Turn A Picture Frame Into A Distressed Vanity Tray

Turn A Picture Frame Into A Distressed Vanity Tray

We found this little picture frame at Goodwill for .99 cents.  It’s very simple and unassuming, but we thought it would be a really example of what you can do with a little imagination.

We took this picture frame and within less than an hour had a cute little distressed vanity tray.  Our daughter Hannah has already requisitioned it for her room.

Most of us probably have some simple picture frame or small mirror laying around the house that would make a great vanity tray.

So, here’s what we did.  Hope you enjoy!

distressed vanity tray

Tools Needed

  • small picture frame (with glass) or small mirror
  • chalk paint (2 colors)
  • paintbrush
  • sandpaper or steel wool
  • wax (optional)

1)  Paint the frame with your main color.  We did a basic white on this one

distressed vanity tray

distressed vanity tray



2) Paint the glass with your second color.  We used a dark charcoal gray

distressed vanity tray

3)  Let the paint dry, then distress

When thoroughly dry distress as desired using the sandpaper around corners, edges and raised areas

distressed vanity tray


distressed vanity tray


4)  Add wax if desired, otherwise you can now use it as a cute little vanity tray


distressed vanity tray

distressed vanity tray



Spruce Up A Dull Basket

Spruce Up A Dull Basket

Not that this little basket we picked up for $1.99 on our $5 bill Goodwill adventure was ugly or anything.   It was just plain, and too much like a million others.  But hey, for $1.99 we knew we could make it fit right in with our living room decor

There’s really no need for a tutorial on this because all we did was hit it with a little paint.

We used an olive green chalk paint and dry brushed the top in a butter cream yellow.

Just use your imagination and make the colors work with your decor, and there’s no limit to how you can spruce up a dull item laying around your house.


A Touch Of Green Paint


Some Light Dry Brushing (Butter Cream Yellow)


Add A Few Pinecones From The Yard!

green basket


An Old Handmade Box Becomes A Cute Display

The last piece that we picked up at Goodwill was this handmade red box for $1.99.  It was already painted and very rustic so we knew we wouldn’t have to do much if anything to make it work in our little boy’s room.

distressed red box

All we did was take a little white paint, and dry brushed it on the outside with some dark charcoal paint, then some white, and applied the wax.    Then we added some hardware and hung it on the wall in our little boys’ room to use as a display.

distressed red box

distressed red box


His room is kind of a teddy bear theme so this was the perfect place to put a little bear on display.

distressed red box

This was super simple and added a lot to his room.

Now, get to your local thrift shop and get creative.  There’s no end to what you can do with a $5 bill and some imagination.


What Is My Decorating Style?  Let’s Find Out

What Is My Decorating Style? Let’s Find Out

Distressed furniture has become a huge decorating style in recent years.  Interior designers, celebrities, do-it-yourselfers, you name it.  Everyone seems to be decorating their homes in this beautiful and elegant style, and it is not without good reason.

The ease with which anyone can make their own distressed furniture offers everyone from the antiques connoisseur to the frugal stay-at-home mom, the opportunity to fill their homes with the same type of furniture you would find in well-designed interiors from elegant country cottages to antebellum mansions.

As you know, our entire website is dedicated to helping people learn how to distress furniture themselves.  We have decorated much of our home furniture using the same distressing techniques and chalk paint recipe that you see on our site.

However, if you do much looking around the Internet, especially on Pinterest, you will see that distressed furniture can mean anything from shabby chic to utter destruction!  The type of style that we do our own pieces in may be far different from what you would want or need in your home, or even a far cry from what you think is beautiful.antique chair 1

I think this is a good thing.   It allows a very unique decorating style to become an art form in the hands of the painter.   We stress this in our tutorials, but there is no right or wrong in this area; there is only your decorating style personality, your decorating needs and your imagination.

With those three things  you have the power of Rembrandt to create a masterpiece for your home, and the fact that your piece may look different than the one you saw online only means that you now have a one-of-a-kind item that nobody else does – and you made it!

With that being said, if you are one who wonders “Hey, what is my decorating style?” or feels overwhelmed with all of the different styles of distressed furniture you see online we want to help you sift through the noise and find a style that fits your personality and your needs.

Here are some tips to help you get started thinking.

There are many different home decor styles out there.  This post is not about all of them, but specifically about what types of distressed furniture styles may fit your personality and needs.

What Is Your Decorating Style Personality?

Not just how you think, act and feel on a personal level, but in regards to furniture and decor.  What kind of furniture makes you go crazy when you see it?  What kind of furniture makes your breath stop, and your heart start singing “I Gotta Have This”?

Do you frequent antique shops?  Is it the old, worn antique, filled with decades of obvious wear that brings you to life?

How about a piece that is so beaten and worn out it looks as if it is about to disintegrate before your eyes?

Or do you love the soft simplicity of the Shabby Chic look?

Start paying attention while you look at pieces in person or online, and let your eyes and your heart tell you when you’ve found something special.  You can only find it inside.  If you only buy or decorate with what is hot, what is new, or what is in, I think you will be missing out on what really moves you.  Your true decorating personality is not likely to change just because some celebrity is decorating in a certain style this week.

What Are Your Decorating Needs?

Remember, to be practical.  You do not need or have room for every piece that you see and love.  It is always wise to strike a balance between your needs and your wants.  What good is it to have that gorgeous, rare and central piece of furniture in the room if it’s crammed in there with a thousand other unnecessary and distracting items.

Look for ways to turn dull pieces that you already own into works of art.  Do you own distressing and at the level that fits your style and your needs for that room.  Even just a coat of chalk paint with no distressing can do wonders for a dull room.

Keep it simple and be honest with yourself.  You do not need every piece.  Just the best ones!


When you are creating distressed furniture there is no better way to express yourself than by being creative and letting your imagination, as well as the piece itself, determine the outcome.   Don’t box yourself into a certain way of doing things just because everyone else is doing it that way.

Distressed furniture is art in its own way.  Don’t worry about trying something new.  Something new is something unique and that is always a good thing.

Lurking around your house, or possibly in the local thrift shop lies a piece of furniture that is screaming out to be turned into a new and amazing piece of art.  Go get it and get started.

Just make it your own.