How to Reuse Old Artwork

One of the best things about moving into this house was the fact that the former homeowners left us so many awesome things. They left us a lot of artwork. We donated some and kept some. I liked the frames of some of the pieces we kept, but not the actual picture in the frame. So I decided to get crafty. Here's how to reuse old artwork.

*I'm giving instructions for a frame that you can't take the glass out of because that's what I had and that's what prompted the DIY. If you're able to take the glass out, you can still do this DIY or you can just replace the artwork with something else.



Black paint or chalkboard paint (Or any color you'd like)

Chalkboard marker or white paint marker (or any color you'd like)

Paint brush

Gloss or matte sealer (Depending on what kind of finish you want)


1. Tape the insides of the frame

I had a hard time with this because it didn't seem straight. If you can't tape the insides, that's OK. Just have a damp rag handy and you can easily wipe it off as you go

2. Paint

This works no matter what surface you have on the inside of the frame. Mine was glass.  I didn't have any issues with the paint coming off, but if you do, you might want to lightly sand the glass/surface.

I painted mine with chalkboard paint. You can easily paint it with any color that you want or you can just go with black. I found that the chalkboard paint really just came out like regular paint so I don't think there's a need to use it even if you're going with a chalkboard look.

2. Let paint dry to the touch and then add a second coat.

If necessary. I found that one coat didn't quite give me a clean finish so I went over it.

3. Let dry again.

You may want to let it dry over night. I'm impatient and I just waited until it was dry to the touch and it was fine.

4. Make your stencil.

While the paint is drying, make your stencil. I made mine using my Sizzix machine. If you do a lot of stencil work or work with cardstock a lot, I highly recommend it. There are so many things you can make yourself. (I should also list stencils in my Etsy store, but I'd be happy to make one for a tiny little fee. #shamelesspulg) If you don't have a Sizzix, you can buy a stencil or make one using your printer and some paper. Just find an image online, print it out, and cut. Boom, instant stencil.

5.  Use your stencil to draw your shape.

Once the paint is dry, of course. I loosely taped the stencil so it wouldn't move. But you want to be careful so you don't peel the paint. I used a chalkboard marker to lightly draw the letters. I always like to fill everything in without the stencil because I'm totally a messy stenciler.

6. Take the stencil off and fill in.

I took the stencil off and 2filled in using the paint marker. Just fill it in until it looks how you like. I prefer the paint marker over the chalkboard marker because I find that the chalkboard marker runs a little when you go over everything with the sealer. I don't mind a little runage on the outline because I think it looks more chalkboard like, but if everything runs it's a huge mess.

7. Let dry.

Let it dry to the touch and then peel the tape that's around the frame off. That way you can touch up anything the tape may have messed up. Then let it dry overnight.

8. Spray everything with the sealer.

I recommend covering the actual frame with tape or paper so you don't get sealer on it. Unless you don't mind the glossy or matte look on the frame. Hold the sealer back a few inches so it doesn't get all drippy. Also, be sure to vent the room or do it outside if you can. Sealer is pretty smelly. Then let that dry overnight as well.

9. Hang and admire your work.

We hung ours in our bar area. I actually made two different signs from old artwork.

What I love about this project:

The fact that you can buy cheap art or use old art your tired of an recycle it into something shiny and new. I'm all about reusing things, y'all.

The fact that it's so versatile. The possibilities are endless. You can do any words, letters, shape, design, and/or colors you want.

It makes a super awesome gift too.