framing hack: spray paint the mat

A few weeks ago I was chatting with the guy who works in the framing department at Michaels, and I complained about how expensive it is to get things framed (despite the frequent sales at Michaels). He leaned across the counter and said in a conspiratorial whisper, “You should buy frames off the shelf and spray paint the mats.” Light bulb moment!! What a fantastic idea.

I’m happy to report that this hack works really well! I painted the mat on the lower left in the picture above (Deep Forest by Rustoleum), and the final result looks like it was professionally framed.

For these photos in the kids’ bunk room at the beach condo, I used Krylon Gloss Bright Idea (available at Michaels).

And I used Krylon ColorMaxx Gloss Coral Isle for the Kohr Bros photo and Rustoleum Poppy Red for the modern art print.

I didn’t get photos of the actual spray painting process, unfortunately. It’s best to use matte finish if possible, and it’s really important to do several light coats of paint rather than one or two thick coats. And remember that paint dries best at temperatures between 50 degrees and 90 degrees.

Was this trick news to you, too? Let me know if you try it!

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