When deciding what items in my stash to keep, throw or donate, depend on one thing: shape.
When deciding what ugly items to purchase from a thrift shop, depend on one thing: shape.
If I like the shape/design/architecture of any item, it’s a keeper. Anything, and I really mean anything, can be painted. Whether made of wood, glass, plastic, metal, foam, clay, porcelain, leather, etc., etc., (just like Apple has an “app for that”) the hardware store has a “paint for that”.
When setting out to create my Gallery Wall a few months ago, I lacked one necessary thing: frames. I had a few, but not enough to create any type of gallery. I needed to go shopping. Since I’m a thrifter, the local second hand stores were my go to destination.
NOTE: I will not buy most anything brand new (unless it’s underwear) or well priced decor items from stores like Gordmans or TJ Maxx. Prices on new items are nothing short of ridiculous. If I don’t find what I’m looking for on my first trip to a second hand store, I keep looking. The project will wait until I find pre owned items that will fulfill my vision. Or, it better be a damn good priced clearance item.
This trip I got lucky and found these beauties:
A set of two, for $3.99. Yes, they are ugly as sin but look at that detail in that frame! And, they had wire loops on the frame for hanging, rather than a hanger on the rear of the photo mat! Double score. ✔️✔️
I took them apart to toss the picture and paint the frame. In this case, I guess many years ago, the picture was glued directly to the glass. I thought about throwing the glass and all away, but in the future, I may want to use it to display an actual photo so I saved the glass for safe keeping if I need it later.
To remove the picture from the glass, I placed the glass in hot water so I could soak off as much of the photo possible, then scraped the excess with the flat back of a tablespoon. I used Glue-be-Gone to clean the paste residue and did a final cleaning with windex to make it look brand new again. Now both glass pieces and mats are wrapped and stored for possible future use.
I took the frames to the garage after I wiped them down with a washcloth and sprayed it with a few coats of (flat) off white paint and let it dry. That was it. No prep, no long processes, nothing. Just cheapy paint from Walmart – it’s magical stuff. Magical stuff at only $2 a can and in multiple fantastic colors!
My spray paint technique:
My first coat is very thin – almost like I “splatter painted” the item. I do not do full coverage with my first coat. I find the faint painting on the first coat gives the remaining coats something to “hold” onto. After the first coat dries, I spray an almost full second coat. I apply a third coat only as needed. Because of the iron material these frames were made from, I did a third coat.
The two frames and their architectural beauty really round out my gallery wall.
See the lovely 6 panel “window” frame back there? It was once a (putrid) green colored framed mirror. Thrift shop find. I paid $5. I removed the mirror and revamped the wood frame with, you guessed it, paint. I watered down a little bit of black furniture paint I had on hand and “washed” (wiped) it onto the frame with some paper towel. I went in afterward with a sponge brush to get the crooks and crannies that the towel couldn’t access. Any excess paint was simply wiped away. Some of the green shows through and it looks fantastic. (As you can see in the photo below, I beat the frame up a little bit with nails to create “worm holes” to add some character before applying the thin black paint to the frame.)
I bought this (once ugly) wooden sign at a craft fair that someone hand painted with a slogan and weird checker border. In my defense, it was cute 15 years ago. Fast forward, now, not so much anymore, so I painted it with black chalkboard paint. Now I can change the look whenever I want in just a matter of minutes with chalk!
Paint can be your best friend (it is one of mine)! It is the easiest, cheapest way to make a change; to anything (except humans and animals). Plus, if you don’t like the end result, it easy to do again. So, take a chance and go paint something. Then, share it with me so I can see! 😍
Thanks for reading (and following)!