How To Upcycle Picture Frames With Shiplap

Learning how to upcycle picture frames was a game changer in my furniture painting business. There was always a need for more home decor to stage my furniture with. I can’t just use the same ole thing all the time. For some reason, I’m just not made of money. Well, that’s what Mr. Honey Do tells me. The emergency trips Hobby Lobby for staging decor can’t continue if I want to be profitable. Finding a way to create and still be unique with my style has always been a challenge. But, picture frames are a dime a dozen and I have a quick tutorial on how to create a unique piece of home decor that can be used in many ways and in the staging of your furniture. Let’s get started!

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How To Upcycle Picture Frames With Shiplap

How To Up-cycle Picture Frames With Ship-lap

Products List

Here is a list of the items I used to create this project upcycled picture frame.

The Idea To Upcycle Picture Frames

I used plywood to upcyle picture frames to look like faux ship-lap. I had this old upcycled picture frame that had been sitting in my stash of maybes in the garage for a while. It almost made it to the garage sale pile until I put two and two together. I recently did a faux shiplap wall (CLICK HERE to see) inside my home and as always, there were leftovers… which I saved. You just never know when you might need it. This one paid off huge!

Constructing The Backing

Measure the plywood to fit inside your upcyled picture frames. Cut 1/4-in plywood strips (depending on the size of your frame) to fit inside of the lip of the back of the frame. This is where the mirror or picture would have been sitting. Be sure to allow for the gaps between the boards so that it looks like authentic ship-lap. Here’s a tip for you. If you know the size you need, most of the bigger hardware stores will cut it for you for free, or a small fee and they have the right equipment to do the perfect straight cuts. Then all you have to do is make the simple cuts to fit inside the upcycled picture frame.

 Upcycle picture frames with plywood to create faux shiplap wall decor.

Prepping The Plywood

Sand the plywood before attaching it to upcycle picture frames. Next, you will want to give the 1/4-in plywood strips a good sanding with an orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges before painting.

Getting Ready For Paint

I added a stain blocker to the plywood before painting it. Next, you will need to use a good stain blocker. The tannins from the raw wood will most certainly bleed through your paint if you miss this step and you’ll have a hot mess on your hands. I use a product called BOSS (stain blocker). It’s what I use on my furniture makeovers too but it also works well for my small projects like this upcycled picture frame.

I painted the strips of plywood white to give them that authentic shiplap look to my upcycled picture frames. Next, pick a good neutral color for your background. For this project, I chose a color called Fluff. One coat was all it took since I used the white stain blocker.

Paint the inside strips of the plywood black to make sure that the gaps between the faux shiplap looks authentic. Next, use black paint to paint the edges of the 1/4-in plywood strips. The reason for this is to make sure that the gaps appear dark.

Attaching The Plywood To The Upcycled Picture Frames

Next, attached the 1/4-in plywood strips to the frames with whatever you have on hand. I prefer quick and easy so I pulled out my pneumatic nail gun and went to town.Next, attached the 1/4-in plywood strips to the frame with whatever you have on hand. I prefer quick and easy so I pulled out my Pneumatic Nail Gun and went to town. You have many options here. Nails, tacks, staples, etc. Remember, this is home decor, not a structure that will get banged around. It just needs to be secure.

Painting the edges of the plywood black made a huge difference in the way my upcyled picture frame project turned out.

Imagine the possibilities. One upcycled picture frame and endless ways to style it. Take that Hobby Lobby!

I’d love to hear your ideas and what you would add to style this shiplap frame. Drop me some suggestions below in the comment section. Inspire me!

until the next project…

8 replies
  1. Donna Dodson
    Donna Dodson says:

    Hi, Raquel! You can sign up for my email list by subscribing to any of my free instructional videos on my blog. So glad you found me. I share all my DIY projects weekly. 🙂 xo

  2. Stacey Purcell
    Stacey Purcell says:

    I love this idea! It will help me make some terrific Christmas presents! I’m also an author and can use this idea to dress up my table at book signings! Thanks.

  3. Jan Hawkes
    Jan Hawkes says:

    I love this but was wondering, if you had a more colorful painting, would you still do the neutral background or take a color out of the painting, like you would with matboard.

  4. Donna Dodson
    Donna Dodson says:

    Hi Jan! Great question. For me, I would leave it neutral so I can change out my art. If you’re looking for a more permanent look, by all means, use a complimentary color.

    Happy painting… xo, Do 🙂

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