Weathered Wood Picture Frame

Today’s post is brought to you by Mandy from The Comfy Crafter! She has an awesome picture frame project to share with you all, so check it out!


Hello All! I’m Mandy from The Comfy Crafter, and I’m very excited to be posting today on Practically Functional! In a nut shell, I’m a nature loving nerd, living by the coast, taking in all the laid back coastal charm I can. I accidentally made my way into the world of crafting but now that I’m here I love it! I want to thank Jessi for allowing me to take over her wonderful blog today, so without further ado let’s get busy!

Today I’m going to show you how I turned a $1 unfinished wood picture frame into a beachy, weathered wood-looking frame, perfect for displaying beach pictures and even customizable to show off that beach trip shell collection!

What you need:

  • $1 unfinished frame from Michaels
  • White, Grey and Blue acrylic paint
  • Vinegar/Steel wool stain
  • Shells, sea glass, diftwood, etc. (beach trip goodies)
  • Plastic from barbie package or cake topper

OK so to give this plain blonde wood frame the look of being dark and aged, first give it a nice coat of  the steel wool/vinegar stain. Let this dry completely or you may run the risk of the paint blending in with the stain. If you aren’t familiar with using steel wool and vinegar as a stain you can refer back to my DIY rustic stained bookshelf for more detail about it.

Plain Wood Frame
Right after painting with steel wool/vinegar solution
Frame completely stained

Then take a little bowl and put a couple drops of white and grey paint, then add a little bit of water to make it runny. Start painting it on in streaks, that usually go with the grains of the wood, this allows for a more natural look rather than just straight streaks that probably wouldn’t happen in nature.

After painting the streaks of the thinned down, white wash mixture, you should have something that resembles this below. You can see how I didn’t paint every surface, which allows for some depth and the darker/stained color to come through. If you get too much paint in a spot you can try rubbing it off with a rag, in the direction you painted it on or get some clean water and paint it on over top, which will allow it to rub off.

After I have the white wash on I like to put a streak of blue in, and I do that by putting a tiny bit of straight paint in a line, again following the wood grain, and then wiping the extra away with a paper towel.

I will continue to do this in other places to give the frame a nice bit of color without looking out of place. If I want more color I also will come back with white that hasn’t been watered down and put some streaks of that in as well. Now you should have something that resembles the frame below!

Now these frames being $1, they don’t come with any sort of glass or plastic protector in front of your picture. I found another way around that by using the plastic fronts of the boxes barbies come in, or the tops of cakes.

You can use the insert that comes in the picture frame as a guide for how big of piece of plastic to cut and you have an easy and free way to add protection to any picture you place in the frame.

Now you can add any finishing touches you like, I think the weathered look of the frame looks really neat with anything collected from the beach, it could be a neat way to make a personalized keepsake from vacation.

Or one of my favorites is the loom style flowers that I made from this tutorial on how to make twine flowers.

Thanks for tuning in and hit me with any comments or questions!


How cool is that frame?! I can’t believe she made it out of a $1 frame. And what a brilliant idea to use a recycled piece of plastic to protect the photo; so clever! Make sure you guys stop by her blog to check out her other fabulous crafts and projects!

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Laura Beth says

    10 years ago

    Absolutely love the $1 frames from Michaels….the possibilities are endless :o)

  2. Jacque says

    10 years ago

    I love the weathered look, I might have to try this on a jewelry box I have!

  3. Crystal says

    10 years ago

    I love the touch of blue that you add at the end. Also, using baking lids or barbie containers for the top is genius! Thanks for the tutorial! Love it!!

  4. Gwen says

    10 years ago

    Personal frames are the best! I love making photo frames with those square ones from Michael’s!

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