Antique gold frames can be expensive, whether buying them new at a home decor store or finding them at an antique store. I will show you how to paint inexpensive black picture frames to look vintage. I have also designed a set of vintage mushroom printables that you can download for free to use for your own set of frames.
Turning Black Frames into Antique Looking Gold Frames
I’ve been searching the thrift stores for months looking for vintage gold frames for a project with zero luck! The new gold frames at the stores were so expensive and I wanted to keep the price for frames around $30 for 2 frames…I know, close to impossible these days!!
For this project, I wanted a more ornate-looking frame to go with a set of vintage-looking mushroom prints I had designed.
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Finding The Frames
So when I ran into Hobby Lobby last week to pick up some supplies I saw that their frames were 50% off. The ornate gold frames were still more than I wanted to pay but then I saw some black ornate frames that were the perfect style (but totally wrong color!)
Bonus, the 11 x14 frames were $17.99 each so $35 for 2 of them…a little more than the $30 I had wanted to spend but still not bad and the frames were glass and not acrylic so definitely worth it.
How to Make the Black Frames Look Vintage
Now time to make them look more vintage! The quickest, most efficient way to turn them from black to gold is with spray paint.
But there are so many options on the shelves to choose from. Since I am trying to achieve a more aged look I knew I definitely didn’t want a glossy or satin paint finish and was looking for a matte gold color spray paint.
At Lowe’s, I found Rust-Oleum Matte Metallic Sunlit Brass which had the softer gold tone that I was looking for for the frames.
Spray Paint Black Frames
When spray painting a smaller project like frames it’s important to keep the paint can at least 8 inches away from the item.
One reason I like to use Rust-oleum paints is that there is a trigger on the cans and it makes it so easy to do even coats of paint without killing your finger like traditional spray paint cans.
I lightly sprayed the paint over the black frames in short even motions.
When painting something like a frame that has 4 sides I put it on the backside of a tall cardboard box so I can get all the sides at once.
Make sure when painting frames to get along the edges and also the inside edges of the frame that will be seen.
No one will ever see the backs of the frames while they are hanging on a wall so I’m not going to waste my spray paint.
Aging with Antiquing Wax
It only took one coat of spray paint to cover the frames. So after they were completely dried I brought them inside to keep working on them.
To create a vintage, aged look over the gold frames I will be using Waverly Antique Wax. This wax and chalk paint line is available right in the craft aisle at your local Walmart.
I LOVE using this wax for small craft projects, it is more of a paint consistency than a traditional solid wax and is super easy to work with.
Using a small paintbrush I brushed the wax over the entire frame getting in all the ridges and corners.
After I had brushed the antique wax over the entire frame I went back with a paper towel and wiped off the excess wax.
Here’s a side-by-side of the frame with the antique wax and the one that is just spray painted.
TIP: if after you wax and wipe the first time and want to add more detail, just go back with your paintbrush and tap more wax in the areas you want to create more definition.
Vintage Mushroom Printables
Did you know mushrooms are super trendy this year in home decorating accents?? You might have noticed them sneaking in last Fall. Then at Christmas, there were lots of mushroom ornaments from some of the high-end stores and craft stores.
The mushroom trend is hot for Spring!! So I knew I wanted to incorporate them in some way for Springtime.
I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for so I decided to design some on my own!! I’ll also be sharing the free downloads with you so you can make your own set of mushroom prints.
I’ve made 2 sets of mushroom art printables that you can download: an 8×10 and a 5×7.
Print Out Mushroom Art
Since I am looking for 8×10-sized prints I can use my home printer to make them. Now I will let you in on my little secret for making your prints look like real art prints…I use watercolor art paper instead of regular printer cardstock!!
Watercolor paper is already textured and is a nice weight that gives a more authentic look.
You will have to trim the sheets of watercolor paper because they are 9×12 and won’t fit in a standard home printer. All I did was use a standard-sized piece of copy paper as a template and cut off the edges.
I ended up printing 3 different mushroom pictures out because I wasn’t exactly sure which ones I wanted to use today.
*The paper is 8.5 x 11 so there will be a border to trim off once it’s printed unless you are using a mat then just tape the print as is to the back of the mat.*
Since I was using 11×14-inch frames I used off-white 11×14 picture mats with 8×10 openings
How to Use Your Mushroom Art
Art isn’t just for walls!
One way to display your art is to lean it on a table and make it part of a display. Here is what one of the prints looks like on my entryway table.
Using frames on tables or bookshelves is a fun way to surround yourself with more art.
I ended up switching out the lighter mushroom print with this more colorful print after I hung them up in my kitchen. It was too light for the wall I’m hanging them on.
Mushroom Printables in the DIY Vintage Gold Frames
Download Free Printables
How To Make Black Frames Look Vintage
Turn inexpensive black picture frames into vintage-looking antique gold frames
- Black Ornate Picture Frames (Hobby Lobby)
- Rust-oleum Matte Metallic Sunlit Brass Spray Paint
- Waverly Antique Wax
- Mushroom Printables
- Spray paint the black frames with a light, even coat of the gold spray paint
- Once dried, brush antique wax over the frames.
- Using a paper towel or soft cloth remove excess wax
- If you want to add more detail go back with your paintbrush and dab wax for more detail using a paper towel to remove excess.
- Dowload and Print my Mushroom Art Prints for a fun look.
- 8x10 Mushroom Prints
- 5x7 Mushroom Prints
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Thanks for stopping by today! Being able to share my projects, DIYs, and decorating ideas with you is amazing. Leave a comment below; I love hearing from you! Feel free to drop me a note here if you have any questions.
Linda Johnston says
Tricks like this that make refreshing our home more affordable or to start in a new home. My mom decades ago did this when she had no extra money but managed to always make our home pretty and welcoming. Those ways are making comeback! Thanks for sharing!
Jennifer Howard says
I’m all about showing people how to stretch that decorating dollar!!
Susan Stevenson says
I love these mushrooms! Thank you I’m going to frame one or two 🙂
I love everything about this post! I have very similar frames that I am looking to paint gold, too. I am definitely going to try the Waverly wax. It really made the frames look great! AND…those mushroom prints!!! They are beautiful! Nice job my Hamp friend!❤️
Jennifer Howard says
Yes, I love that Waverly wax for crafting projects like this because it’s so easy to work with…plus it’s cheap!
I love the mushroom prints! how adorable!