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DIY Inspiration: A Monochromatic Freshen-Up for Old Frames


DIY Inspiration: A Monochromatic Freshen-Up for Old Frames

June 21, 2024

Since moving into our new house, my partner and I have been the happy frequenters of our very well-stocked town swap shop. Both of us find excuses to take the recycling over…and, while we’re at it, to see what our fellow townspeople have offloaded that day. Occasionally we come back with a gem; more often, we pick up practical items that could use a little spruce-up.

I’ll never spend money on picture frames again…but the ones I’ve salvaged could use a little zest. Inspired by artists online, I’m thinking of giving them makeover with an all-over coat of paint, mat and all.

Here are three monochrome frames to inspire (and bring in some low-stakes color):

Above: I’m an admirer of artist Carolyn Misterek, who paints found frames in one all-over hue, which then become canvases for her botanical works. She writes on Instagram of the series (called “Everyday Occurrences”): “I select the frame and then the background color that I’m drawn to that day. Once the background panel is prepared, I stare at it until I know what wants to be painted. I phrase it this way because often when I act too soon, or I choose an idea rather than waiting for inspiration, the painting doesn’t work and I need to start over….This series is a practice in patience, too.” Head to Carolyn Misterek or @carolynmisterek to see her available pieces. (N.B.: The Featured photograph above is of Carolyn’s work, too.)

blue on blue inspiration: hand framers petri prints in london call this a a &am 19
Above: Blue on blue inspiration: Hand framers Petri Prints in London call this a a “colorblock” frame. (The tiny artwork? It’s “an antique original miniature coat of arms representing Monte Argentario (located in Southern Tuscany).”) Spotted via @petri_prints on Instagram.

Above: From framing specialists Lovelys Gallery in Margate, Kent: unexpected framings for family photos, primary color edition. “The customer came to us with a vision of what they’d like done with the mounts, and this was the result,” they write on Instagram (@lovelysgallery). “We love this unusual way of combining old and new, with these old black-and-white photographs surrounded by color.”

from artist/designer grace percival in the uk: petite paintings in hand painted 22
Above: From artist/designer Grace Percival in the UK: petite paintings in hand-painted frames with matching striped mats. (Follow @grace.percival.design on Instagram.)

More DIY ideas:

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