How to Make Picture Frames From Old Barn Wood

Creating picture frames from old barn wood is a fun and creative way to bring life back into those forgotten pieces of wood stashed away behind the shed. Whether it’s the weathered gray patina that gives such beauty or maybe its memories of childhood days spent playing hide-and-seek between them, upcycling barn wood can be an enjoyable task for anyone looking for an interesting yet practical craft project.

How to Make Picture Frames From Old Barn Wood

With just some basic tools and materials, and tips on how to make picture frames from old barn wood, you can give new purpose to your old treasured pieces while creating beautiful, making timeless gift ideas for family and friends alike! Read on to find out how you can use these old planks of unassuming lumber and transform them into stunning custom picture frames.

Is Barn Wood Good for Making Picture Frames?

Absolutely! Barn wood is an excellent material for making picture frames as it adds a rustic, natural feel to any home decor. The weathered gray patina of the barn wood creates a beautiful backdrop that can be worked with in many ways to create stunning pieces. Additionally, barn wood is strong and durable, making it highly suitable for picture frames that will be taken and hung in different settings.

Required Items

To make picture frames from old barn wood, you will need the following:

  • Old Barn Wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Saw (optional)
  • Glue gun/wood glue

10 Ways How to Make Picture Frames From Old Barn Wood

1. Decide on the Place

Select the right piece. Start by selecting a piece of old barn wood that you like and is in good condition. Inspect it closely to make sure there are no nails or sharp objects in it that could interfere with the frame-making process.

2. Sand the Wood

To get a smooth finish and eliminate any dirt or debris, sand down the wood. Start with a coarse-grit paper to remove splinters before graduating to finer grits for a smoother result. Sanding would give you the best results.

Sand Down the Wood

3. Measure and Cut the Wood

You need to measure and cut the wood into pieces that are equal in length, width, and thickness. Make sure your measurements are accurate so that your frame will be even when finished. If necessary, use a saw to make precise cuts.

4. Join Together

Join the pieces of wood together with glue and nails to form a frame. Make sure that the corners are even and secure before moving on to step five. Joining together while the wood is flat makes it easier to work with.

5. Attach Hangers

Attach picture hangers on the back of the frame with nails or glue. This will allow you to hang up the frames when they are finished. It will add a nice touch to the overall presentation of the frames.

6. Sand Again

Once all the pieces are joined together and hangers attached, sand down the entire frame once more with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections that may have been created during construction.

7. Apply Stain (Optional)

If desired, you can add a layer of stain to your frame for extra color and texture. There are many different types of stain available, so choose the one that best suits your vision for the end product.

Add a Layer of Stain

8. Add a Varnish

Add a coat of clear varnish to the frame. This will help to seal in the stain and protect it from scratches or damaging effects of moisture. Varnish also adds a beautiful glossy finish. Varnishing is essential to preserve the frame.

9. Hang the Frame

Now all that’s left to do is hang up your frame! Use the hangers you attached when assembling it, and be sure to use two nails for extra strength and stability. Your picture frames from old barn wood look great in any room or hallway of your home!

10. Enjoy!

Stand back and admire the beautiful picture frames you just made from old barn wood. You can be proud of the work you have done, knowing that it was all crafted from something with a rich history and a special story to tell. Now you have an incredible piece of art that will last for years to come!

Making picture frames from old barn wood is a fun and rewarding project that can bring a unique charm and character to any home. With these simple steps, you can create beautiful pieces of art with your own two hands. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t be sorry!

7 Safety Measures to Follow

1. Wear protective gear. When working with old barn wood, it’s important to wear eye protection, gloves, and a mask. This ensures you don’t come into contact with any possible impurities or allergens from the wood. Also, be sure to wear long sleeves and pants for protection from splinters.

2. Work in a well-ventilated area. Make sure the area you’re working in has proper ventilation so that sawdust and other particles don’t become airborne. Open windows or use a fan to move air around while sanding or cutting wood pieces down to size.

3. Use the right tools. To ensure that you’re able to safely create your picture frame, use only the right tools for the job. Make sure you have a saw with a sharp blade, a hammer and nails, wood glue, and safety glasses or goggles before starting work on your project.

4. Dispose of sawdust properly. Sawdust can be harmful if it’s inhaled, so make sure to clean up any sawdust that accumulates throughout your project. Vacuum the area and dispose of the dust in a sealed container or bag away from other people or animals.

5. Take breaks when needed. Working with wood can be physically demanding, so take regular breaks to give your body a break. Be sure to also keep a glass of water nearby so you don’t become dehydrated while working.

6. Make a plan before beginning. Before starting work on your picture frame, map out the steps you’ll need to take and write them down in order. This way, you can refer back to it if you get stuck at any point in the process.

7. Have a first aid kit handy. In case of any accidents, make sure to keep a well-stocked first aid kit nearby so you can care for any minor injuries that may occur while working on your project. Also, be sure to check with your local fire department or doctor for additional safety tips.

Wear Protective Gear

Creating a picture frame from old barn wood can be an enjoyable and rewarding project, but it’s important to take the necessary safety measures in order to ensure a safe and successful outcome. By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to work on your project without any worries or concerns.

 4 Tips to Make the Frame Special

1. Give your frame an antique look. If you want your frame to look like a true antique, use a special technique called “distressing” to achieve the desired effect. Distress the wood by lightly sanding it and then applying a dark stain or paint (or both) in areas where you would expect natural wear and tear over time.

2. Add some character with rustic details. You can use nails, screws, or old hinges to add unique features to your frame and give it a more rustic appearance. You can also add details like leather or rope to further enhance the frame.

3. Consider using a saw to make a unique shape. If you want your frame to be truly one-of-a-kind, use a hand saw to cut the wood into an irregular shape that reflects your personal style. You can also use traditional cuts, such as mitered corners or beveled edges.

4. Incorporate a variety of textures into the frame. If you want your frame to stand out, think about incorporating different textures into the design. Use sandpaper to roughen up some areas and smooth others with a finish like a linseed oil for a nice contrast. You can also use twine or burlap for a more rustic look. With a bit of creativity, you can create a truly unique frame from old barn wood.

By following these simple tips, you can make a beautiful picture frame from old barn wood that will be cherished for years to come! And when all is said and done, your custom-made creation will be a conversation piece that everyone will admire.

Make a Beautiful Picture Frame

If you’re feeling ambitious, why not try your hand at making multiple frames and creating an entire wall of memories with old barn wood? The possibilities are endless!


Overall, making picture frames from old barn wood is a creative and rewarding pastime. With a few simple tools and supplies and this guide on how to make picture frames from old barn wood, you can create memories that last for generations. It’s also an environmentally conscious way to reutilize wood that could otherwise be wasted. Most of all, it’s a great use of your spare time and can help you hone your carpentry skills.

Whether you’re planning on wrapping up a gift for someone special or just looking to upgrade your home with some inspiring art, creating picture frames from barn wood is the way to go! So go ahead and give it a try – you may surprise yourself in the process! With newfound confidence in the craftsmanship of your hard work, those pictures will be proudly displayed in no time!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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