I love spending time browsing through op-shops on my weekends. You never know what kind of treasures you might stumble across. Maybe you’ll pick up a stack of books at the great price of a dollar each or you might find some cool retro kitchenware for your home.

On my last visit to Vinnies (a chain of not-for-profit thrift stores in Australia) I wound up looking through a selection of old photo and picture frames. I found a frame that was in great structural shape and thought to myself – ‘why don’t I up-cycle this frame into a cool yellow and white 1970s style vintage picture frame’ – it’ll be a fun little project for the weekend. I measured the inside of the frame and it was a perfect fit for a 40cm x 50cm poster.

I grabbed the sturdiest frame, paid my eight dollars and took it home to get to work.

If you have a poster you would like to frame in mind measure it’s dimensions before choosing your frame. Now to get the result I was after on my frame I first smoothed the original finish back using some fine sandpaper.

Then I applied a few coats of my homemade yellow chalk paint. I let this dry and applied a few coats of homemade white chalk paint.

Before and After Vintage Poster Frame

Chalk paint gives you a nice matte and slightly rough finish which is easy to sand and gives you that great distressed look which is so popular right now. I chose to use an undercoat of yellow with a white finish as I think these two colours really reflect a bright 1970s colour palette. It kind of reminds me of sunflowers and flower power.

At this point your vintage poster frame should be starting to look fantastic!

After you have applied the yellow and white coats and given the frame a chance to dry use a very fine grain sandpaper and remove any roughness to the frame’s finish. Hold off going for that distressed look at this point, wait until the frame is nice and smooth first. Once smooth put in some effort and take back a few coats of the white paint to expose the yellow undercoat.

Simple Chalk Paint Recipe.

  • 1 part acrylic paint
  • 1 part powdered plaster of Paris
  • 1/2 part water

Once you are happy with your distressing apply several coats of spray polyurethane to protect your finished vintage poster frame.

Now all that’s left to do is find something amazing to use in your new frame (of course I recommend using a PosterCandy print) and hang it on your wall!

Shopping List Vintage Poster Frame

What you’ll need for this DIY project:

  • Old poster frame from your local thrift shop
  • Fine grain sandpaper
  • Small tub of white acrylic paint
  • Small tub of yellow acrylic paint
  • Polyurethane spray
  • Small bag of plaster of Paris
  • 2 x Paint brush

You can source most of these items from your local craft or hardware store. I went to Bunnings and picked it all up in the one trip.


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