Paint the Mat
Just as paint can update a frame to complement the art, it also works on picture mats. Painting basic white mats a fun, fresh color really makes art prints pop, especially prints that incorporate text.
Add Texture to the Frame
Similarly, these dollar store frames complement a collection of vacation photographs so much better thanks to a coat of paint and the addition of rope to give it coastal texture. You can try this trick on any easily purchased pack of frames from affordable retailers like Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Add 60s Style to a Frame
Sometimes the style of a frame can cheapen or conflict with the art or photograph it surrounds. Elevating basic frames to match the taste-level of what’s in them helps give a gallery wall or collection of art a more cohesive look. These fashion photographs from the 1960s now have mod frames that complement them thanks to the addition of paint in the classic colors of the decade.
Add Hardware to the Frame
Give an inexpensive frame a facelift with the addition of corner brackets from your local hardware store (which has plenty of things for decorating touches). This simple touch adds modern, industrial style to your art, giving it a classier look at an incredibly affordable price.
Re-Imagine a Thrift Store Painting
Completely re-imagine the Bob Ross-like scene of a thrift store or garage sale painting by adding in whimsical elements of your own. This old-school landscape gets a little more interesting with the addition of a tree house, a canoe, and strands of bunting strung through the treetops. In this case, thinking “outside the frame” turns what might be considered a tacky painting into a one-of-a-kind, playful piece for your home.
Add Words to the Canvas
Another way to put a personal stamp on a lackluster painting is to add a quotation or phrase to it. Stencil the words right on top of the painting using paint, as seen here, or use vinyl letters that you peel off after painting the entire canvas to reveal the original artwork underneath. So clever!
Thrift Store Silhouette Hack
This vintage painting becomes a personalized conversation piece when the moody florals peek through a silhouette frame that is painted right on top. This simple facelift turns outdated, ultra-traditional art into an accent with boho-chic style. We love how especially unique and fun this hack is—talk about a conversation starter!
Paint by Number Art Hack
By painting over an old-fashioned still-life, a trendy paint-by-number effect takes shape. This technique allows you to customize the colors in a piece of art to suit your taste, and it gives a more modern look to the painting overall. Best of all, you don’t need any artistic ability to pull this off.
Add Some Sparkle to Boring Art
This project is similar to the paint-by-number art hack in the previous slide, but it gets a little more bling thanks to metallic gold paint. You could also add gold leaf to give a glamorous touch to an old landscape or even a black and white photograph.
Enlarge the Photo Mat
Sometimes it’s not the frame–but the picture mat–that’s the wrong size. Adding decorative paper or fabric–such as burlap or jute–behind a photo mat and then centering your art or photograph on top allows you to frame items or objects that don’t quite fit the edges of the mat. This is a common problem with European frames (i.e. Ikea) that come in non-standard sizes. Another solution is to edge the photo mat with coordinating washi tape to extend the size of it a smidge.