It was nearly three years ago when I purchased a can of ‘merlot’ colored paint from Kelly Moore. Since then it has sat in my garage waiting to be used. Every year I had every intention to finally do the ‘wall frame’ project I had in mind when I bought it. But something always comes up. When a can of paint is left unused, the hue needs to be professionally mixed. So I would visit the Kelly Moore store every year that it sat unused to have them perform this task.

One day in the late Fall, when I was sick with the flu and bored from resting on my bed, was when I decided that operation wall frame will be underway. Incidentally, this project is all about adding some pizzazz to three vintage wall mirrors in my hallway. I love these pieces. It had a beveled mirror design set in a rustic dark copper color with specs of aged bronze nickel frame. I spotted them in an antique shop eight years ago and although my first home had a country-style vibe, I just had to get them!

When we moved into our second home I knew exactly where I wanted to place these mirrors.  Unfortunately, the hallway wall was long so the mirrors appeared small and too-wide apart from each other. Fortunately I had a quick design fix in mind to offset this issue, hence the ‘operation wall frame’ idea.


The first thing I had to do was gather my equipment, which comprise of two ladders, my Kelly Moore paint, mixing sticks, floor plastic cover, and nylon paint brushes.


Then, without moving the mirrors, I drew a rectangular pattern five inches from the frames. After completing all three outlines, I transferred a small portion of the merlot-colored paint into an empty small can and started using the biggest brush to cover the larger areas. When it came to following the pencil-marked outline, I used a much smaller brush. I do not use painter’s tape since I am pretty adept at following the lines (my childhood years of attending oil painting classes paid off!).  IMG_2165.JPG

In a little over an hour I was done with all three! Viola! Here’s the ‘before’ and ‘after look: IMG_2166.JPG

Adding a wall frame using paint created an ‘artistic-gallery’ style vibe to the mirror frames. Now the hallway doesn’t appear bland. The mixture of the eggshell-white wall with the burgundy painted frame, and the rustic style of the mirrors worked well together. Whether one views it straight on or at an angle, a spark of interest is created, which I was hoping to achieve.


But don’t think for a moment I am done with this hallway wall. There are still a couple of more things I need to do and once I am done I can share this with you on another post. The only hint I will give is that there must be a continuity of hues between this wall and the adjacent library, which walls I painted awhile back with a combination of light khaki-mocha and dark copper-brown colors. You could say if I quit my day job I could qualify as an interior wall painter (ha ha!).

96 Responses to Painting a Wall Frame

  1. Krystal says:

    What a clever idea! I really love the richness that this adds. Paint is such a miracle when it comes to home decor.

  2. Jeanine says:

    Wow this is such a neat idea! One I wouldn’t ever think to do. But, it works and looks great! Very cool idea!

  3. That is a super cool idea! Imagine how many colors you can play around with? I wish now more than ever that I was aloud to paint my walls, but sadly it’s against my lease.

  4. lisa says:

    That is an awesome idea! Looks great!

  5. It’s crazy how such a slight change makes such a difference! It looks great! My mom actually did something similar to this in one of our bathrooms at my house growing up!

  6. Oh my goodness – I was surprised between the 2 different looks – how creative and beautiful you’ve made this – I am so impressed!

  7. Chelsie Carr says:

    What a great idea to add a little extra color to a space without spending too much money! When I have my own home someday and can put paint on the walls, I will be trying this out!

  8. alyssa says:

    I’ve never seen this done before and it looks absolutely fabulous!

  9. My house is not renovate almost 2 years, but I’m planning to renovate it by paints. This is great tips thanks.

  10. redheadloves says:

    Wow! The differences are so crazy! It looks great!

  11. Joy says:

    I love this idea! Initially I thought you were going to paint the frames red, which I thought was fun but unimaginative. Now this, this I love. I don’t use painter’s tape either. I find it’s much faster (and cleaner somehow) if I cut in by hand.

  12. mrsmomx6 says:

    I love, love, LOVE this! Oh my gosh, why haven’t I ever looked into this? It looks amazing

  13. Elizabeth O. says:

    Wow, they look really good! Wonder if I can make this to my frames too!

  14. R U S S says:

    Look at that – you did such an awesome job with the wall. It looks elegant. Paint usually does a lot of magic.
    I’ve been putting off a repainting project that I’m supposed to do for my walls in my room. I should find time one of these days.

  15. Ohh, thanks for this a idea, We are going to paint our little son’s room next month so this looks great! 🙂

  16. That is really cute! I love it. If I didn’t rent my home I would so do that!

  17. This is an amazing idea for your hall way and I will have to try this in my home. It does make a big difference to paint around the frames to make the mirrors look larger. It looks amazing indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Great transformation! I really like the end product. And I’m loving the color paint you picked!!

  19. growingupmomma says:

    What a great idea! I would have never thought to do this, it looks beautiful 🙂

  20. Jenni E. says:

    I thought the before pic looked good till I saw your after photo. It turned out awesome!

  21. Oh wow that definitely added glam to the mirrors! What a great idea!

  22. I would have never thought to do this. I love seeing other people’s creative ideas when it comes to home decor, because I can’t seem to come up with anything.

  23. justamom8225 says:

    That is a great idea! And you can definitely see the difference, the paint adds depth.

  24. This is a really lovely idea! How creative. And I love the merlot! The paint & the wine 😉 Thank you so much for sharing. This will definitely be a useful tip for the future!

  25. Lynndee says:

    That is just pretty. We’ve done it with our picture frames too and I love it. 🙂

  26. XmasDolly says:

    Definitely classy! Sure gave an old mirror look brand spanking new and makes them look much bigger than they really are. Fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing.

  27. This is such a great idea!!! I love the colours too!

  28. This turned out amazing. I love the color of the paint you used.

  29. yumeating says:

    That turned out amazing. I love the rich color of that paint. I have a hallway that we don’t utilize at all. Maybe when we move into our new home I might have to keep this idea in mind for the smaller photos we have.

  30. This is SO clever! And I love that color!

  31. I would have NEVER thought about doing this! It looks so good too, hey? Nicely done!

  32. debi says:

    What a great idea. I never would’ve guessed that it would turn out so great. Thanks for the idea.

  33. I saw this the other day and pinned it! I love the contrast and depth that it added to the mirrors themselves and the hallway! Great idea and great job!

  34. Kim Smith says:

    That is a really beautiful idea and could be adapted to any combo of colors. Great idea to class up those mirrors!

  35. Rosey says:

    What a smart idea. Those came out great, and not everyone’s doing them, so they’re unique too!!

  36. klg1982 says:

    wow! that is super cute! I have never seen this, but i love it!

  37. Angie says:

    Wow! Great job Cara! I don’t think I cut paint a straight line if my life depended on it :-). I learned a little about painting too from this so thank you and it looks great!

  38. I cannot tell you how creative I think this project is. I just love it. Then again I’ve done colour blocking in different rooms in different homes through the years. Just lovely.

  39. This looks so great! What a clever idea for your hallway!

  40. Camesha says:

    That is a really good idea. They came out great. Awesome job.

  41. Yes Missy says:

    I love this idea! Your wall frames came out beautifully! I would have never thought to do this, thanks for sharing!

  42. John Lopez says:

    You did a great job! Wall frames looks neat and came out colorful!!

  43. What an awesome idea! That came out really good. I will have to try this someday.

  44. Fi Ní Neachtáin says:

    I think this wall looks so much better after. The painted frame really helped fill up the blank space a lot more.

  45. Great Idea! I wouldn’t have thought to paint a bigger border.

  46. You’re so creative! Such a simple idea……but it made a huge difference!

  47. This idea would not have crossed my mind had I not seen this post. Now I am thinking of doing this in my house. They turned out great!

  48. I absolutely love how this turned out! Beautiful job!! I would love to do this, but I am too afraid of messing up or getting addicted to changing it up often.

  49. Oh man this looks awesome! And what a difference it makes!

  50. Ooh! That looks so good! I would have never thought of doing that!

  51. Ooooooo! These are too cute. I have no design skills at all. Me trying to follow the lines would have meant for paint crooked and a mess. You’re blessed. I have to pay my sis to design for me. LOL! Thanks for this awesome design though.

  52. Debi says:

    I never would have thought to do that but I love the way it makes the frame completely pop off the wall. I t might be something to consider when I am ready to start hanging things on the wall again.

  53. Michelle says:

    What a great idea. I so don’t have an eye for stuff like this and would have never thought to add a painted border to the photos. Thanks for the inspiration!

  54. What a great idea! I think my sister in law did this in her office area but it looks so real I didn’t notice until now.

  55. Omg I’m in love with this idea!!! So stylish and chic!!! Ahhhhh!!! So creative 🙂

  56. This is such a great idea! The wall has so much depth now!

  57. thedeb83 says:

    What a great idea! I never would have thought of this in a million years.

  58. redheadloves says:

    Wow! That is such a beautiful project and you did such a great job with it!

  59. OMG I love how you made this – too wodnerful! Hands up to you!

  60. Yaitza says:

    what a great and easy way to bring color to a wall.. We are redecorating this year, I will keep this tip in mind.. Thanks for sharing ;o)

  61. Cara, this is beautiful…what a clever idea! The merlot frames certainly give a dramatic pop. Love it. thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  62. Love this! It looks so great!

  63. ElsbyCC says:

    Awesome! It really adds something great to the ambiance.

  64. Cara, I just wanted to let you know that this post has been featured this week over at the #HomeMattersParty – you can check it out here if you like!

  65. I love this idea. It really dresses up the walls and is so easy to do.

  66. Perfect job! My advice is always to use small brushes. They are easier to use. You paint slower but more precisely. I hope you have more projects like this. Best regards!

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