$5 Frame Redesign!

February 27, 2013 | by Jocie (email) |

Since repainting our living room, the walls have remained bare. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what to do, but also because art and wall decor are sooooo expensive. But then, last week, I couldn’t sleep thinking about all my current projects, and it occurred to me that I might be able to use some of the old decor in a new way. What was there to lose? Otherwise, it would all go to GoodWill, so I might as well give it a shot. After all, repurposing and spicing up old stuff on the cheap kinda rocks!

$5 Frame Make Over - OPC The Better Half

Spray Paint Talk

Once I made the decision use the old decor, I impulsively moved forward from there. I was fortunate, that last week at Lowe’s, I picked up a few cans of spray paint for the trinkets on the shelves after I painted the backs of the built-ins.

A side note about spray paint….I love Rust-Oleum. I have used Krylon in the past and it is crap. But Rust-Oleum is reliable, a great price, and always coats well.

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint - $5 Frame Makeover - OPC The Better Half

I bought a few cans of Rust-Oleum, but couldn’t find all the colors I wanted, so I went out on a limb and bought Valspar. Normally I hate their canned paint so I was pretty skeptical.

Valspar Spray Paint - $5 Frame Makeover - OPC The Better Half

This time, I was pleasantly surprised! The Valspar spray paint covered as well as Rust-Oleum so I had to do an extra coat or two, but it sprayed thin and even, two pretty important aspects of spray paint. It is also a hair cheaper than Rust-Oleum but not such a big cost difference that I would buy Valspar over Rust-Oleum given they offered the same colors.

I also chose to spray paint on a VERY cold day. Word to the wise: Don’t be silly like me and spray paint outside. The spray paint freezes before it hits the surface and then leaves a weird texture on the surface.

I thought, “Nah, it’s not cold enough to freeze.” False. It was.

So back inside I came. I set up a station in the basement and opened the basement door, leaving a little space heater on to keep me and the paint from freezing. Even with the ventilation (which is SUPER important), the whole house stunk! Oh well. 🙂

I ended up spraying the frame white, the matte and medallions yellow, and the backing I painted using the wall color.

Toilet Paper Roll Painting

Toilet Paper Roll Painting - OPC The Better Half

I used this technique last fall for my DIY burlap banner, and its a pretty quick and cheap way to apply a pattern. I had first tried to make a lattice stencil with my Silhouette, but it turned out to be a disaster. So I turned to my discarded toilet paper rolls.

Seriously, it’s so easy. I put some paint on a plastic plate and dipped the end of the toilet paper roll in and then stamped it onto the paper. I used the gray paint I used for the back of the built-in shelves. It may be too much gray in the room, but what is done is done.

I first did several lines of circles, all the circles touching. (this is an example, I forgot to take a lot of pix while I was painting)

Toilet Paper Painting - OPC The Better Half

Then, I went back and put another layer of circles starting at the halfway point. It created a flowery lattice-type look.

Photo Feb 26, 1 57 13 PM

Photo Feb 26, 1 57 30 PM

Toilet Paper Roll Painting - OPC The Better Half

Here is the mat of the frame I painted using gray on top of the yellow spray paint. The paint evened out a good bit once dry. I also lightly sanded it all lightly to even it all the way out.

Photo Feb 22, 2 06 01 PM

I have also creased the toilet paper roll in half so it looks more like a leaf.

OPC The Better Half

Then I pressed the toilet paper roll in groups of four to look like a flower.

Photo Feb 26, 2 00 27 PM

OPC The Better Half


Here is the “before” of the frames. I bought them about 5 or 6 years ago when the dark, rich woods were in style along with the world market type embellishments. They were in such good condition and I really liked them. But once we painted, they looked very dark in the room and out-of-place.

Frame "before" - OPC The Better Half


Ta-Da!!! Ethan was a champ and hung them for me the next day. I am a little bummed that I didn’t incorporate more blue, or maybe even red because now I feel like it’s a lot of yellow and gray.





$5 Frame Makeover - OPC The Better Half

What do you think? Too much yellow and gray? Use or it lose it?

Thanks so much for reading along about my spray painted frames!

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Also linked up at: Beneath My Heart

20 Responses
  1. mom2kaelyn says:

    I like it! Well done, once again. Love the toilet paper roll painting.

  2. Jacque says:

    What a great modern update! I totally feel you on the spray paint in the house … I can promise I wont ever do it in the kitchen again … maybe the crawl space!

    • Jocie says:

      hahaha, thats funny jacque, as i was moving inside the other day to spray paint in the basement of thought of you spray painting in your kitchen in time for xmas! lol! 🙂

  3. You used a toilet paper roll to get that cool effect?? How brilliant is that!!! Pinning!

  4. paintergal says:

    I spraypainted an old bedframe I got at a consignment store in the basement. Yeah- it does stink up the house. I opened a window upstairs for a couple of hours to air out the house, even though it was freezing out. Sometimes, impulsivity has its price!

    I like your “new” art. Leave it up for a while and then change it out, if you’re tired of it. I like the idea of rotating decor anyway. Keeps things fresh.

  5. Wow, they look so fresh and cheery, Jocie! I’ve never thought of adding a pattern onto mats, great idea.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I love the yellow and gray! So minimal and pretty. Great idea on using toilet paper tubes!

  7. What a neat idea! The artwork is beautiful! Found you on the Beneath My Heart linky party!

  8. I love this, Jocie! I have seen the toilet paper painting before,, but really love the design you chose! Plus, using something old and giving it a whole new look is my favorite thing!

  9. Laura Beth says:

    Love spray paint & how you used old paper towel rolls to stamp a pattern on the matte. Genius!

  10. These are beautiful! I love the gray and yellow color combo and what a great trick to use toilet paper rolls.

  11. Jocie…What a cool idea! Now I can tell Jacque that i didn’t throw the empty toilet roll away because it actually hold artistic value! Off to share!

  12. Taunnie says:

    Definiitely use it! Don’t lose it-they are perfect. Great tips, thanks for the inspiration :).

  13. Megan says:

    They turned out beautiful, Jocie. I love them over your sofa.

  14. Love the grey design on the matboard! Awesome (and cheap!) idea!

  15. I think it looks great. And so classy, even when made from toilet paper rolls 🙂

  16. poiboybf says:

    I think it looks awesome as well. Amazing what you think to do with recycled materials like toilet paper rolls. I also have some old frames that need a makeover (don’t we all?). Maybe I’ll try something similar to this. Thanks!

  17. trebor says:

    I love your creativity with the toilet paper roll! Looks so good!

    I must be out of style though…because I think the dark wood looks great. I guess I am just not a hipster hahaha

  18. JustME says:

    Oh how did I miss this? It’s so cute Jocie. It’s amazing how much one can do with a little old toilet paper roll, huh?
    I’m really surprised you don’t like Krylon spray paint though. I’ve never had any trouble with it at all and I’ve been using it for decades.
    Sorry you have to find out the hard way about working in the cold. 🙁

  19. Ashley says:

    These turned out so cute! I love them! I can’t believe you did that with a toilet paper roll!

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