How to Turn an Old Frame into a Statement Piece

An old dumpster frame gets a new life with one simple product and turns into a stunning statement piece!
old frame makeover

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The home of a DIYer is never done. There's always a new project, whether it be furniture related, or a room makeover, redecorating or organizing.

Today's post is a project I worked on for my Christmas decor, but in all the chaos of Christmas, I didn't get to share the details with you.

I want to show you how you can transform a large frame into a statement piece for any room for under $10! That's assuming that you either already have a large frame, or you were lucky enough to find one at the dumpster or a thrift store for cheap.

My family has embraced my trash-to-treasure tendencies, and they have become my eyes when I'm not around...this frame was one of three that my darling dad-in-law found at the dump in NC...and saved for me! Have I told you lately how much I love my family?!

So...three frames. Ugly and outdated artwork, dusty and discolored frames....yet I saw the hidden beauty. All those curves and bumps and texture.

You want to see the before, I know you do! Ok, here it is.

That artwork...not my style, never will be my style (I raised three monkeys, I don't need a visual!).

The frame...ehh. But do you see the potential that I see?

before and after

I knew that with a little bit of work it could be beautiful...and functional...yet again. A statement piece! Let me show you how easy it was to transform!


How to Update an Old Frame:

The first step, after removing the glass and backing from the frame, was to clean it and remove all the built-up dust and grease.

Once that dried, I grabbed my tube of rub-n-buff. If you've never worked with this product before, it is truly amazing! It's a wax metallic paste that can effortlessly right so many wrongs! You can use it on wood, glass, and most home decor...anything that needs a new finish or a little update! It comes in 16 colors.

The tube, while small, will last a long time! A little goes a very long way. At first I tried applying it with q-tips, but quickly realized my finger would be So.Much.Easier!

rub n buff

So I went with it. After all, fingers are washable!

apply with fingers

I just rubbed it all over the frame, in small sections. Then went back and buffed it with a soft cloth.

That small step took my frame from ho-hum (yawn) to WOWzers in literally minutes!

transforms old frame

It really made all the texture on the frame pop and come alive!

frame update

You can see the small section on the picture above (indicated by the arrows) that I had yet to do. What a change! I swear I heard angels singing the Hallelujah chorus! Oh wait, that might have been the Michael Buble Holiday station I was listening to on Pandora!

Nevertheless, the change was dramatic.

The next step was adding my fabric. I saved the cardboard backing and even the ugly monkey picture, and wrapped my fabric around it, taping it into place.

wrap fabric around and tape in place

Then it was simply a matter of reassembling the picture (without the glass) and stapling it into place at the back. I just used a few staples in the corners because I plan to change the fabric out for the spring!

Not too shabby, right? A fabulous makeover (and statement piece) for under $10!

I used this frame on my Christmas mantle this year, and hung my DIY coffee filter wreath on the front of it using this simple technique for hanging wreaths invisibly.

Now that Christmas is over, I removed the plaid insert from the frame, but left the wreath intact. It's a little less showy, and a lot more neutral.

winter mantle

Knowing me, I'll probably paint this frame white eventually...part of me will always be a shabby-chic-lover at heart! But for now, I love it just like it is!

winter mantle with gold frame

If you enjoy budget makeovers that deliver big results, this easy frame update certainly delivers!

update old frame

What will you use Rub-n-Buff on this year? If you want even more DIY goodness, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter, DIY Insider! Just click on the box below.

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This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer here. 


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  1. Got a giggle from your 'raising monkeys' comment!

  2. Hi Cindy, from one Rub n Buff lover to another...what did DIY'ers do before this stuff?! Always on the lookout for another project to use it one and actually have a wee one waiting for me. And...I'm a finger gal too...just can't beat it.

    Have a great day, Lynn

    1. Hey Lynn, yes it's pretty amazing stuff! I love that a tube goes a long way, and applying it with the fingers is the only way to go, lol!

  3. Rub n Buff product is a smart product! I'm totally amazed! Where can you buy those again?

    1. Thanks Heart, I certainly agree! You can find rub-n-buff at craft stores. I got mine at Hobby Lobby.

  4. i rub n buffed a gold mirror to silver and it was the easiest thing.

  5. What a helpful tutorial! The previous homeowners of my house only did our bathroom mirrors half way with this and I was wondering how to finish what they left - this will help me get the job done! Thanks for link up with The DIY Collective!

    1. Hey Erica, I'm glad this post helped to solve an issue in your home. Rub-n-Buff is so easy to use, you will really enjoy working with it! Thanks for your sweet comments!


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