I shared a little bit about thrifting frames in a post about budgeting for family photos ❤

It’s no secret that I love thrifting! I frequently go to St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, HAVIN Second Chance Store (all located in Kittanning) and various Goodwills (Butler, Natrona Heights, Cheswick mostly). I also hit up yard/garage sales in the summer.

Frames are great to purchase used to save money. Keep in mind prices will vary from store to store, but on average I pay under $2 for an 8×10. St. Vincent De Paul has a great selection and occasionally does specials where you can BOGO or x amount for $x. I once bought 20 frames for $14 there! Another time I bought 8 8×10 frames at Salvation Army for $2! Goodwill has 50% off color of the week. If you are in the area and have a few extra minutes, take a peek! Frames purchased brand new from Walmart or Target are typically $5 and up, considerably more if you are buying large frames.

Some things you should know:

  • The frames will look worse than they actually are – dusty, dirty, stickers on them, etc. Nothing a little soap, water and elbow grease can’t fix!
  • They might have broken or missing glass – not a problem, purchase a frame from Dollar Tree to replace it or have plexiglass cut to size if it is a large frame.
  • You can sometimes find frames that match together, but sometimes you will need to keep your eyes peeled at different stores! You don’t need ones that match though – just spray paint them the same color!
  • Wooden frames work best – make sure they are real wood. I have bought some before that was like a sticker that looked like wood – you could take it off and try sanding possibly.
  • Plastic frames work, but if it has an intricate design make sure to dry completely or else you will see water beads when you go to spray paint.
  • Painted frames may or may not work for this. I have tried some that worked, others the color bled through no matter what I did. At least if you mess up on a thrifted frame, you aren’t out too much money.
  • Some darker colors will need a coat of primer.


I am going to share some photos and my process for turning thrifted frames into ones that look like they were from the store – by using spray paint!

The first thing I do when I am ready to spray paint is get my folding table ready and cover it with a tablecloth. Next, I get the frames I want to spray paint and begin taking them apart. I fill my sink with hot water and some dish soap. I wash the frame, rinse and dry it. Then, I take it out to the table to dry a little more before I spray paint. I put a coat on, let it dry and then put another coat on. Once that is dried, I flip the frame over and put a coat on the back. While I am waiting for coats to dry, I wash the glass with the same water I used for the frames. I use a kitchen towel to dry then wash with windex/paper towels. Once everything is dry, I reassemble the frame.

An 11×14 frame at Goodwill for $1.29 but I actually got 50% off 🙂

A stylized 5×7 frame at St. Vincent De Paul for $1.00

In process; Rustoleum Chalked Linen White Spray Paint $7 at Walmart


The finished products! I just love the chalk spray paint and how it looks so nice!

Would you consider thrifting frames in the future? Have you thrifted frames? I’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips you have as well!

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