Quick Farmhouse Makeover for Outdated Frames

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The best type of makeover is a fast and fabulous makeover, wouldn’t you agree? Today we’re going to do a quick farmhouse makeover for outdated frames!

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames artwork with craft supplies on table

When I shared my new wireless ceiling light with y’all, I noticed something that needed some fixin’ right away.  Did you notice it, too?

install wireless ceiling light remote on wall with photos and entrance to bathroomYep, those outdated art pieces.


Yep, these sweet art pieces needed an update.  Actually, it wasn’t the art that needed the update, it was the oak frames.  The handmade artwork inside the frames rings very farmhouse to me.  And, there are a couple of reasons why these pieces are near-and-dear to my heart.

You see, these were made by my son and daughter in 1999.  My children were homeschooled, and this was part of their art class that their grammy (my mom) taught them.

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames two pieces fo art on wall with signatures highlightedGrammy had seen these farmhouse-style pieces (back when ‘farmhouse’ wasn’t even a style) in a magazine (Better Homes and Gardens?) and decided she could show the kids how to make them, too!  Kinda’ see where I get my DIY-love from?  So, two reasons I love these… my two children created them and their grammy taught them how to do it! (I know… just makes ya wanna’ cry, doesn’t it? 😉 )

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What You Will Need

For this quick update, you won’t need much…

  • Frames (you might even want to do this to some thrifted frames)
  • Charcoal acrylic paint (I only had black and gray, so I mixed a bit of gray in the black to give me the charcoal color I wanted)
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Paint Brushes
  • Creme wax (optional… I didn’t end up using it because I liked the finish without the wax)

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames artwork with craft supplies on tablePaint Your Frames

So easy, huh? I originally started painting with the straight acrylic paint, but didn’t like the sheen that it was giving.

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames painted black on white surface

Solution?  Add just a bit of calcium carbonate and water to the paint, and you have instant chalk paint!

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames black paint and calcium carbonate on white tableThree coats is all it takes! (Chalk paint dries super fast!)

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames painted black on white surfaceFinished Product

What do you think?  Black is definitely a trend in farmhouse decor these days.  It gives decor a bit of ‘grounding’. I think it added just the right touch.

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames two pieces fo art on wall with signatures highlightedSee…easy peasy!  You won’t ever see the original artwork, faded paper, or tattered tags changed because that gives it the vintage look, in my opinion. 😉

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames close up of buttons and tag that says victoria heartsGrammy kept it feminine for my daughter.

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames close up of pearls and tag that says pearlsAnd masculine for my son.  Grammy was always sure to make things work for both her grandson and granddaughter. And imaginative, too! (He, he… fish and spears!)

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames close up of buttons and knick knacks with tag that read fish and spear

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames close up of glass beads with tag that reads glass beadsSo, I say it’s a definite improvement.

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames two pieces of art on wall

quick farmhouse makeover outdated frames two pieces of art on wallNow to work on a DIY bookshelf to fit my wee hallway.

Do you have any frames that need a quick update? Hope this inspired you to take a few minutes and change up your décor with a bit of paint!

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  1. Julie what a great makeover! I love your story about your mom creating with your children! Such a special memory 🙂 The dark frames look so good in your hallway – I am a contrasting kinda girl too!

  2. These are adorable! So much nicer than something off the rack at a store — really meaningful. I think your wee abode is charming!

    1. Aw. thanks so much, Dana. A bit of paint can really spiff up something… and quickly! So glad to ‘meet’ you! Hugs and hearts!

    1. Thanks, Laura… It’s amazing what a bit of paint can do to make something look more updated! Thanks for coming by!

  3. Crushing up some calcium carbonate, who woulda thought?! Thanks for the great idea, Julie, as I have a bunch of frames in storage that could use an update. Still not much of a black-as-an-accent color person but I do see that it really grounds a house. Love how your frames turned out!

    Barb 🙂

    1. I NEVER thought I would use black as an accent… but, who knew?! A little does go a long way. 🙂 Thanks, Barb!

    1. Absolutely, Libbie! Thanks for coming by. So appreciate the love! Hope you will link-up at Homestyle Gathering this week! 😉

  4. Oh, I love that their grammy taught them art! These little pieces of art are so precious, and I’m sure you cherish them. I loved using calcium carbonate for our farmhouse headboards. Half the fun is experimenting with new paints, right? Your frames turned out beautifully.

    1. Thanks, Crissy. I think calcium carbonate makes the BEST chalk paint… smooth and even coverage! And I love your headboards… You need to share them on HG!

  5. First of all I love the kids art and the makeover to the frame made such a difference. I never knew you could do that with calcium carbonate, that’s really good to know. Pinning for later use.

    1. Yep… Calcium carbonate is awesome. Makes the BEST chalk paint. I’ll sharing my full recipe, soon! Thanks for the love, Sonya!

  6. Julie this is definitely the easiest way to update old frames. I have also used plaster of Paris to make chalk paint. I really love granny’s sense of style. She was definitely ahead of her time when it came to the farmhouse trend.

    1. LOL, yes, Mary… I believe my mom was ahead of her time for farmhouse, too. Have you ever used the calcium carbonate? I believe it is supposed to give a smoother finish than other additives, although I’ve never tried anything else… I’ve just seen it on other blogs.

    1. Thanks, Bekka. They are super special to me, as you know. I hope to keep them forever, and that they will be handed down in years to come. 🙂

  7. Hi Julie, Yes, the frames are nice–but I LOVE the artwork–so special! We homeschooled our children, too. 🙂 And now I am Grammy. Oh, and I live in a wee home, too. This post was so fun to read! I’m really glad I found your blog.

    The thing I noticed in the “before” shot was the little multi-colored gizmo on the wall. I have an ugly thermostat that I hate, so I just popped a little basket on top of it. Now, it’s cute–and the basket is easily removable.

    Have a lovely day, and thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to your recipe for chalk paint.


    1. So glad you found My Wee Abode, too! We have LOTS in common!

      That little ‘gizmo’ is actually the remote to my wireless ceiling light. It works like a light switch. I would definitely like to make it prettier, but it would need to be practical, too! 😉

      Thanks for sharing! Love to ‘talk’ with y’all. 🙂

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