What does a sock, a nail file and a paint brush have to do with this DIY distressed frame tutorial? Everything – because it’s what I used to create the distressed frame you see below!
I had the itch to turn this standard picture frame into a pretty distressed picture frame, but was short on supplies. Suddenly I recognized that I could probably wing it with what I had on hand. So I searched my house and found these extremely official and professional tools and figured they’d get the job done.
Supplies for DIY Distressed Frame
- Acrylic paint in a bright color
- Nail File (to “sand”)
- A pair of socks
- Wooden Picture Frame
Cover your work surface and the inside of the picture frame with newspapers or magazine pages. Start by applying a VERY light coat of paint to the picture frame. The tip of your brush should barely have paint on it.
Wait for the first coat to dry (mine took about 30 minutes to feel dry to the touch), then apply a second light coat of paint. Try to keep your brush strokes consistently straight because it will show through the finished product.
Here’s what the frame will look like after two coats of paint. Yes, it looks bright and splotchy. But it doesn’t matter because we’re about to fix that.
Here is where that super professional nail file comes in. I used the nail file to sand down the grooves and edges of the picture frame to expose the wood beneath. It was pretty damn effective. Just place the nail file over the edge of the frame (or any area that you want to expose) and start “sanding.” You can use sanding paper if you have it on hand. But I didn’t, so mani/pedi tool it was!
Here’s what it looks like once the frame has been “sanded” down. You can get as crazy with the nail file as you want. The more it’s distressed, the better.
Now, you’re going to place the sock on your hand like any other self-respecting adult, dip your fingers into the stain and apply it to the frame. Let it sit for 30-seconds to a minute. I’m sure the waiting time varies by stain. But for the first try, I’d play it on the safe side and wipe it off after just a few seconds. When you’re ready, use the other sock to wipe it off.
If you over-stained like I did, you can just squirt a tiny amount of the paint onto a clean part of the sock and wipe it onto the areas that are too dark.
This is what the frame looked like after the painting/staining/touching up.
And here’s a closeup shot of the distressed frame.
I know painting/sanding/staining a frame isn’t rocket science. But I really like the result. Let me know if you use this DIY distressed frame tutorial to jazz up your own frame at home just like we did on the $10 DIY Food Photography Backdrop.