top of page

Thrift Store Frame Makeover – DIY Home Decor Project Tutorial & Video – Easy for Beginners

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Do you ever find frames at the thrift store, but the colors are all wrong? They’re a great bargain, and you can give them a quick makeover with just a few products.

I bought this framed painting to use for staging furniture, but it needed to be more neutral to match my decor. So, I made a quick tutorial & video to show you how to use chalk mineral paint & colored wax to freshen up any frame.

This is an easy trash-to-treasure project that is perfect for beginners. You don’t need a lot of products, just a little bit of time!

You will see bold colored text in the product list, those are links to each product so that you can locate the products easily if you are wanting to purchase them.


Step #1 Always Clean Before You Paint

Before you paint, always clean your surface with a TSB-based cleaner to make sure the paint properly adheres. I use Dixie Belles “White Lightning” to cut any dirt or oils from the surface, then wipe with water and a clean rag.

Step #2 Apply a Base Coat

You can use any chalk-based paint for this project, but I am using Dixie Belle’s Chalk Mineral Paint in “French Linen”, which is a soft neutral taupe. I use a small round synthetic brush to apply a nice even base coat.

If your paint feels dry, mist with water to thin out the paint out & help it spread into the deep crevices.

Next, I will be adding a wash of color to bring out the carved details. Since I’ll be using water to do that, I let this dry overnight about 24 hours.

Step #3 Mixing Moonshine Metallic Paint & Chalk Mineral Paint for a Color Wash

A color wash is where you brush on your paint, then wipe it off to give it a soft “washed” look.

To bring out the carved details on this frame, I’ll be doing a light wash of color by mixing Moonlight Metallic Paint with Chalk Mineral Paint for a subtle sheen.

I pour a tiny bit of Dixie Belle’s “Buttercream” in a bowl. Then I pour slightly more than that of Dixie Belle’s Moonshine Metallic Paint in “Steel Magnolia”.

Once you mix them, the consistency will be like a smooth glaze with a slight sheen. I’ll be using my Small Oval Brush, starting with just a tiny bit of paint.

Mist your surface with a little water to help the paint move & get into the small crevices.

Next, wipe back & blend the paint with a cotton rag or an old sock. Working in sections, keep repeating the process until you get the desired wash of color.

 Step #4 Dry Brushing with Chalk Mineral Paint

I want to bring out the details just a little more, so I use a shade lighter to brighten it up & give it a white waxed look. I’m using Dixie Belle’s “Fluff”, but you can use any white chalk- based paint.

I start with just a tiny bit of paint. Then pounce it off on a paper towel until there’s barely any left.

With a light hand, drag the brush over all the raised areas, leaving just a light touch of color.

Step #5 How to Use Colored Wax & Easy-Peasy Spray Wax to Add Depth

 For the final touch, I use a darker shade of wax around the inner frame to bring out the painting. To get a smoother application & make it easy to wipe off, I apply a clear wax first.

I’m using Dixie Belle’s “Easy Peasy-Spray Wax”, which is a spray on clear wax. To use it, just spray it on & spread it evenly with a rag. It’s that easy. Then I start with just a tiny bit of Dixie Belle’s “Best Dang Wax” in Brown.

Since I applied clear wax first, the wax is easier to control. If it’s too dark, just spray on a little clear wax & wipe it back. The wax will act like an eraser, so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial & if you try this out, please post a comment. Next time you’re at a garage sale & you see a frame you like, don’t pass it up!

You only need a few products to bring it up to date & back to a neutral color scheme. You can find all the products listed below. 

Make sure to follow me on all my social media platforms:

Dixie Belle Products for this project:


bottom of page