Have you ever wanted to paint a frame but the picture was permanently mounted to it? Sometimes I’ll find a great picture or sign at a garage sale or thrift shop, but the frame does not match anything in my house.
It’s very easy to paint a picture frame without removing the picture. However, I always recommend removing the picture (and glass) if possible. It guarantees your picture will not be damaged in the process.
For my project, I had a large sign that was given to me a few years ago. I loved it, but the cherrywood frame didn’t really go with the rest of my house. One day, while working on another project I realized I could update the frame in an afternoon.
For this project I used spray paint, because I LOVE spray paint. Years ago I had a friend who painted everything with spray paint. We lived overseas and it was the only kind of paint we had available.
I’d never seen anyone spray paint a dresser or coffee table before. However my friend spray painted just about every piece of furniture in her home. It looked amazing and I was hooked on using spray paint whenever possible.
When I started using spray paint, you could only get the standard colors, but today, you can basically get any color or finish. This makes painting things like knobs and fixtures super simple.
I decided to use a chalk finish spray paint. You can pick up a can at Home Depot, Lowes, or order from Amazon. Personally, I don’t have a favorite brand of chalky finish spray paint, they all seem to be equal.
How to Paint a Frame (without removing the picture)
- Painters Tape
- Contractors Paper (any kind of paper will do)
- Spray Paint
- Gloves (optional)
- Sandpaper if you are not using chalk paint
- Clean the frame with a damp cloth or paper towel.
- Using the painters tape and paper, cover the picture completely on both sides. Make sure you tape right up to the edge of the frame.
- If you are not using chalk spray paint, lightly sand the frame, then wipe clean.
- Spray the frame making sure to not overspray and leave large drops of paint.
- Let the first coat dry, then spray again.
Remember to let one side dry completely before spraying the other side of the frame. Or, if you are a lazy DIY’er (as I am sometimes) you don’t need to spray the back.
This picture was reversible so I sprayed both sides.
Test the painters tape on the frame before you begin. I covered up a canvas and the tape did not damage it at all. However, some canvases might be damaged by the tape. Remember to check before using.
Wear gloves while spray painting. I’ve actually started wearing gloves during most of my DIY projects. I buy the cheap latex gloves at the drug store so I can throw them away when I’m done. Typically, spray painting turns the tip of one or two of your fingers the color of the paint. Wearing gloves eliminates this issue!
Shake, shake, shake some more! For best results when using spray paint, shake the can for several minutes. When the spray comes out too thick or clumpy it’s because the can wasn’t shaken for long enough. Shake it for as long as you can, then shake some more.
Let it dry completely before applying a second coat. I am the worst about wanting to get a project finished quickly. Often I start painting the second coat before the first coat is fully dry. This causes weird lines and texture in your paint.
For me, paint is the cheapest and simplest way to transform your home. It breathes life into a dated piece of furniture and accessories. The best part, is that you can paint basically anything in your home!
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