with a screwdriver by placing it underneath and pushing down. Continue pushing downward, using the frame to make the staple come up. Use the pliers or multitool for stubborn staples that need to be firmly pulled out.
Showing the staple removed.
Folk Art paint in white. The paint brush was one I had on hand and don’t have a link to share where I got it.

Stir paint.

  • Open the lid of the Folk Art Chalk Paint. If you don’t have a stir stick, you can use your paint brush to stir.

Apply the paint.

  • You will need only a small amount of paint on your brush. Apply the paint by stroking across the frame. Make sure to look at the frame in all angles to get into the grooves and edges.

Dry paint.

  • Let it dry for 20 minutes. Apply a second coat. Repeat this step if needed.
This is the frame fully painted and dried.
  • You can let it fully dry overnight.

Now it’s time to sand.

  • Take a 120 grit sandpaper. Sand down the edges and any raised areas with designs or multiple layers. That’s the fun part of getting that old vintage look. The more you sand, the more chippy and worn it looks.
  • You will need to go over it quite a bit to get the underside color to show through. Concentrate on small areas at a time.
  • To make your frame look rustic sand down the face of the frame.

No need to…

  • No need to apply lacquer or a clear finish. We want that matted, beautiful patina of chalk paint to be the star. This is why chalk paint is my favorite paint to use. It makes most anything look fabulous!
  • You can find prints like this by going to Etsy.com. Look up seller vckprints.

  • If you need to have them printed go to Fed Ex print shop or any local print shop and pay 50 cents to $1.00 per print.
  • You’re all done! Here is the finished makeover of a frame. I think it came out fantastic! How did yours turn out? Please comment below and let me see how it looks. I’d love to hear from you how your frame looks in your home.

In this photo you can see my frame on top. The one on the bottom was from my Goodwill haul. I painted it using this same method. Both frames have prints I found on Etsy.

Other frames I found.

Some of the frames I found at Goodwill. I’ll share the rest in another post.

Look at that stack of frames! That’s not even all of them. Two of the frames were huge. There were 11 frames in total that I found that day. My favorite is the one on top. The one on the bottom is a mirror. You can see it fully painted down below. It looks totally different.

Some other frames I painted with white chalk paint.

This is a peak into what I’m doing with my frames. Not all of them are from Goodwill. The little white frame in the upper center was one I did using this technique. I think it turned out beautifully. You can see this gallery wall here.
I scored this beautiful mirror. The frame wasn’t in the best condition. At $3.99 I couldn’t pass it up. I painted it using this same painting technique. The mirror was taped entirely to protect it from getting paint on it. I think it turned out exactly as I imagined. What do you think?

I hope you’re inspired to go thrifting at Goodwill. Or any local thrift store in your area. It’s fun finding treasures and turning them into something beautiful to fit your style.

You can view another frame I made over recently by checking out my YouTube link below.

Thank you for stopping by.

Resources for this project:
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Esther I Lewis
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Betty Ivester Betty Ivester on Aug 10, 2022

    Beautiful! You can also get great prints at Freeart.com.

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