Monday, December 3, 2012

Updating Frames with Paint

A few months ago, I updated some of my framed art by removing the print and replacing it with fabric.  This past weekend, I updated more framed art in my house.  However, this time, I kept the existing prints intact, and used spray paint for a whole new look.
The prints in need of an update were were mementos from a trip to Dunns River Falls, originally purchased on a Jamaican vacation several years ago.  When we decorated our first house, I framed the two prints, to match the family room decor:
Prints framed in white-washed frames and green photo mats.
In our current house, we hung the prints in the basement for a time, though the framing has not stood the test of time.  We've intended to address the artwork when we eventually repaint the room.  Over the months, the artwork bothered me every time I looked at it - the frames are too small in proportion to the wall and the white-wash finish/hunter green mats no longer appeals to me.
Outdated framing not really the right look in current house.
A few weeks ago, after we updated the basement lighting and added fabric wall hangings, I removed the prints and placed them in storage.  I needed to see the wall empty before I hung anything else there.  I did not know how long the wall would be empty, but I knew I'd feel inspired eventually, and did not want to rush it.  These days, when it comes to decor, if I don't really LOVE it, I am not spending a dime on it.

This past Saturday, we bought a custom-framed panoramic photo of Atlanta at a moving sale (for a fabulous price).  The frame was royal blue, which I knew would not work anywhere in our home.  However, I felt the photo would perfectly fill the space above the massive, widescreen television in the basement.  To remedy the unfortunate frame color, I decided to spray paint the frame black.

Paint is the cheapest way to make the biggest impact - and not just on walls.  Frames are perfect candidates to be up-cycled or recycled using paint.  An hour or two and a few bucks are all it takes.  Keep this in mind before you toss or donate old artwork.  And, keep it in mind when you are shopping at sales, thrift stores, or flea markets.

While we were purchasing black spray paint in the home improvement store, I thought of the Jamaica prints.  What if I also use spray paint to update their look?  It would save me money on artwork and re-purpose items we already love.  We stopped in the craft store to buy new photo mats and headed home to update the art.

Prepare the Frame:  The first thing I did, after pulling the prints out of storage, was to remove the artwork and glass from the frames:
Print, mat and glass from frame.
Frames ready for paint.
The newly acquired print been custom-framed.  Because we did not want to mess with the backside, we used paper and tape to cover the glass front and protect it from paint over spray:
Paper and tape protect the glass while spraying.
Paint:  We used two coats of black, universal gloss spray paint.  The paint works well on wood, plastic, metal etc.  So, we knew we could use it on both types of frame with no issues.  My husband applied the spray paint outside - in a well-ventilated area.

Insert Artwork:  After the frames were dry, I inserted the new photo mats and original artwork, making sure to center the print.
Painted frames ready for artwork.
 And the artwork was ready to hang.
Artwork with new mats and newly painted frames!
Frame update complete!
Rehang Artwork:  Up went the new Atlanta print.  Up went the new artwork.  We added shelves and relocated the pool cues while we were at it.
Updated artwork rehung on walls.
I am so glad I did not wait until we painted the entire room to make this change.  For just under twenty dollars (for the paint and new mats), we were able to breathe new life into our beloved prints.  What a difference this interim update makes.

While the spray paint was out, I decided to update and up-cycle even more artwork: with spray paint:

I sprayed an old frame with white spray paint and replaced the poster with a quilt remnant.
I refreshed an estate sale find with black paint.

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