Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by lindseymahoney
Are your picture frames looking a little dull and outdated? Give them a fresh new look with a simple coat of paint on the mat board.
This easy tutorial will show you how to update your picture frames and add a pop of color to any room in your home.
How to Paint a Picture Frame Mat
One of my hobbies is visiting local estate sales and perusing old artwork. I have a whole closet filled with unique artwork that I couldn’t leave behind at these sales but didn’t quite have a home for them yet.
I found this large piece of artwork of a painted bird, but it looked a bit dull. The background and mat board had yellowed over the years and blended in with the wood frame.
I wanted to make the artwork pop and painting the mat board was an affordable and easy DIY solution.
1 | Gather Your Supplies
Before you get started, gather all the supplies you will need for this project.
- Picture frame with mat board (thrifted) – $30
- Spray paint (matte black) – $7
- Dropcloth or newspaper to protect your work surface (owned)
Make sure to choose a paint color that complements the colors in the photo you plan to display in the frame.
Once you have all your supplies, you’re ready to begin!
2 | Remove the Mat Board from the Frame
The first step in updating your picture frame mat with paint is to remove the mat board from the frame. For my project, the artwork was already in the frame, so I carefully removed the artwork as well.
Once you have removed the mat board, make sure that it is clean of dirt and debris.
Use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe down the surface of the mat board, removing any dirt or smudges.
Now you’re ready to start painting!
3 | Paint the Mat Board
First, you want to find a well-ventilated area to spray paint the mat board.
Whether it is a drop cloth, newspaper, or a large piece of scrap wood, you will want something under the mat board to protect your floors.
When using spray paint, remember to stand about 10 inches away from the mat board to apply the paint evenly.
For my particular project, I felt like a pop of black would really modernize the piece of art and make the painted bird pop.
Take your time applying nice even coats of paint on the picture mat board. Let the mat board dry completely before reassembling the picture frame.
4 | Reassemble the Frame
Once the paint on the mat board is completely dry, it’s time to reassemble the frame. Carefully place the mat board back into the frame, making sure it is centered and straight.
Then, insert the photo or artwork into the frame and secure it in place with the backing board and any clips or fasteners that came with the frame.
Finally, hang or display your newly updated picture frame and enjoy the fresh new look it brings to your space!
The colors work perfectly against the Alabaster walls and warm colors in our living room, including the mid-century bar cabinet and leather couch.
To update a picture frame mat board that I already owned cost less than $10 and it totally elevated the artwork! This affordable DIY is a great project for beginners to try at home.