Upcycle an Old Window With a Little Paint

Want to add some vintage charm to your living space on a small budget? Want the artwork on your walls to reflect something personal and important to you? Or maybe you just enjoy creating something pretty? Simply upcycle an old window with a little paint and you can create a custom art piece that adds personality to any space.

The beauty of an upcycle project is that there are very few supplies and they’re easy to find—leftover paint, a small brush, a simple design you love, tape, and a used window frame. I used an antique window frame I scored at a garage sale for a few dollars with the kind of glass that waves imperfectly and just the right amount of peeling paint. You can often find these for absolutely no cost if you keep an eye out at your local dumpster or ask a friendly contractor to call you for his next old house demo job. (If you don’t have an old window handy you could use the very same technique on any piece of glass in your home, including French doors or exterior windows.)

The best part? Absolutely no artistic skill is required! Simply find a design that suits you, tape it to the back of the window, and trace with a small brush.

The hardest part is deciding what to paint. You could do something simple like the phrase I added to this window in a matter of minutes. The options are endless—scribe your favorite poem or song lyrics, write out your wedding vows, blow up your family crest, or cover the whole window with a wordless pattern—it all looks beautiful in this presentation. You could also use this same technique to create the permanent design elements of a message or menu board and use dry erase or chalk markers for the writing that would be updated more regularly. How about a series of these hanging in an overlapping pattern as a backdrop for a wedding ceremony or outdoor garden? There are countless ways this simple upcycle project can be much more than the sum of its parts.

Once you’ve completed the painting and allowed at least a day to cure (time will vary with heat and humidity levels), screw in two eye hooks at the top of the frame, and voila—a beautiful piece of artwork you can sign yourself.

Categories: How to Paint

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