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Can you Believe this Stunning DIY Picture Gallery was done with mis-matched thrift store picture frames!

I had a request from a client to produce a picture gallery on a budget and to use only second had picture frames. I thought I would share this project in case you wanted to give it a try yourselve.

They sent me a picture of her wall, the measurements and asked me to work some magic.

DYI Thrift Store Picture Gallery

Materials Needed:

  • Assorted second hand picture frames.
  • Spray primer
  • Dark grey paint
  • Medium grey paint
  • Paint roller and brush
  • Painters triangles (To elevate the frames when painting)
  • Painters tape (To tape off any glass that isn’t removable)
  • Drop Cloth
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape
  • Craft Knife

Step 1. Shop: Go on a hunt through your local thrift and consignment stores and come home with a pile of assorted frames. I tried to find frames with raised details that when painted out would provide interest and a balance of large and small.I used 11 small 4×6 & 5×7, 8 Large rectangle, 3 large ovals and 2 small shadow boxes. 

Step 2. Layout: Work on a layout that fits your size and shape of your wall. I used a drop cloth to do this but you could also mark it out with painters tape on the floor. This will also give you the opportunity to see if you need to add more frames to your collection. We also decided to add letters of the families initials to personalize the gallery as well.

Step 3. Paint: Choose paint colours: It is important to unify the mis-matched frames by using calm natural colours. Disassemble all the frames and do a couple of test frames in each of your paint colours. 

I wanted to have the small frames to have weight so I choose a very dark grey/brown.

I than picked a medium smokey grey for the large frames.


Step 4. Prime and Paint: I used 2 coats of spray primer and 2 coats of paint on all the frames. Than left them to dry over night, remove any painters tape and finalize the layout.

SONY DSCStep 5. Add hooks to the back of the frames.


Step 6. Clean and reassemble the picture frames.

Stunning – AND I did it with mis-matched thrift store picture frames and paint!

I loved getting to use my creativity to make something they will cherish out of stuff people had given away.

I bet you will never look at a pile of thrift store frames the same again.

Are you now a up-cycle believer now?