Glazed Frame – Learning By Doing

Have you ever noticed that the pricing of frames at Goodwill seems a little off? Old broken Wal-Mart frame with a 59 cent clearance sticker on it – $2.99. Awesome, chunky, carved oval frame – $2.99.  So when I spotted this lil’ lady lying amongst the heaps of crappy gold frames, I snached it up and felt like a won the (very tiny) frame lottery. 

Now I know what your thinking – that it would be a crime paint a hand carved wooden frame. I agree, but  rest assured… it’s not real wood. It may look like it, but I’m pretty sure real wood doesn’t peel apart in paper-like flakes to reveal a black mystery material underneath. So…out came the spray paint.
I thought it looked pretty good like that, but I wanted to try my glaze and this is the perfect piece. Remember when I wanted to glaze my crappy $5 table but couldn’t because I bought the wrong glaze?
As it turns out I didn’t buy the wrong glaze, your just supposed to mix it with paint. A reader pointed that out to me…and sure enough it says it right there on the back of the can. So Tim the Tool Man Taylor of me to not read the directions.
So I went to mix up my glaze and realized that I don’t own any black paint. I also don’t own any brown or grey paint…closest thing I had was the blue/grey that I used for the kitchen cabinets. I figured that was good enough and threw an unknown amount of paint into an unknown amount of glaze. Measure…who measures? Measurings for losers …or people that have more than a few scared minutes of naptime to work with.
I mixed it up and rubbed it into all the nooks and crannies. BTW, I didn’t read any tutorials on this process…I’m just winging it. Like I said, naptime is too short to spend it reading tutorials.
Anyway, I had to put it on pretty thick to get it all up in there.
Then I got my rag and started wiping it off, till it looked like this…
I was feeling like the contrast was a little much, so I had the brilliant idea to just put on a layer of plain glaze to dull it down a bit.
 It was working great until it dried and looked the exact same. You know, cause the glaze is clear and all. Whatever, it was worth a shot.
 I needed the instant gratification of putting a photo in it, so I went on the hunt for an 8X10 I already had. Then I spotted this…
That white envelope (on my super messy bedroom bookshelf) is a family photo from our church directly. It’s been sitting there for about six months or so – which is a long time, though not as long as that container of bubbles has been sitting there.

So there we have it…two birds with one stone. Family photo off the shelf- check. Teach myself how to glaze by trial and error – check.

Funny story about that photo…Elijah and I had a bad day where he didn’t nap at all (I think he was about 16 months in this picture). On the car ride to the church he passed out and we could NOT wake him up. He would open his eyes for a second, then they would roll back into his head and he would crash on Adams chest. So we went with it and I think the final product turned out pretty sweet & hilarious.


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  1. Such a sweet pic Ashley! My goodwill's don't carry nice things like that frame lol. Don't get me wrong I do find other things but frames it's a no go… There are some new resale shops hat are just opening and I am going to see if I could do something like this for our new family picture ;) Thanks for the idea chica!

  2. I'm not a fan of the whole painting/distressing/glazing craze BUT I ♥ your frame!
    The glaze just perfectly accentuates the detail and the colours you used are just right.
    The pic is a gorgeous finishing touch – so beautiful.

  3. Love the frame.
    I am laughing SO hard at E sleeping in this picture. Maybe it was just the way you told me the story that is making me laugh so hard, or maybe because I am delirious. It's just hilarious.

  4. Love the frame – exactly my style! And so love the sleeping toddler – that's a classic! Nat

  5. Oh your finished frame looks great! Well done! And a very sweet family photo!

  6. That is so cute! Im totally a learn by messing it up the first time, too. Trial, and mostly error. I eyeball pretty much everything and Im alwayws on the lookout for projects that can still look good, Even if its a little “off”. Im a new follower, check out my site at

  7. WOW! What an amazing transformation! I haven't worked with the faux glaze before but hope to soon!

  8. Wow! I love that glaze, that did wonders! You should join me for Handmade 52!

  9. That looks great! I love the pop of color from the glaze! And your family picture is too cute!

  10. This turned out really pretty, at least in the online photos! And that photo makes it look even better. :^D

  11. Wow that's brilliant! I must try to see the potential in things I see in thrift stores! Cute picture :)
    Found you through Made by You Monday

  12. This is so beautiful! I will keep an eye out next time at Goodwill. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Great tutorial, Ashley! Your frame turned out just perfectly imperfect! :) And it's a beautiful addition to that awesomely sweet photo of you and your family. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  14. The finished frame looks great!

    And YES, I have absolutely noticed that GW pricing is off sometimes. The thing that 'should' be more is super cheap, while broken crap is ridiculously priced. I always wonder how they decide on prices for their stuff.

  15. Cute. Thanks for sharing!

  16. It looks great! Love that frame.

  17. It turned out great! Sometimes the best projects are the ones where you just wing it!

  18. Great job and great find! I love the details!

    If you're interested, we're hosting our first ever link up party. Please stop by and link up!

  19. The frame looks great! I have never tried “your process” but I will keep it in mind.

  20. The frames looks great! Cute pic too :)

  21. That frame is beautiful..I love what you did with it! I can agree Goodwill pricing can be nuts–Dollar Tree items are 1.99 and stuff. But once in awhile you find something awesome for really cheap and that whats keeps me going there…like everyday!

  22. so beautiful!

  23. I actually like the contrast! I think the design shows up beautifully. Nice job, esp for winging it!
    Visiting from It's Overflowing. :)

  24. Your frame makeover is gorgeous! I really thought it was real wood! Lovely family photo too. Coming over from Transformation Thursday and your newest follower. =)


  25. Love your frame and that picture is precious! Love the story that goes with it.


  26. Gorgeous transformation! Great Job!

  27. Nice grab on the GOOD frame and leaving the clearance section WalMart ones– (gosh I know what you mean on their pricing of stuff sometimes!)

    Darling makeover!

    Visiting from Under $100 linky party at Beyond The Picket Fence :) Thanks for sharing with us!
    ~Smiles, Suzanne in NW Illinois

  28. Great job with this! I need to get over my fears and try this one day! Why not, right? Especially when you can find the “before” frames so cheap! I would love if you would consider linking this up to “Drab to Fab” this Friday (tomorrow). The theme is taking the ordinary or simple and turning it into something fabulous! This post totally embodies that! I know my readers would get a kick out of seeing this! Here's a link to more info about the party.
    Hope to see you tomorrow!

  29. Great job! It is beautiful. I hope you will link it up at our party!

  30. What a beautiful picture!! Your little angel snoozing against Daddy's chest is so precious. And way to go girl with the glaze. IMHO you did a great job there. I thought it was awesome white, even better with the glaze. Kudos!!

  31. Oh this is a beautiful frame!! I never seem to find such cute things at Goodwill… :( But I LOVE how the glaze turned out! So pretty!

    I would love it if you joined my weekly Friday link party if you are interested:

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Simply Designing

  32. That looks fabulous! I love the glaze, it really adds to the frame. Cute family!

  33. Great job! I love a good Goodwill makeover. :) I've never experimented with glaze before, but I definitely enjoyed reading about your experience! Cute family photo, too!

    Found your blog from the link party at Serenity Now :)

  34. Love it! Thanks so much for linking up!! Just a reminder to register for my giveaway…

    Ramsign Giveaway: Porcelain Enamel Sign {up to $99 value}

    XO, Aimee

  35. That's amazing! I love.. I have been looking for some similar frames at thrift store but no luck!
    Stopping by from TT & J and would LOVE for you to come by and link this up (and any other project) at my “Create and Inspire” Party!
    Thanks so much!

    Angie from A Little Inspiration

  36. Great frame! I love the glaze! I'd be SO pumped if you'd come and share this (and any other projects you'd like to show off) at the Head to Head Showdown link party, going on right now at I hope to see you there! ~Jen

  37. This turned out great in spite of experimenting without directions! lol, I'm like you, nap time is crunch time!

  38. That's something to be proud of. I love the final product. Amazing…and I love the photo.

  39. The faux glaze is amazing! I want to try it out! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  40. Wow. I can't believe it's the same frame.. Amazing transformation..
    Thanks for linking up at friday fun party..
    Following you now!

  41. i love upcycling old frames! i'll have to try this next time i find a good one!

  42. Raquel Gonzalez Morales says:

    You have a beautiful smile Ashley.
    I love your web site , and I learn from your ideas, and do you know? You are mi sister! (In Christ) .

  43. love ur DUIs but i thought this one should have a black and white pic…would really make it shine even more. but..who am i to say..i could never come up with creative ideas like this. :)

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