How to update a frame with paper backing

howtoupdateaframewithpaperHave you ever walked through a thrift shop and seen a beautiful frame with a picture that is less than desirable? And it has paper backing that  scares you away from updating it yourself? Well, this post will teach you how to rip away that backing, take the frame apart, and reassemble it so you can transform it any way you want.

Here is a recent project where I took apart a picture frame in order update the frame. Keep in mind, though, once you take apart a picture frame, you could update any part you want to- whether it be inserting a new picture, changing out the matte, or updating the frame.

I found this beautiful painting at my local thrift store, Savers. It was 3.99! I loved the painting itself, but the frame needed some love. No problem! IMG_8797

It was so desperate for a makeover, it was practically unraveling itself:


So let the fun begin! First, you have to remove the paper backing. I replaced the backing with new paper, so no need to be careful. Just remove it and throw it out. I used the flat part of scissors to remove the corners where it was glued.
This was what is behind the backing: a canvas held in by some bendable screws.


I used needle nose pliers to bend the screws open enough to pop out the canvas:


and out it pops:

dissassembleframeNext, I used high gloss spray paint to bring the frame back to life. I wanted to keep the white linen border of the frame so I taped over it.

IMG_8813Here’s a great tip: Always use primer first when you spray paint. Even if you’re using a primer and paint combo, still prime. It makes a huge difference, as the top layer goes on much smoother.

And now, it is time to put your frame back together. Simply put it back together in the order you took it apart.  To replace the paper backing, use builder’s paper, which can found in the paint section of Home Depot.


It is advertised to be used as a tarp, but it really has virtually a million uses. Score! It will cost you $10, but with 140 ft of the stuff, you will can use it for a lifetime of picture repurposing. Yay!

I used some high tech tools to adhere the new backing to the frame :)


Scissors, glue stick, and a pencil- that was it.

If you’re replacing the backing, first trace out the desired amount of backing needed:

then cut:

IMG_9079and glue it:

Then give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations, you didn’t let that paper backing scare you away!

Now hang that beauty on the wall and enjoy :)

I hope you found this useful! signature


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