Cheap Frames

I’ve been enjoying picking up inexpensive picture frames at a local thrift store. There are so many and very few are more than a dollar, and a lot of them even come with mats inside.

I am trying to fill up the infinite wall of beige in my family room/office space with cheerful and cheap artwork. I know that there will probably be people out there who find an large swath of empty beige wall inspiring, but I’m afraid I’m not among them. And I’d lived with it for a very long time… so, I figured after ten years of blank beige, time to decorate.

I decided to have just white frames and to go for a more random and crowded display of things. Right now I’m not worrying about anything but finding colorful and/or meaningful things to hang in the frames. Not necessarily great artwork, although I wouldn’t rule it out, but just stuff I like.

I found a frame I liked at a thrift store, but it was black. I decided optimistically that it would be no problem to spray paint it white.

black photo frame

I hit my first hitch when I realized after getting it home that the glass cannot be removed from the frame, making the use of spray paint perhaps problematic. I am quite lazy and impatient about craft projects at the best of times, and I didn’t want to take the time to screen off the glass. In hindsight, that might have been faster and easier, but oh  well.

I grabbed some Behr Creamy White latex paint and primer in one in semi-gloss finish. I scuffed up the frame with some sandpaper. Then I painted a nice thin coat. After it dried, I painted another thin coat. And another one… and a few more. Repeat on a crazy loop. I lost track of how many coats were needed to cover the black.  Too many.

I did end up with a white frame, which I used for an old photo booth strip of  my family and it looks fine hanging on the wall from a distance… up close, the brush strokes are pretty evident and not my favorite thing. Still, it works on the wall.

white photo frame

I think spray painting frames may be something I try in the near future. The wall so far is shown in the photo below. The bunny picture on the left was from a great Esty shop called Zou Zou’s Basement. In the center is the new frame and photo strip. On the right a pastel painting of a frog I did a while back and never got around to framing (remember, my criteria was colorful — not artistic greatness).  The wall is still mostly empty, but I consider this a promising beginning!


4 Comments on Cheap Frames

  1. Char
    January 25, 2014 at 12:28 am (3 years ago)

    love those frames! We did something similar with Walmart frames. Incredibly cheap. Only problem is that I cannot hang a level picuture to save my life. Poor hubbs has to rehang them.

    • mrsjones
      January 25, 2014 at 2:45 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks! One of the reasons I decided to go for a random pattern of frames on the wall was because I always manage to be just slightly off level when trying to hang things in a row. So I will avoid that trouble and just be random and eyeball things. : )

  2. Annie
    January 25, 2014 at 3:33 am (3 years ago)

    Love it. I love the one of the hubby and the girls. A classic that deserved a frame!

  3. mrsjones
    January 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks! I was so happy to get it framed, because it had been sitting in a plastic sleeve for ages, curling up and never being seen.


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