Easy DIY Picture Frames

I’ve finished enough of the mudroom to make it functional now, which means my motivation for the last few projects is slowed.

So while I put off building the cabinets, I’ve been finishing up a few instant gratification projects, including my sister’s long overdue birthday present – frames for some paintings she picked up while touring Europe last summer.

To build your own frames, all you need is chair railing, ¼” MDF, paint, glue and a few glazing clips.

For the frame material, I used some chair railing that has a groove pre-cut into the bottom edge to fit over wainscoting. I spray painted the entire piece black. With that dry, I measured the to-be-framed painting, and cut four pieces of chair railing to size, mitering the corners.

Because you want the painting to fit within the pre-cut groove, remove ½” from the overall measurements for the inside of the frame, or the photo will pop right through.

Then, because I wanted to give the frame a distressed look, I used medium-grit sand paper to remove the black paint from the high spots and edges to reveal the wood underneath.

With the pieces sufficiently “distressed,” glue all four pieces together, and throw a few brads into the corners to hold everything together while it dries. Once the glue is dry, throw a coat of clear polyurethane over the entire frame to make the finish uniform.


With the poly dry, measure the back of the frame – groove to groove – and mark a piece of ¼” MDF with the measurements. Score the board 2-3 times with a utility knife, and it should snap pretty cleanly. Then place the photo into the frame with the piece of MDF behind it, tapping a few glazing clips into the frame to hold it in place. Attach a piece of wire to the back, or a grooved hanging clip, and you’re set.

Hang on the wall and admire. (Until your sister starts wondering where her painting is).

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *