How to Resize a Thrift Store Picture Frame

Thift stores seem to always have an abundance of cheap picture frames. However, sometimes it’s difficult to find the size you’re looking for. Let me show you a simple way to resize old picture frames.

Whenever I visit a thrift store, one of my favorite spots to browse is the framed art section. There’s always plenty of store-bought art, children’s crafts, and old family photos(just in case you want another family’s photo on your wall). Yet, sometimes you find a painting like this.

Vintage-Watercolor-Old-Frame

I love this watercolor of a countryside. The colors and soothing lines speak to me. Plus, it includes this title and signature from the artist. Thank you, W.J. McCaughey ’53.

However, I didn’t really like the frame. It was falling apart, and the distressed pine wouldn’t work well with other elements in my home.

Artist-Signature-Watercolor

After perusing the framed art section a little longer, I found the perfect frame for W.J. McCaughey’s watercolor.

I loved the color and the simpleness of the frame. The only problem…it was too big. So I decided to take it home and resize it. It isn’t difficult to do, let me show you how.

Vintage-Watercolor-Big-Frame

Supply List

Step 1: Remove Old Backing and Staples

The first thing I did was remove any of the old backing, staples, and hardware from the back of the frame. I used a screwdriver and some pliers to remove them. This made it safer to use my miter saw to cut the frame.

Staple-picture-frame

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Frame

For this step, I measured the watercolor and marked the new length on the frame. I cut the frame at a 45-degree angle using my miter saw. You can also do this with a hand saw if you don’t have a miter saw.

Cut-Picture-Frame

Step 3: Put Frame Together

To connect the newly cut corners, I added some wood glue and a few staples with a staple gun to hold them in place while they dried.

Step 4: Add the Art to the Frame

I decided not to use glass for my artwork, and I also kept the original mat because it was in great shape. If you decide to add glass, you can buy glass or acrylic sheets from your local hardware/craft store and have them cut to size.

Step 5: Add the Backing

Cut cardboard backing to size(I used an old Amazon box) and then use glazier points to keep the cardboard in place. I found it easier to install glazier points with a wide putty knife and a hammer versus a screwdriver.

Position the glazier point on the border of the frame. Place the putty knife against the lip of the glazier point and then tap the end of the putty knife with a hammer. This process is straightforward and works so well.

And there you have it. My vintage watercolor looks much better in its newly resized frame.

Painting-Ratan Light-Books

How to Resize a Thrift Store Picture Frame

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