This post was written in collaboration with Prima Marketing but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Have you ever worked with a stencil before? Wait until you see how good this framed print looks now!

I bought this framed print a while ago and it’s been sitting in storage for years.

The frame has a lot of gorgeous detail though, so even though the artwork does not match my decor anymore, I wanted to upcycle it to use with my home decor.

Do you have anything laying around like this that needs a quick refresh?

Lately, I am on serious DIY project binge!

I have so many items lying around that I intended to work on but haven’t had the chance to yet.

With all this extra time at home, I am banging these projects out!

Like the time I painted my piano.

Or refinished my coffee table.

And upcycled this vintage-framed art.

Oh and this gorgeous antique chair makeover!

Which is a good thing too, because they are clogging up my garage and storage areas.

So it is time to use them or ditch them.

Is it just me or do you have stuff like this too?

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How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

This framed print used to match my home decor well over fifteen years ago.

Having gone through several decor changes since originally purchasing it, I’ve had no place to use it.

Since I love the pretty frame details, I decided to spruce it up with some chalk paint and change the art with a beautiful stencil from Prima Marketing to make a beautiful sign.

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Have you heard of Prima Marketing?

They have an array of art products online and offer a great variety of stenciled designs.

The stencils are pretty sturdy too.

Have you ever worked with those flimsy ones?

These stencils are not flimsy at all and have just the right amount of give and weight to design a pretty piece of art.

Inspired by some really cool framed stencil designs I found online, I upcycled this framed print with one of my Prima stencils to create a beautiful sign.

And here’s how I did it…

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Supplies Needed to Stencil

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

How to Update a Framed Print With a Stencil

Step 1 – Prepare the Piece for Painting

  • Gather supplies.
  • Clean the surface with soap and water. Allow to dry.
  • Remove the backing of the framed print. Use a screwdriver to remove staples if they do not lift out easily. Set cardboard backing aside if you are stenciling that instead of a wall.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

  • Although chalk paint does not need to be pre-sanded, it is an optional step. I did not pre-sand before painting this frame. Sometimes, I like to do very light sanding but don’t spend too much time on it.
  • Lift the piece up on a few paint cans or something similar so it is raised off the table. It is much easier to work in this way. Plus, you can paint the bottom without having to flip the whole painting over.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil
  • Decide whether you are stenciling directly to the wall or using the cardboard backing that came with the frame. I debated this for a while. Since I want to have the ability to move it around, I am stenciling the cardboard backing.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Step 2 – Paint the Frame and Cardboard Backing 

  • Paint the frame and cardboard backing with chalk paint. I happened to have a spray chalk paint on hand, so I used that to paint the frame and cardboard backing. I applied one coat of chalk paint then allowed time to dry.
  • Next, I applied a second coat.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

I typically paint about 2-3 coats on any piece that I refinish.

So when I estimate how much paint I need to do a project, I keep that in mind.

Since I wanted to enhance the details of this frame and make them more prominent, I decided to add a glaze.

If that’s not the look you want, skip the next step.

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Step 3 – Glaze the Frame (optional)

  • I applied glaze with a very light hand to the detail of the frame only. I used a damp paper towel, dipped it into the glaze, applied it to a section, then used another damp paper towel to wipe most of it off. If you want a heavier glazed look, don’t wipe as much off. Use a dry paper towel to get off any excess spots that you want to thin out.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Step 4 – Top Coat the Frame to Protect the Color

  • Allow everything to fully dry for 24 hours before applying the finishing wax to the frame. While some prefer to skip this step, the wax protects the color and piece from damage.
  • Use an old sock or rag to apply the wax. Work it onto the piece, then wipe off the excess. Allow to cure for two weeks. Since this is a frame, I will put it wherever I want it and let it cure there.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Stenciling a piece is not hard to do at all.

The stencil will move if you don’t tape it down.

And if it moves, you’ll get a lot of bleed with the design.

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

I like to use a stencil brush.

There are a few kinds to choose from, but I love working with the sponge ones.

Make sure you don’t glop the paint on.

Try to dab it off on a separate sheet of paper or something.

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

If you glob on the paint, it will bleed underneath the stencil.

So it’s important to get “the right touch” when stenciling.

I like to do a dry run on a piece of paper or something until I get a feel for how to do it.

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Step 5 – Stencil the Cardboard Backing or the Wall

  • After waxing, I started stenciling the cardboard backing.
  • Set the stencil down with blue painters tape so it does not move while stenciling. If you are stenciling directly on the wall, attach the stencil to the wall where you want it with painter’s tape to hold it in place.
  • Once the stencil is secure, I used a round sponge brush and stippled chalk paint on the design. When dipping it in the paint, I stipple some of it off onto a paper plate or piece of paper so the brush isn’t totally saturated.
  • Start at the top of the design and work your way down. I press and hold down the stencil as I move down the design.
  • Do not apply too much paint on the sponge brush or you’ll get a lot of bleed. Use a light hand when dipping in the paint and stippling the design.
  • Allow the paint to dry, then remove the stencil.
  • After removing the stencil from the wall, insert the cardboard backing in the frame or hang the frame around stenciled design on the wall.
How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

Doesn’t it look so pretty?

I’m so glad I got it out of storage and did something with it!

It was such an inexpensive fix.

And I love that frame!

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

What Do You Think?

And that’s it! Signs can be so expensive when you buy them from someone else.

It’s so much easier and less expensive to make them yourself using things you already have on hand.

Doesn’t it look so much better than it did before?

How to Update a Framed Print with a Stencil

What I would do differently next time:

  • Practice with the stencil on a scrap piece of paper first so I get a better feel for how to do it. I went a little thicker on the paint than I should have and needed to touch up more after.

Thank you for stopping by the blog today.


If you like this post, I would love for you to share it on Pinterest.

I’ve created the below-custom pins for this post.

framed print of a flowering bulb decorated with a stencil
farmhouse laundry room with wicker shelving storage

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One Comment

  1. This turned out so great Stacy!! I love how you took the beautiful stencil and created such a classy piece of artwork for your home! So inspiring!