Personalizing My Picture Frames

The walls in my apartment are really bare. I mean I have a clock with a couple of elephant heads and a mirror. All on institutional off-white walls. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I’ve bought a few things to put on the walls but just haven’t gotten around to them up. I think I got caught in trying to make sure everything was going to be perfect before moving forward. And ended up never moving at all. Plus, I’m a procrastinator. I mean, I could win a gold medal in procrastination. One of my favorite movie lines is from Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara saying, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I can definitely get onboard with that. I’ve tried to find a way to stop procrastinating but I keep putting that off. I see a trend here….sigh

Well, something happened that, at least with this project, has made me decide to get my tush moving and get things up on the walls. My mom came for a visit around Thanksgiving and brought two very cool things for me. The first is my original birth certificate. I mean this is the one signed by the hospital when I was born too many moons ago. The other is a picture of me from the front page of the Columbus Dispatch, also many moons ago. Being on the front page of our largest newspaper (we actually had two at that time) was my 15-minutes of fame.

The first thing I started looking for was some picture frames I really liked. That is so much harder than you would think it would be. I mean, there always seems to be so many options. Who knew it would be so hard to find picture frames but nothing was what I liked or was willing to settle for. First, since I’m going mid-century modern, I needed something with clean lines. When I could find something with clean lines, it didn’t come in a color I liked. I mean, I dislike black a lot, which is the predominant color. I don’t like silver or platinum either. I am much more of an earth tone type of girl. I love browns, ivory, gold, bronze, orange, all those earthy tones. I needed something with more color and substance. I kept looking and looking and looking. I couldn’t find anything I really liked. I was really afraid my procrastination habit would kick in and I’d remember to start looking for pictures frames again sometime next year. I kept my motivation going to find the perfect picture frames. I considered this a major accomplishment.

I kept returning to this one set of seven frames I found on Amazon. They had the clean lines I was looking for, a variety of sizes for different uses, and, most importantly, a price tag I could afford. The only problem was they only came in silver. Why couldn’t they come in wood, matte gold, bronze? Anything but silver!! What is the solution? Rust-oleum, of course. I purchased a can of Hammered Copper Rust-oleum so I could make my picture frames a color I liked instead of settling for a color I don’t like. And they will go with the raised copper pipe plant stand, copper legged plant stand, and the copper pipe and leather wine rack that are on my To Do list.

With living in an apartment, spray painting the frames has to be done one at a time. I kept the box I used when I updated my cart. I had stored it in my outdoor storage closet because I just knew it would come in handy later. This can make the project drag out but it keeps management from yelling at me for tie-dying the porch.

I got notification from Amazon that my frames had been delivered but the paint wasn’t coming until the next day. I live at the back of my apartment complex, while the office and the mailboxes are at the front. It is part of my routine to take my dog for a walk up to the office to pick up the mail. This way we both get out in the fresh air and get some exercise. When I know I have packages, I carry a reusable bag I got from JoAnn Fabrics. After getting the mail from the mailbox, I went to the office to get my package. I walked in and immediately saw my box…and immediately knew there was no way that box was going to fit in the bag. The office manager suggested I open the box there and hopefully whatever was inside was small enough to fit in my bag. Sure enough, the Amazon box was much bigger than the box inside.

After unpacking the frames, I decided that the 17” frame would be the first one I would paint. That would be the one for my birth certificate. I ripped off the plastic, turned it over, and saw all the pieces I needed to remove to get the glass out. The corner pieces weren’t difficult to remove but the other ones…now those were a pain. A couple of them came out fairly easily, but the rest were a chore.

I eventually got them all out and removed the cardboard, the really bad picture, and the matting. However, I found that the glass was glued in using rubber cement. I couldn’t get it out. That put an end to the idea to take it out before spray painting it. So, now I needed to come up with a backup plan. Simple, cover the glass with paper.


I then got out my box and risers from my previous spray painting projects. I only had 4 risers left so I could only spray paint one frame at a time. I am concerned about this because, with the delays, it is very possible my procrastination gene could kick in and I’ll finish painting these next year (if ever). It took a couple of coats but it ended up looking exactly like what I was looking for.



I love the way my birth certificate looks in the frame. However, as I was admiring my handy work, I noticed a little bit of paint on the glass. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get if off. Then I thought about the disposable razors I had. I got one and hit it with a hammer. The razor was very tiny but I could hold it without cutting myself, and it was bendable too. And it worked. I was able to scrap all the paint off. However, when I was putting everything back together, I noticed there seemed to be a fine film of paint on the inside of the glass. Well crap! I couldn’t take off that with my little razor blade. I went and got my nail polish remover. I ran a cotton ball of remover all over the inside of the glass and the film was gone. Then I spent even more time cleaning the glass to remove any trace of the acetone.



And there it is!


The next frame I painted was the one I planned on putting the newspaper picture in. Luckily the smaller frames didn’t have as many things on the back as the big one did. They only had braces on the corners. So much easier to get them out. And the glass came out of frame. But for some reason, it didn’t dawn on me that I could leave the glass out when I painted them. I just covered the glass with paper and painters tape, put it back in, and then put the ‘fake’ picture back in to protect the back of the glass. I really think I just made my life harder than it needed to be.


Going in, I knew I wouldn’t be able to use the matting so I needed to find something to go behind the picture to frame it out. I remember I had a bunch of scrapbooking paper and really hoped I could find something that looked mid-century modern in the packet. I came up with a few alternatives. The first options had orange in them and seemed to have that mid-century vibe. The second option were my teal options. I laid the picture on each of the options to help make my decision.

I ended up with the second of the orange options.


I’m still working on the other frames. I’m not sure where I’ll put them all but I have found a location for my birth certificate and my newspaper clippings.




4 thoughts on “Personalizing My Picture Frames

    1. I agree that I need to spend more attention to this site. It was supposed to be for both my sister and I but she keeps falling down on the job. Please come back and visit. I just updated the Thrifting post with my new finds.


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