Gold Painted Frames: from Cheap to fab

green wall, gold framed paintings
The Breakfast Room, Calke Abbey, Phil Sangwell, United Kingdom, Wikimedia Commons

Gold painted picture frames add beauty for pennies. Chalk paint, spray paint, acrylic paint, latex paint, craft paint, even milk paint or genuine gold leaf can work beautifully over inexpensive frames from the dollar store, Walmart, yard sales, or Goodwill. I love to paint picture frames because it’s a quick and easy way to add interest to a room. Painting an old frame is a perfect way to start that gallery wall you’ve been dreaming of. Start with one painted frame and add on as you find more, or go out to your thrift store or dollar store and buy all the frames you want to fill up a wall, and paint them all at once. If you’re lucky, you might find some charming antique frames and thrift stores or yard sales. If you’re not so lucky, metallic paint can do a great job. Paint will stick to an old wooden frame easily. It will work great over metal frames, too. But don’t pass up plastic frames. Paint can turn blah plastic into a beautiful frame.

I wanted some gold painted frames for my new cozy English style library. I had some old artwork in the form of posters, but posters were not going to fit my home d├ęcor vision.

Here is the video I made for you about turning cheap plastic frames into gold. If you prefer to read, I put the transcript right after the video down below. I added a supply list, too, for easy reference.

Supply List

For this decor project, you will need:

For this decor project, you will need: A picture frame. Or picture frames. I used these from Walmart:

https://bit.ly/3woMPvX

https://bit.ly/3xlF7nC

Canvas drop cloth

https://bit.ly/3yorB2D

Paint brush. I used this Purdy angled brush.

https://bit.ly/3htMbI1

Damp cloth

https://bit.ly/3hu1bp7

Sandpaper or sanding block

https://bit.ly/3dF2dNW

Valspar EE2015B, Driftwood, Interior Signature, Semigloss, Base B

https://low.es/3wa9Yln

Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass

https://low.es/3wa9Yln

Transcript

I wanted this room to look like that picture of Calke Abbey, this one here where there’s these big beautiful oil paintings and gorgeous antique gold frames. Only problem is, I don’t have big oil paintings and I don’t have gold painted frames. So what to do? Can I turn these super cheap frames from Walmart into something that will look like a million bucks in my new English country house library?

Hey, this is Kathleen from oldworldfarmhouse.com and today I am going to try to make the cheapest frames I could find at Walmart into something that looks like a beautiful, aged gold frame for my new library. So let’s get started.

Prepping the frames for gold paint

These are a little different from other frames you you you work these corners until the glass pops out. Okay yeah, okay perfect, so yeah you just you go around each corner and you just kind of push and then your glass comes out.

And it’s got a little cardboard back. I’m going to paint over my little uh, glass front frame. I’m gonna get the edge and then actually I am also gonna paint the side. When you are painting these kind of frames make sure that you paint on that edge and then also on the inside because just a little bit of this inside vertical side does show when you put your picture and glass in. I found that out the hard way by putting in my picture and glass and seeing that there was a little black line, so I had to take it all out – and it was a big mess – and go back over it.

Oka,y my 20 by 30 frame. I already went ahead and put the poster in there that I wanted in there because the plastic doesn’t seem to detach from the black frame. And I just didn’t want to, I tried to pop it out and it didn’t seem to want to go, and I didn’t want to run the risk of cracking it. And if I get any paint splatters I’ll just, you know, scrape them off. Or wipe them off with a bit of paper towel.

I am going to take a little sanding block and just kind of go over this super shiny plastic because i think that might help it grip a little better.

Basecoat is essential for metallic paint

So the first thing I’m doing is painting the base coat driftwood semi-gloss, which is what you’re supposed to paint as the base coat to the Valspar Brilliant Metals Aged Brass. And it’s going okay on this super shiny plastic. It’s – it’s covering about as well as I would expect. Okay, so here is the frame after two coats of the Driftwood color base coat. It has stuck to the plastic pretty well. You can still see some of the black plastic frame shining through, but it’s nothing that I’m worried enough about to go over it a third time. Pretty – it was easy – I didn’t get any drips on my plastic, I mean my glass. I just used this, I think it’s a two inch Purdy angled brush, and I was able to stay on that edge and avoid getting on the plastic altogether, which is nice, but i had a rag here just in case. This is how it looks after one coat of the driftwood base coat. It sticks better to this plastic because it’s not as shiny as that other plastic and I don’t – I’m not even going to go over it a second time. This will be good enough. I’m trying to use just the corner of my brush so i don’t get the plastic. The laziest picture frame painting, just wanted to do a quick project. But no, seriously I think on these poster frames the plastic’s not even meant to pop out, you know, they’re just, they’re very, very inexpensive. This one was six or seven dollars.

Gold Painted Frames

And here are the finished products. Here’s the fatter frame with the – that was that shiny plastic and now it’s gold, not too shabby.

gold painted frame

Of course it’s the same paint as I used up there on the trim, and again here’s the two Bruegel posters with their faux metal frames. The narrow little gold around the edge. I think they look pretty good.

two gold painted frames

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If you’re interested in painting things to give a rich effect, you’ll enjoy my post French Country Style: Give Your Furniture Parisian Patina. If you love English Country Style, check out my post, English Country Style: A Cozy Home Library Color Palette.

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