Tips for Framing Wall Art

Today I wanted to talk about the different ways of customising and framing your artwork, from the DIY to the professional.

Most of us I think would rely on high street stores to get a nice cheap frame and mount for a picture.  You can get them in lots of colours and finishes, with mounts or without mounts.  And they’re quick and easy to pick up and get the pictures up on the wall if you’re impatient like me.

I’ve got lots of pictures in frames that I’ve picked up for a few pound and they look great. But what if you have pictures that aren’t quite the standard high street shape? Or if you don’t like your current frames?  Let me round up a few options for you – I’ve got all these options in my home and mixing and matching it up looks great.

Revamp your old frames – with chalk paint

We have a picture that is quite fun (and Mr Wheel Chic Home has owned for years) but I fell distinctly out of love with the 90’s style frame.  It was a sort of mottled brown, with a bit of gold trim and really belonged to its time and it needed a revamp.  I decided to paint it in Chalk Paint.  My first go was by covering it in Annie Sloan “Old White” but I didn’t like the finish, got annoyed and left it for several weeks before giving it another go with Annie Sloan “Graphite”.  I watered down the paint with a few drops of water, as it can get a bit thick if not used in a little while, and gave it two coats of Graphite.  The beauty of Chalk Paint, as you will have seen here and here is that you don’t need to prep, which is great for lazy folk like myself.  So it was just a case of setting up your space and getting going.

All you need:

  • Tape (although the chalk paint is easily scraped off or wiped off with a cloth)
  • tray for your watered down paint
  • flat paint brush
  • Annie Sloan Graphite Paint
  • Annie Sloan Dark Wax and brush
  • cotton cloth for wiping off the excess wax

Once both coats have dried,  I went straight to dark wax, which gives it a lovely deep dark shine.  Do be careful not to touch the waxed area for a few days, it needs to dry off otherwise you’ll end up with fingerprints on the frame.

And voila!  Moggy is back up on the wall looking fabulous.


Professional Framers

If you have pictures that aren’t the right size or shape for standard high street frames or it’s something that you want something completely customised then you need to pop to your local framing shop.  I recently took these two small pictures to the framers (one I had smashed the frame and one had never been framed) and they both needed TLC.  After some consultation in the shop I chose frames and mount colours and this is the end result.  Don’t they look great?

Also my favourite Colombian lady from a trip to Cartegena in ’95 got the special framers treatment with new mount and frame.  She’s been upgraded from an old broken Ikea frame and we matched the mount colour to the material on the chair – and she looks like a new woman!

Framing isn’t cheap, prices can vary greatly from frame size and type to mount type and size.  You can expect to pay anywhere from £20-30 up to £100+ depending on what you pick.  It’s not something I do for all pictures due to the cost but nice to do for a few of them.

Customise High Street Frames and Mounts with Spray Paint

I recently participated in the Kickstarter project for the lovely people at The Curious Department for a lovely butterfly picture jointly designed by Kimberly from Swoonworthy Blog, but I needed a frame for it.  I’ve seen it on Instagram with a white mount and a black mount.  Both look fantastic but I chose to take a different approach.  However, I couldn’t find the right size frame, and short of going to the framers again I thought I’d get an Ikea frame in cream spray paint it.

For this you need:

  • dust sheets
  • spray paint
  • space to spray the frame and mount without covering your house!

And here’s the result – I’m so pleased and the frame cost the grand sum of £16 with paint. You could of course spray it all gold (spray of choice for many bloggers!), all black.

If you’re painting a frame for a kid’s room you could go with a bold colour to give it va-va-voom and to fit your scheme.

I will apologise for the poor quality shot here but it’s hard to take a picture of the completed frame without getting a reflection in the glass!


Quick and Easy High Street Frames

If you have a standard size picture or poster you can get reasonable frames from the high street in shops such as Ikea, Wilko or B&M, this Ikea one below is what I’ve used for my signed 80’s teenage crush and it looks just great for under a tenner.


I’ll have all these pictures up once the living room makeover is done (yes we’re still waiting to start!) so I’ll share full effect from the framing once pictures are all up on the wall…

What other ideas do you have for framing pictures?


6 thoughts on “Tips for Framing Wall Art

  1. Really great ideas Vicki! I seem to be going through a spray paint phase at the moment, nothing is safe.

    1. That was my first foray into spray painting and I realise (a) it’s harder than I thought and (b) I used more than I thought. But I have more paint so I’m now going to be all over it practising 🙂

  2. This is perfect timing that I have found this post. I am just about to decorate a wall in my bedroom with various framed pictures and art. I have just started collecting frames, but this makes me think I could re-work a couple of my old ones. Great post, thanks

  3. I agree with your tip that sometimes it’s nice to get a custom frame for your artwork. In stores it can be difficult to find the right size to fit what you want in a frame. Whenever I have a unique piece, I don’t hesitate to go to a professional framer.

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