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Frame worthy

Revive old frames and display those family snaps in style. By Kate Barber

You’ll need

  • Old picture frames of varying sizes and shapes. They’re a dime a dozen from the secondhand store – we got a box of 12 for $4.
  • Resene testpots. Choose 3 or 4 shades of the same colour to create an ombré effect.
  • Paintbrushes and an old cloth

For this look, we used:

  • Resene Pale Leaf
  • Resene Caper
  • Resene Dingley
  • Resene Clover


  1. In 3 or 4 rows, arrange the frames how you want them to look on the wall. It’s a good idea to take a photo of the plan so you can refer to it once you start painting. We did four rows of 3-4 frames per row. 
  2. Carefully remove glass and backing and keep these aside – we put ours in numbered boxes so we could reacquaint glass and frame at a later stage.
  3. One row at a time, start painting your Resene basecoats. For the top row, use the lightest shade. Progress row by row, with the darkest shade for the bottom row. 
  4. Wait to dry, then paint second coats. Leave overnight. 
  5. Find space to lay them all out and put in your photos.
  6. Hang on the wall.

Mix it up

Play with different painting techniques to combine different shades on a single frame.

  • For clean lines using more than one shade on a frame, use masking tape. 
  • For a more relaxed, multi-tonal look, paint a solid colour, then sponge on other shades.
  • Try painting a solid basecoat, then flicking on the other shades with an old toothbrush.
  • If you have an old frame with a pattern on it, try sandpapering some of it off, then painting lightly across it for a distressed, layered look. We did this with one frame, and applied two shades of paint to it, then smudged the edges with an old cloth.

For all your DIY projects, big or small, visit your nearest Resene ColorShop. 


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