Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim

Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I stumbled across this chunky, old frame at a yard sale not long ago, and fell in love with it. It was battered and broken in half at the corners, but I loved its ornateness, and its masculine bulkiness. So very interesting, I thought. And the lady only wanted $2.00 for both halves of the frame. Sold! Now what to do with it. Hmmmm. I stuck it up in my attic with all my other treasures thinking, “Someday this will be perfect for something.”

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

For me, “someday” can be years. Like when I bought some really nice table legs at a garage sale several years ago. Yep…just the legs. I hauled those $5-for-all-four table legs that I had absolutely no use for, from house to house whenever I moved. Three houses worth. Who does that? I just couldn’t part with them. My son, Brandon, was visiting not long ago, and mentioned that he wanted to build a craps table. I must say my beloved table legs made for a pretty incredible craps table. (I missed the boat not blogging that creation.)

Fast forward now to my super-cool frame. I quickly realize it’s not going to take years this time to find a use for my random purchase. I have a very plain wall at the end of my galley kitchen that needs a boost. I’ve been looking at that wall for some time (yawn), trying to figure out some simple, yet interesting project to spruce it up. It’s just a tiny space, but those areas can be the most fun to decorate.

I decide to use my frame as part of a decorative trim combination to top off some bead board wainscoting. I painted my kitchen cabinets awhile back, and added bead board wallpaper to the inserts on the cabinet doors (Refer to post, “Yes, You Can Paint Your Oak Kitchen Cabinets”). So I’m thinking bead board is a logical choice.

This time, instead of using the bead board wallpaper, I’ve decided to use decorative bead board plywood. I decide it would be a better choice from a durability standpoint. I’ve got a refrigerator door and a pantry door that both open up against this wall.

I know that the plywood comes in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets, so I need a piece of my frame to be four feet long to match that. Four feet will be enough to make this project disappear behind my fridge. I’ll need to piece the frame together since I don’t have a run of it that long. I cut both pieces of the frame at 45 degrees where I’m going to butt them together, making sure I get a match in the design. I’ll probably need to use some stain to help camouflage the joint.

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

So next its off to Menards to buy some bead board plywood, and some trim to go on either side of the frame. The gal working at Menards tells me they can’t cut a 4 x 8 plywood sheet down for me so that I can fit it in my car. Hmmm. I’ve had wood cut down at Menards before, but who wants to argue, right?

Home Depot, here I come. A friendly employee at Home Depot happily cuts some plywood for me so that another Home Depot employee and I can man-handle, bend, and smash it into my tiny, little car. I’m wondering how the heck I’m going to get this thing out of my car when I get home. As usual, I manage because where there’s a will, there’s a way. And I was blessed/cursed with an overabundance of will.

I determine the height of my paneling based on a picture I want to hang above it at a specific height. There are “rules” about how tall to make wainscoting, but I’m not concerned about decorating rules this time. Everybody knows what they say rules are meant for anyway.

I’m lucky enough to have a baseboard that has a wide enough top ledge to accommodate the bead board, so it’s not necessary to remove the baseboard. I simply place the plywood on top of it, and then tack up the bead board with some small, white finish nails. I don’t use construction adhesive because if I get tired of it, I want to be able to easily remove it. I sink my nails, and spackle over them. I caulk along where the plywood and baseboard meet.

Now I can set the picture frame board on top of the bead board, and attach it to the wall with finish nails. It works pretty fantastically (is that a word?) because there’s already a groove routed in the frame from where the glass would normally sit, and that groove sits right over the top of the bead board plywood. The two go together like Thelma and Louise says my son, Ross.

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now I trim out the picture frame wood with some decorative trim so it all looks like one big, happy family. Here’s what I use.

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I place the trim both underneath and on top of the frame piece.

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s a close up of the finished trim.

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I debate on whether or not to paint the wood from the frame white, but I like the old, worn look of it just like it is, and decide to leave well enough alone. So I paint the bead board and both pieces of trim white so they all match. I use some Old English furniture polish on the frame to hide the scratches, and it’s beautiful!
Here’s my little wall all decked out. Total cost was under $30.

Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And here are before and after photos.

Before
Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After

 Turn a Vintage Picture Frame Into Decorative Trim / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It’s sort of amusing that the picture I chose to hang over my project says, “Kitchens are Made for Families to Gather”. I’m thinking any family gathering in this kitchen better not consist of more than two or three people or the jaws of life are going to have to be called in to pry everybody out. But I love my picture all the same. It makes me smile. And so it stays.

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

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