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How to Make A Vintage Picture Frame with Dry Brush Technique

Today we are going to learn how to create a vintage picture frame using a dry brush technique. Sounds fancy, huh? In reality it came from the need to make something cute out of something U-G-L-Y!

How to Create a Vintage Picture Frame with a Dry Brush Technique by

I know I am late to the party, but I am loving my trips to the dollar store lately. When I was there today I needed a frame, so I swung by the frame section and guess what? Frames that cost a dollar look like the cost a dollar. Even worse news: I needed an 8×10 and the bigger they are the cheaper and uglier they look!

I grabbed the most promising one I could find and left resolved to make it over into something totally worthy of display.

I love vintage look items. There is something about that old, worn down, chipped up paint that just makes me giddy! It fits in perfectly with my shabby chic decor and I just can’t get enough!  I often make signs with a chippy paint look , but today I wanted to try out using a dry brush technique to give my frame the vintage look I was going for.


To do this project you will need:
1 Picture Frame
1 Bottle of Acrylic Paint in the color of your choice
1 Bottle of Acrylic Paint in dark brown
2 Paint Brushes

How to Create a Vintage Picture Frame with a Dry Brush Technique by

First take the backing and glass out of your frame. Then paint on a thin coat of your color covering all surfaces and edges. Let it dry a few minutes and add a second thin coat. Repeat until evenly covered. Mine only took 2 coats.

Let your frame dry thoroughly.

How to Create a Vintage Picture Frame with a Dry Brush Technique by

Now we will use the dry brush technique to give the picture frame the vintage look. Take your second brush and very lightly dab it into your brown paint. On a spare paper or rag brush off the paint until the brush is virtually dry.

Take the brush that now has almost no paint on it and rub it over the frame. Small specks and lines of paint will catch on the frame. The raised sections of the frame will pick up the most paint. Repeat this process using the “dry brush” on your frame until you have the desired amount of distressing for your vintage look.

You can see in the picture how little paint my brush has on it and how dry it needs to be when you brush over your color coat. Having too much paint on the brush will ruin the effect.

How to Create a Vintage Picture Frame with a Dry Brush Technique by

Well… It is as easy as that! This project basically cost $1 (2 if you count the 2 bottles of paint that you will use a fraction of,) but it looks like something that you bought at a boutique! Added bonus, it takes under an hour to complete!  You can use the dry brush technique on anything you want to distress.  You could make vintage signs, shabby chic furniture, or even just vintage up a knick knack to add to your decor.

How to Create a Vintage Picture Frame with a Dry Brush Technique by

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See how to create a vintage chippy paint look here!

How to Create a Distressed Sign with a CHippy Paint Look by

So tell me…. what do you have in your house that could use a cute vintage frame?!

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    • says

      We are glad you found us too! I was surprised at how quickly, easily (and cheaply) this project came together! Thanks for the note!

    • says

      Thanks for your comment! I have been wanting to try chalk paint too but am waiting for just the right project for it! I am looking forward to checking out your blog!

  1. says

    I can’t believe how easy that is! I don’t know why I have always felt so intimidated by stuff like this. Afraid I will mess it up I guess. I need to give this one a try!

    • says

      Thanks for letting us know you liked the tutorial! There is absolutely nothing to be scared of for two reasons… 1. Its a dollar store frame, so you don’t really have a lot invested, and 2. It is paint so you can always paint over and try again! Really the only way to mess up is to have too much brown paint on your brush so just make sure it is really dry!

  2. says

    That’s really cute Kimber and Ashley! I have been wanting to make some of these, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I love how it turned out, and I love the color you chose.

    • says

      I know the feeling Victoria!!! I hate how much really nice frames cost and then one day it dawned on me that I could probably make them myself! I have a gallery wall idea rolling around in my head right now!

    • says

      I am so glad you like it! I have been a little bit addicted to painting everything like this ever since I did this post haha! We really appreciate your comment and pin!


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