Picture This: UpCycling Vintage Frames

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After painting what feels like 10,000 dressers over time, I decided to take a mini-break to up cycle some old frames.  I did some research to find a sprinkling of the perfect set of frames.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, these two sets of frames certainly could tell a few stories.

The dusty old frames were tucked away nicely in the backyard of an estate sale, but before I used them, they needed some upcycling.  Picture this: a house full of antiques, dishes, furniture, books, movies — was less valuable than junk outside for the last few years.  I had to pull out my best negotiating skills with this woman as she felt like these frames were worth way more than they actually were.

The second set of frames I found on Craigslist.  A father and son had teamed up to sell a houseful of antiques, including boxes and boxes of frames as part of a large collection that fell in their lap. The father’s mother and sister planned to start an antique store.  The sister even shipped more than 300 boxes of antiques from Pennsylvania to the Bay Area to help them get started.  But, before they got started, over a short period of time, they both got cancer and passed away.  It was a very sad story.  The two men were working hard to unload the house, but seemed quite attached to so many pieces I wondered why they didn’t open their own store.


IMG_8523On the first set, I picked one frame to try out a painting treatment called SaltWash.  The SaltWash additive wasn’t cheap, but I like to try out new things – so I threw caution to the wind.  Read more about SaltWash here.  And watch the video to see the step by step process by clicking here.

The SaltWash was mixed in to the first coat of paint, looking a bit like thick cake batter.  I had to splatter it on.  Truthfully, I wasn’t overly crazy about the process, but I wouldn’t be defeated!  The technique hurt my wrist.

The second coat I used white and then waited awhile for it to all to dry hard.  I then sanded it softly to give it a weathered, beach-worn look.  Not too bad, eh?

With the other frames, I painted a bunch of different Annie Sloan chalk paint colors.  They turned out amazing!

The second set started out like this: IMG_8876

I spray painted each of them either gold or black as the first layer of paint.  I had a system! The middle of all the painting looked like this:IMG_8877

The finished product:



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