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I hung up some Goodwill frames…come see!

Remember these frames?

I got them at Goodwill this past summer. I bought them because:

1. They had mats. I love mats.
2. There were 3 matching ones. Frames work nicely in sets of 3.
3. Their lines are simple, which makes for easy painting.

The original color wasn’t bad…it just wouldn’t work in my living room, so I knew I wanted to paint them black. Because I paint pretty much everything black.

I think I have some sort of paint-everything-black disease.

(If it’s a disease, I don’t want to be cured.)

I actually painted these back in August, when I painted Joshua’s bed (I, uh, painted it black.). But I couldn’t quite decide where I wanted to hang them until after Christmas.

Teen boy bedroom painted in Behr sparrow

Taking the Christmas tree down sometimes gives me a must-rearrange itch, and this was one of those years.

I didn’t take any before pictures, but you can see what our living room used to look like in this older post, which includes a horrifying photo of the way our living room looked when we bought the house.

Anyhow, I moved things around and ended up with a perfect place on my wall for the three frames.

I kind of fail at taking pictures of pictures, but I’m going to show you these anyways (you can see better versions of most of them in my vacation pictures post).

This is the bottom picture.

The middle one.

And this is the top photo.

Did you notice the little table in the corner?

That should look familiar to some of you old-timers (or archive-readers!). It’s the first piece of furniture that I ever painted, and it kick-started quite a series of painting projects for me (I posted a before and after picture of the table way back when).

I had it downstairs for a long time, but once I rearranged, I decided it might be nice to bring it into the living room. Thus far, I really like having it there…the drawer is handy for storing things, and the shelf below is great for books.

So, for now this is where it’ll stay.

For those who might be wondering, I painted the frames using the basic method I outlined in my How to Paint Wooden Furniture post. I could have used spray paint instead, but since I was already painting Joshua’s bed, I used the brush-on paint.

The mats were mostly the right color, except that the cut part around the mat openings was darker than I wanted it to be. So, I used spray paint to paint the mats. It was my first time trying that, and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.

If you try it, I recommend flat sheen paint, and I’d also recommend that you be careful not to get the mat too wet with paint. As with most any kind of painting, thin coats (with adequate drying time between coats) are the way to go.

Oh, and if you like to look at painting projects as much as I do, you can browse through some of my older projects in the painting category.

Update! Our living room walls are now a lovely blueish-gray color, and I think the frames look even better against this new shade. All the details are here.

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Monday 3rd of August 2015

Hey! Great work. I'm going to use your method here ( to stain my wooden bed frame. But I'm wondering, what is the grey paint you used in your living room here? I love it and am looking for a nice grey like that to paint my accent wall at home :) Thanks!


Monday 3rd of August 2015

It's Fusion, from Benjamin Moore. Here's a post about it!

We also did gray in Joshua's room, though it's a lighter shade. You can see that here:


Friday 27th of March 2015

Love your crown moulding. Have been looking for ways to finish the end like that and it looks so classy and clean!


Friday 27th of March 2015

I love it too! So thankful my brother came and helped us with it.

Tamara Ivy

Monday 6th of October 2014

I'm going to be gting a new couch. Which means I need to get rid of my oak stuff and go with black. "To match my new black iron and glass tables. My question is, I have an oak curio. CanI redo this in black, and how do I get around the glass?


Tuesday 7th of October 2014

Yes, oak is very paintable! Put newspaper over the glass and use painter's tape to secure it neatly around the edges so that you don't get paint on the glass.

Olivia Stock

Tuesday 20th of November 2012

I love your very practical and inspirational web site. I love the look of lovely, elegant things but the pocketbook doesn't love the expense of some of them so scouring Goodwill and consignment shops is my retail therapy. Your site has helped me to realize that I can really go to town and re-invent an awful lot of stuff. Thank you.


Thursday 27th of September 2012

We also recently painted our living room grey and we love it. The picture frames are all black, and a built in cabinet/fireplace mantle/trim all remained white. Except we will paint the insides of the bookcase builtins grey. The paint came from the 1/2 off gallons at our local Orchard Supply Hardware, where someone had returned "cape may cobblestone" in many gallons. We bought two (to be safe) for under $45. Happy. :)


Thursday 27th of September 2012

Oooh, nice! That's so great that you were able to find the color you wanted that way. I had such a terrible time finding the right paint took me several tries.

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