DIY Decorating on a Budget

Happy Monday, craftsters! Today I bring you my weekend project: a quick, easy and budget-friendly way to update the existing art on your walls (or a thrift-shop find).

Unfortunately (or fortunately...) there are no photos of how hideous this picture frame/matte were to begin with. Suffice it to say that the frame was white (with some scratches) and the matte was baby pink. Not so cute with the awesome Monte Carlo print by Alphonse Mucha.

DIYdecoratingonabudget

And thus I set out on a quest to cheaply update the frame and matte...

First, I took the frame, matte and print to my local framing store, which is Frame Central in Wallingford (I love them). They do DIY-friendly matte-cutting for a reasonable $20, all you need to do is bring the frame and the print and pick out the color you want. Since my piece isn't an original nor is it in a natural-light heavy area of my house I wasn't worried about updating to UV resistant glass. They didn't have the color I liked in the store so it took 2-ish weeks for the matte to come in. 

That took care of the matte, so then it was on to updating the frame, which of itself was in good enough condition to reuse. There are tons of great painting effects and techniques that you might want to emulate on your frame, I went for a metallic paint to highlight the Art Nouveau style print. 

I opted to use spray paint ($10), as I'm pretty sure the frame is either metal or plastic. If you are dealing with an actual wood frame, I suggest roughing it up with a fine-grit sandpaper (be sure to wipe it clean after) and then go for latex primer & paint with a sponge brush (total $15 or so). 

Materials

  • Can of spray paint 
  • Dry rag or cloth
  • Cardboard or paint drop-cloth
  • Window cleaner & paper towels
  • Applicable tools for taking your frame apart-- mine required a flathead screwdriver

Process

DIYspraypainting
  1. Remove art, existing matte, and glass from frame.
  2. Using window cleaner and paper towels, clean both sides of the glass.
  3. Set up a place OUTSIDE--don't spray-paint indoors unless you have a spray booth or venting hood-- with a drop cloth or flattened cardboard out of the way of passersby that is somewhat protected from the wind
  4. Wipe down the frame with the dry cloth
  5. Start spray painting in long smooth strokes. Be conscious to remain 10-12" from the frame and not to linger in one place too long.  Spray painting requires patience, layering several light coats of paint will serve you better than one or two thick coats that may begin to peel off. It took me many passes to get all the corners evenly and to build up the color, waiting 15-20 minutes between each coat.
  6. Once the color is to your liking, leave the frame in a well ventilated area to dry completely overnight.  

Finishing

To finish, you will need the artwork, matte, glass, and frame as well as acid-free masking tape. 

DIYdecoratingonabudget

Line up the artwork in the matte and tape it ONLY at the top, letting it hang freely. This allows the paper to shrink and move as it will without warping the matte or the art.  

Carefully slide the glass into the frame and position the matte with attached artwork behind it. Now all you need to do is put the frame backing on and fix it in place.

DIYDecoratingonaBudget

Once you're done, you'll have an updated piece of art for your home that looks like a $200-400 custom job, but really only cost you $30. I'd call that a DIY win!

 

As always, please feel free to contact me on the social medias or via email (bettybetatester@gmail.com) with comments, questions or suggestions! I'm now on the instagram as Katiloraine, posting EXCLUSIVE photos of what's brewing at Betty HQ with #bettybetatester.