I grew up in a home full of old antiques and primitive things. My mom and dad collected all of my life and I have a passion for the same things. The only downfall is, I can’t afford HALF of the antique things I’d love to have so I’ve learned how to make new things look old.
I recently wrote a post on framing old family favorite recipes to make fun keepsakes in the kitchen. The frame I used was a new picture frame but I wanted it to look old. So, I gave it an old chippy white paint look. It’s really easy to do and I wanted to share how to make a distressed frame for yourself. It’s SO easy-peasy!!! Promise!
Here’s what you’ll need for your Distressed Frame:
- Picture Frame
- Paint color of choice (craft paint is perfect because it dries fast)
- Small Paint Brush or a Foam craft paintbrush
- Newspaper or something to cover painting area
- *Dark Coat of paint if needed (brown or black) to age your frame. Read below.
*If your frame is originally light in color (silver or white) you’ll need a darker paint to give it an aged look. This dark shade will be dry brushed onto your frame after your first coats of paint. My frame to start with was already dark so I didn’t need to use a darker shade afterwards.
How to distress your frame:
- Remove the back and the glass from your frame.
- Lay the frame to be painted on newspaper or plastic. Something to keep area underneath protected.
- Using a small paintbrush or a foam brush, apply a thin layer of paint on the frame. Cover the entire area.
- Before it dries completely, use a paper towel or a cloth and rub over the raised areas of the frame to remove some of the paint. You can also rub off some of the edges and corners for a worn appearance.
*If you’re starting with a light colored frame, you don’t need to do this step by rubbing off the paint. You’ll use a darker shade of paint to distress your frame. Read below.
- Add a second coat of paint if you’re wanting a richer deeper color. I wanted the dark to show through the white pretty heavy, so I only added a very thin second coat just to cover brush strokes.
- Again, rub a cloth or paper towel over the raised areas, edges and corners. You can remove as little or as much as you want depending on the look you’re going for.
- Allow it to dry completely before adding photo, glass and backing.
(This is the finished product. You can click over and read my Framing Old Recipes post if you’d like. It’s a great way to showcase those old family favorite recipes!)
Distressing a Light Colored Frame
* If your frame is light in color to begin with, you’ll want to add a dry coat of brown or black to give your distressed frame some age using a dry brush technique. Here’s how you can do that.
- Use the technique above to paint your frame the color of your choice and let it dry completely.
- Using another small paintbrush, dip it into the darker shade of paint and blot it quite a bit on a paper towel or your paint tray until it’s almost completely dry.
- Making sure the brush is almost dry, blot the darker color paint in the areas you want to look distressed. The raised areas, corners and edges are a great place to add that darker color for a worn look.
Make sure not to lay too much paint in these areas because it can ruin the effect. If you’re not used to using the dry brush technique – I HIGHLY suggest that you practice on another frame before applying it to the one you’re working on. That way you’ll be better prepared.
Let us know how your distressed frame turned out! We’d love to hear and please, share photos with us! We’d love to see them too!