My mother is a thrifty shopper, god bless her soul. When I told her I was looking to refurbish some old frames into a funky ocean-themed decor project I was into, she delivered the goods. She brought me something like 15 frames in various shapes, sizes and colors that she had frugally obtained from various yard sales. I think she spent a total of $12. She has an amazing skill of haggling.
My first project was also the ugliest. I took one look at this frame and thought, “This might be one of the ugliest pieces of wall art I have ever laid eyes on.” With that said, I felt the need to tackle it first.
I decided to use this piece of hardened red branch coral I found on a trip to Florida is the main focal point of the new frame. I applied a leather brown glossy spray paint to the matte, and then added a layer of collage paper (with a mermaid on it) to the interior space of the matte. I sanded then painted the frame with a turquoise top coat that I then distressed by hand after it dried. Finally, I applied the coral with a bit of tacky, covered it glass and resealed the back using small, decorative nails.
See the before and the after here.