DIY Gilded Frames

Chris once asked me, “Can’t we just buy something as is?”  Ah, I wish it was that easy!  Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want.  My motto is, if you can’t buy it, create it.  I saw this Pottery Barn gilded frame and knew it would be a great fit for the gallery wall I wanted to create.  Unfortunately, they don’t offer them in 11×14 – precisely the size I needed.

First, let’s look at the final result of my latest gallery wall:

The top center frame was purchased as is from Michael’s.  I wanted heavy molding for the middle frames and wanted one to offset the others.  Should I add artwork to it as well?  I’m open to opinions!

I found these grey washed 8×10 frames at World Market and printed favorite quotes onto artist paper for a more authentic look.  {What I love most about my home is who I share it with.”  Back to gilding…I searched a few thrift stores for heavy molded frames without any luck that day, so I ran to the craft store and picked up one of my favorite $4 supplies – Rub ‘n Buff.  It comes in various shades and is easy to use.  It’s little tube is deceiving.  I completed all three frames on one tube!
The original frame just wasn’t my taste, but I saw potential in it.  I just put a dab on the frame at a time and worked the “paint” in with my finger.  Work quickly as it dries fast.  To get the paint in the nooks, I used a 15 cent foam brush.
To mimic the frames that I wanted to purchase, I left the finish as is, but just as the name implies, you can buff the paint off with a soft cloth for a clean, smooth finish.
Can you believe I paid just $8 for this frame?  Just 10-15 minutes per frame to achieve the look.
Anything imperfect is perfect to me.  Likely why I was drawn to the frames!
The wall made a great backdrop for our family photos! I added pencil sketches of deer for fall.
Let me know what you think!  Should I leave the center frame empty?  If not, what do you propose I put in it?

Julie Blanner is the voice behind the stylish lifestyle blog filled with do-it-yourself inspiration for effortless entertaining, home design and thoughtful gift-giving.


  • Reply September 11, 2012

    Julie @ The Family CEO

    Julie, I like the idea of putting something 3D in the frame. A cross, another smaller, framed picture, etc. according to your taste.

  • Reply September 11, 2012

    Jen @ Cuddles & Chaos

    Love this little gallery! I agree that something should go in the frame, only I’m not sure what. Maybe a fun pop of color?

  • Reply September 19, 2012


    I think I would add a bit more on either side to balance with the width of the couch. also, maybe consider putting something a bit bolder in terms of print or image in the frames. otherwise, it’s absolutely lovely

  • Reply September 19, 2012

    Julie Blanner

    Julie, that’s a great idea!

  • Reply September 22, 2012


    Absolutely love this!

  • Reply November 4, 2012

    Ann Burr

    I am so happy I stumbled on this beautiful blog! I’ve just spent at least an hour obsessively reading post after post, but I had to comment on this one because I am desperate for some gold frames and had never hear of Rub n Buff! I can’t wait to try it out. Love love love your gallery wall, and my vote in definitely for putting something into the center frame :) Again, happy I found you – I’ll be a regular, for sure!


    • Reply November 4, 2012

      Coordinately Yours

      Thanks Ann! It was a great discovery. I’m still hoping to locate the colors champagne and brass sometime. It’s amazing all of the frames, mirrors and tables you can reinvent with it. I have a metal table waiting in line! If you ever have a question on a post, don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Reply November 23, 2012


    Okay, I’m officially impressed. You also just gave me a brilliant idea. Time to get my ute tool boxes out of the garage and see if I can’t make works of art like those to sell on the side.

  • […] talked about this process a few years ago when I wanted Pottery Barn Gilded Frames in sizes they didn’t […]

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