Vintage Picture Frame Makeover

Have you ever fallen in love with what you thought was a wooden picture frame at a thrift store or yard sale, only to pick it up and realize that it’s a 1970s piece with a classic case of resinitis

vintage 1970s plastic resin ornate picture frame

That’s right… this frame is 100% plastic. When I found this a couple of years ago I was completely surprised by that. I totally expected it to be wood.

It’s kind of an odd size at 18 1/2′ x 21 1/2′, and it’s as light as a feather.

I seem to have a thing for giving these 1970s pieces makeovers… like this vintage spice rack/shelf and this wall spoon and fork set.


vintage plastic picture frame makeover

This frame has beautiful details.

Trying to paint an ornate frame like this with a brush would be a nightmare.


ornate plastic picture frame 3

So, of course, spray paint to the rescue…. again.

I took the frame out to my fancy schmancy spray painting booth and gave it a couple of light coats of a white spray paint and primer combo love, letting it dry between coats of course.


ornate plastic picture frame 4

Then I had to decide what I was going to frame. I chose this recently thrifted oil painting.


vintage plastic picture frame makeover

The 12′ x 16′ painting was just a little too big for the frame so gorilla tape to the rescue.


vintage plastic picture frame makeover

I lightly sanded some of the raised parts of the frame…


vintage plastic picture frame makeover

just to give it a little character.


vintage plastic picture frame makeover

And I hung it in my used-to-be-red-but-is-now-sky-blue living room. (I went a little crazy about a month ago and repainted my living room in a whirlwind when John was away. Thankfully he loved the change as much as I do.)

While the husband’s away… the wife will paint. 🙂

This oil painting is now one of my favourite things. White paint can easily turn plastic into fantastic, and I love how it makes the colours in this painting pop.

Do you have any pieces suffering from 1970s resinitis? They may just need a little spray paint love.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.


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white picture frame collage

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  1. What a precious picture! It looks like a high end piece of art. I do have lots of resin stuff like that….some of it is Syrocco from the 70’s/80’s. I often find it and sell it in my Etsy shop! Buyers love that stuff. I leave it as is and let them paint if they want to.

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I love this resin stuff because it takes paint so well and is quite transformed by it. Also, around here it’s usually inexpensive too.

  2. That painting is even more lovely in that frame!! Nice match-up! Dona

  3. Very pretty makeover tuula! I kind of like those old plastic pieces because they are usually pretty inexpensive (I guess the people at the thrift shops and garage sales can’t see the potential!) and they do look so much like wood!


    1. Thanks Tania! They’re inexpensive around here too, and they paint up like a dream.

  4. Beautiful makeover and with the painting it is perfect. I loved that painting when you shared it but it is more lovely now in the madeover frame.

    1. Thanks Sharon! It always amazes me what a little white paint will do.

  5. Yes! I constantly pick up frames (and mirrors) that I think are made of wood but they’re plastic! And yes, I have brought some of them home and painted them! Most fo the ones I find are gold. The beauty of the plastic is the light weight! Love your new look here. xo Kathleen

    1. Thanks Kathleen! I’ve seen some of those gold pieces too. They usually have fabulous details that look great when painted.

  6. I thought it was wood too. It really looks fantastic against your new wall color! Another great makeover Tuula! Have a great week.

  7. Love the frame! It doesn’t look like plastic. Such an improvement with the white though.

    1. Thanks Florence! It really does look like real wood, but I’m a paint girl… so I pretty much paint everything.

  8. Hi, did you happen to notice that the little shelf and this frame share almost the same design. One of the designs is the fleur-de-lis and the other is the insignia of the Prince of Wales. I think the fleur-de-lis is on the shelf and the other is on the frame. But don’t quote me on that! Great job as always!

    1. Thanks Cathy! I didn’t notice that. I just went back and looked and you’re right. They’re very similar. Must have been popular designs back in the 70s.

    1. Thanks Cecilia! I swear it looks like one of those fancy plaster frames now. You really can’t tell it’s plastic unless you pick it up.

  9. Wow! it looks fantastic, and nope I’d a never guessed it wasn’t wood. And I gotta say, I’ve been spray painting for a long time, why I never thought of this before I don’t know, but how very smart of you to spray paint inside a cardbox!!! Genius!

    1. Thanks Liz! I have different sized cardboard boxes that I use depending on the size of the item. It really makes it so much easier.

  10. Don’t you love the power of paint? The frame looks so brand new fresh and pretty.

    1. Thanks very much! It never ceases to amaze me what a coat of paint will do.

  11. Beautiful frame! The white paint really makes the painting pop. I also would like to take a moment to give you a heartfelt thanks for hosting the Vintage Charm party and for selecting my phonograph as April’s feature. I was stunned speechless when Cecilia told me–which doesn’t happen too often! Hope you have a great day!

    1. Thanks Tammy! Your phonograph is such a beautiful piece. You did such an amazing job. I loved it!

  12. Well we have the exact same smancy fancy spray booth … now if I could just find a box large enough for furniture pieces! 😀 Thanks for sharing your pretty frame, Cynthia

    1. Thanks Cynthia! I used to spray larger pieces in a box from my new water heater a few years ago, but cardboard boxes don’t last forever. I’ve told everyone I know that whenever they get new appliances the boxes are mine. lol

  13. I helped a neighbor move years ago, and she said I could have her two wooden end tables. Only they weren’t wood, they had resinitis, haha. I spray painted them with a bright metallic silver. Just a few light coats and it made a world of difference. I’ve found that that old plastic just loves to take paint, haven’t you?

    That painting is such a treasure. I think you found the perfect frame to go with it. I can see why it’s your new favorite. xo Amy

    1. Thanks Amy! I’ve never seen a table with a case of resinitis. I’m glad you cured it. 🙂

  14. Gail Brito says:

    I just picked up this exact frame last night exactly same size everything different picture though now I know exactly what Im going to do with it thanks it is plastic and not resin though right!!

    1. Hi Gail! Lucky you. It is a lovely frame, and I far as I know it’s made of a plastic resin.