I always seem to be on a decorator budget (who isn’t?) and am discouraged every time I go into a frame shop to look at matting and framing. It is hideously expensive! But I have found some ways to change the look of art pieces I really like, but don’t like the mat and/or frame.

Recently my husband asked if I had any black spray paint and I told him that was my middle name. “Of course I do! Flat, satin or gloss black?” I asked him. For picture frames that need a new lease on life, I almost always go flat black—that spray paint is my best friend.

To begin, take the framed picture apart and remove the art, mat and glass. Spray the frame lightly with a wide arc of paint and let it dry at least an hour before lightly spraying it again. Multiple light applications are tons better than one heavy handed, drippy one.

If the mat is the visual offender, consider painting it with leftover wall paint, since flat or satin latex paints do well when painted on matboard.  Use a paint roller to apply, as brush strokes might show. (Another idea would be to use a sample wall paint in a color you like.)

A new colored mat with a black frame will change the look of an entire piece of art. Black frames grouped together are modern and chic and will unify disparate pieces of art into a cohesive grouping.

Your new look can be quite gentle on your wallet, too, and that is a win-win!