How To Distress A Picture Frame From The Dollar Tree!

How To Distress A Picture Frame From The Dollar Tree!

This post may contain an affiliate link. See my disclosure policy.



distressed photo frames with a distressed shelf

How To Distress A Picture Frame From The Dollar Tree!

Anyone have some classic oak frames that you’d rather be shabby chic or farmhouse style with some distressed white or light colored paint?  Here is an easy and frugal fix for that!  I’m going to show you how I transformed an inexpensive frame from the Dollar Tree, but this technique will work great on any frames – especially from a thrift store!

distressing a picture frame apply unicorn spit

Materials you need to make your own distressed photo frame from a dollar store:


distressing a photo frame with unicorn spit

I have recently fallen in love with Unicorn Spit!  I learned about it from a video tutorial over on  When I realized the possibilities, I ordered a few colors to test it out.  It is a non-toxic wood gel/stain that smells like jasmine!  It’s super fun to work with and I’ll be sharing some more projects I have used it on soon.

So I took my oak colored dollar frames and put some Weathered Daydream (the gray/blue color) in just a few splotches around the edge.  Then I gently rubbed that on the top of the frame so that the indents and grain of the wood would get highlighted with that color.

distressing a photo frame apply unicorn spit

I did the same with the Rustic Reality color – this darker shade gives the frame a bit more contrast.

distressing a picture frame - adding contract colors before adding white paint

Here it is after it dried with the 2 different colors of Unicorn Spit- It still has the oak background, the grains and indents and shadows all have a touch of gray/brown/blue tints that will come through after I cover it in white and distress it.

distressed photo frame spray paint

Then I took my Satin Heirloom White spray paint and just put one coat on each of the frames.

distressed photo frame after sanding

The next step is the most fun because it’s the final step and is what makes them look distressed and antique.

I used a Dremel Multi-Max tool with a sanding attachment and used that to sand the edges just enough to officially make it look distressed.  There is no real correct way to distress – I just went around the edges with the sanding tool and let the darker shades pop through until it looked antique or old enough for my taste.

distressed picture frame up close

I love how you can see numerous colors in this when you take a close-up look.  You can see some of the blue hues under the white paint.  The sanded edges show the original oak color – and some of the Unicorn Spit shades of blues and grays.

distressed photo frame after picture

I used these to frame up some scrapbook paper that matched my Display Shelf Makeover where these now hang in my guest room.



distressed photo frames above the bed

Here they are paired up with the made over display shelf – perfect for my shabby chic/farmhouse guest room.

distressed photo frame above the bed

distressed photo frame before and after

Be sure to check out how to do your own Display Shelf Makeover!


Or if you don’t want to DIY – then just go shopping!  Check out 20 Farmhouse Decor Items for less than $20! 

How to Distress A Picture Frame


8 Responses to How To Distress A Picture Frame From The Dollar Tree!

  1. Your bedroom ensemble looks delightful!

    I’ve been toying with the idea of white decor on a white walls and it looks like that’s what you have and I love it. I was curious if the wall is a true white?

  2. I was just looking at frames at the dollar tree– and they have no white ones– but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the trouble of painting the black or wood looking ones…. I like how yours turned out– and your whole wall looks great!

  3. What a great way to make cheap frames look amazing! I have heard of Unicorn Spit before but never really knew what it was – so cool!!

    Thanks for sharing your project with the Share Your Style Link Party!!

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.