How to Repaint Picture Frames?

Picture frames serve as more than mere vessels for our cherished memories; they themselves are often considered works of art. As time marches on, however, these once-pristine frames can lose their original charm and vitality. The good news is that you need not retire them and seek out replacements. Repainting picture frames is a creative and budget-friendly means of rejuvenating their appearance. Whether you’re looking to harmonize the frame’s color with your current décor or restore its former glory, this comprehensive step-by-step guide will carefully lead you through the process of repainting picture frames.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you embark on your picture frame repainting project, you should assemble the necessary materials, creating a well-prepared foundation for your creative endeavor:

  1. Picture frames: The focal point of your project.
  2. Screwdriver (if applicable): To disassemble frames connected to a stand or backing.
  3. Sandpaper (medium and fine grit): Crucial for preparing the frame’s surface.
  4. Primer: An essential layer to ensure paint adheres properly.
  5. Paint (acrylic or spray paint): The color of your choice to rejuvenate the frame.
  6. Paintbrushes or spray paint nozzles: Tools for paint application.
  7. Painter’s tape: To create patterns or details, if desired.
  8. Drop cloth or newspapers: A protective barrier for your workspace.
  9. Cleaning supplies: Mild soap, water, and a soft cloth to clean the frames.
  10. Optional: Clear topcoat: For added protection and longevity.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Select a workspace that is well-ventilated and well-lit, and cover it with a drop cloth or newspapers to catch any potential paint spills. Ensure the area is free from dust and debris that could interfere with the paint adhesion process.

Step 2: Disassemble the Frames (If Necessary)

For frames attached to a backing or stand, a screwdriver can be employed to disassemble them, making the painting process more accessible and allowing you to reach all the frame’s nooks and crannies.

Step 3: Clean the Frames

Use a mild soap and water solution along with a soft cloth to thoroughly clean the frames. This step is crucial for the removal of dust, dirt, and any old residues that might obstruct the proper adhesion of the new paint.

Step 4: Sand the Frames

Gently sand the frames using medium-grit sandpaper. This is essential for creating a rough surface that will enhance the primer’s and paint’s adhesion. Following the initial sanding, switch to fine-grit sandpaper to achieve a smoother finish.

Step 5: Apply Primer

Utilize a paintbrush or spray paint to apply a thin and even coat of primer to the frames. Primer is essential as it ensures the paint adheres well and guarantees the final color appears vibrant. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Paint the Frames

Now, it’s time to apply the paint of your choice. Employ a paintbrush or spray paint to ensure an even and smooth application. Depending on the paint’s color and type, you might need to apply multiple coats, with each coat drying completely before applying the next.

Step 7: Add Details (Optional)

Let your creativity flow by experimenting with your picture frames. Painter’s tape can be used to create patterns or to introduce contrasting colors for a unique, personalized look.

Step 8: Seal with Topcoat (Optional)

To protect your freshly painted frames from scratches and general wear and tear, you can apply a clear topcoat. This step is particularly useful if the frames will be frequently touched or are exposed to humidity.

Step 9: Reassemble and Enjoy

Once your frames are fully dry, reassemble them if needed and insert your favorite photos or artwork inside. Your repainted picture frames are now ready to take pride of place in your home, adding a renewed sense of charm to your living space.


Repainting picture frames is a relatively straightforward yet deeply satisfying DIY project, offering a means to breathe new life into your home decor. Whether you aim to harmonize your frames with a new interior color scheme or to revive the elegance of older frames, adhering to this meticulous step-by-step guide will ensure a professional finish and enable you to create captivating displays for your most cherished memories. With paintbrushes at the ready, unleash your inner artist and transform your picture frames into captivating works of art themselves.

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