By Kirsten Hudson
When it comes to adding vintage style to your home, think inside the frame. The picture frame, anyway. Dressed up with a coat of paint, these decorating must-haves can easily lend a chic, vintage feel to a mantel, side table or wall.
Vintage picture frames in all styles and sizes are easy to come by at thrift stores, estate sales, antique malls and secondhand shops across the Kansas City area. With just a few do-it-yourself tweaks, you can update found frames to fit today’s vintage-inspired home. Here’s how.
When hunting (and sometimes all out digging) for picture frames, look for vintage-looking pieces with interesting details, like intricate carvings etched into the frame. Go for wood frames (rather than metal) that have a dated look. Also, scope out retro frames made in unusual shapes, like circles, ovals or diamonds, rather than the usual rectangle.
Once you scavenge a frame or two, it’s time to paint. Bring your frames into modern day, while still preserving the vintage look by painting intricately carved antique frames in eye-catching colors. How cool is an old world frame in a funky orange or a bright green? The details in the frames will really stand out after layering on a fresh coat of paint.
If you prefer a more understated vintage look, paint your frames mint green, soft yellow or creamy off-white. Then, use sandpaper to distress the corners and edges for a true vintage feel. You could even paint layers of color on your frame so that when you scrape off the paint with sandpaper, the layer underneath will peek through.
Display your favorite photos, prints or postcards in your revamped frames. Or, for a slightly quirky look, hang a collection of empty frames to fill up a bare wall.
Wondering where to find vintage picture frames? Try out these antique and thrift stores in the Kansas City area.
River Market Antiques
With three floors and a basement brimming with antiques, you’re sure to spot a selection of picture frames that you’ll adore at River Market Antiques. This store is located at 115 W. 5th St. in KCMO.
This vintage gallery and re-purposing studio offers handpicked finds from the 1920s through the 1970s. The inventory changes daily, so who knows what picture frames you could score? Thistle is located in the Crossroads Art District at 329 Southwest Blvd in KCMO.
TLC Thrifty Boutique
With a collection of vintage finds, collectibles, furniture and one-of-a-kind items, you may just spy the perfect vintage picture frames to add to your home at TLC Thrifty Boutique. This shop is located at 8025 Santa Fe Drive in Overland Park.