How to paint wooden picture frames

Updated April 17, 2017

There's no need to have drab picture frames on your desk or walls. Whatever your preferred interior design style, there's a colour or technique you can use on your wooden frames to create something truly fabulous. Use paint as the foundation for your design. Get your glue gun heated up and add some seashells or other fun details to personalise the wooden picture frame.

Prepare your workspace by covering it with newspaper. Gather up any old pictures frames you'd like to repaint.

Apply the paint stripper with the small sponge paintbrush. Allow the stripper to set. Use a pretty thick coat to eat the paint up easily.

Read the directions on your stripper so you know how long to leave it on before scraping it off. Use a small plastic scraper to remove the old paint.

Use sandpaper to remove the rest of the paint from hard-to-reach grooves. Repeat this process if any of the old paint remains.

Get your paints ready. Mix any colours, if you wish. Use equal parts and stir with a paintbrush until you have the desired colour .

Apply one base coat and allow it to dry. Get the tip of your paintbrush wet. Gently and slowly pull your brush down one side of the frame. Bring the brush back up to smooth out the line of paint. Repeat this action but do another strip of colour directly next to the line you just painted. Repeat on all sides of your frame until you've completed many smooth lines that look like one big, smooth blanket of colour. Use a small to medium-sized brush and paint in the direction of the grain.

Apply another coat of paint. Wait for the first coat of paint to dry before applying another one. Let the second coat dry completely.

Add interest to your frame by painting on stripes, polka dots or other designs.

Apply two coats of varnish after all the paint dries. Let the varnish dry completely


Use the varnish and the paint remover at separate times; do not mix these chemicals or use them together because they may create a toxic chemical gas. Do not use these chemicals around small children.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Paint remover
  • Small sponge paintbrush
  • Scraper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Paints
  • Containers
  • Paintbrushes (one small to medium-sized, one detail brush)
  • Varnish
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About the Author

Eve Frost is a Virginia-based writer with a passion for writing creative Web content for various websites. Frost studied art and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.