Plain wooden frames can add a dash of rustic appeal to any home. Most generic picture frames you get from big box stores feature finished wood, metal, or plastic materials. They may suffice if you’re just looking for something to hold up your family photos, but what if you want something more? What if you want a frame that will not only celebrate your most precious moments, but will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home?
If you feel like you don’t know where to turn, look no further! Unfinished wood picture frames are the perfect solution. But what makes raw wood picture frames so great? Are they easy to incorporate into DIY craft projects? How do you know if they’ll work with your sense of style? Finally, where can you find high-quality, unfinished photo frames at reasonable prices?
In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more. Plus, we’ll help you in your search by taking a look at some of the most popular wood frame styles. So, let’s get started!
Why Go With Unfinished Wood Frames?
Finished wood has become so ubiquitous that you almost don’t even notice when it’s there. From finished wood floors to finished wood table lamps, most homes you walk into will have tons of finished wood occupying nearly every corner. While finishing does serve an aesthetic and protective function (particularly when it comes to floors), it also gets so overused that it no longer has the appeal that it may have had 5 to 10 years ago.
This is just part of the reason why unfinished wood decorations are coming back in a big way. Though floors need the extra protection of wax or varnish finishing, picture frames do not. Unless you plan on walking all over you’re pictures, they’re going to be just fine without the extra layer of protection!
But it’s not all about the protective properties of finishing. The truth is that natural wood has a very distinctive look and feel that gets largely erased when you use finishing. Just as importantly, finished wood gives you much less creative wiggle room to paint or style wood frames to match your tastes. In essence, unfinished wood frames are like a blank canvas on which you can express your unique style.
Even if you’re not looking for paintable picture frames, unfinished wood frames look absolutely gorgeous right out of the box. Their natural lines and pigmentation have an rustic, natural, and homespun appeal that’s hard to ignore!
Popular Unfinished Wood Picture Frame Styles
Most picture frames, wooden or otherwise, adhere to the common dimensions of photos. For example, you may have a square photo or a rectangular photo that fits perfectly into most frames. Even if you want something more nuanced, you can often trim your picture to fit a particular frame, use mattes to size a small picture into a larger frame, or choose from a variety of unconventional frame sizes in our store that you simply cannot find anywhere else. In any case, let’s take a look at some of the most popular unfinished wood picture frame styles!
Standard Picture Frame Styles
If you’re looking for more traditional picture frames to display on countertops or coffee tables, there are a few different options to choose from:
- Standard Square - The standard 6” x 6” frame is a great option for family portraits, inspirational quotes, or any special photo that you’d like to keep on a coffee table!
- Standard Rectangular - If you want something that will perfectly match most printed photos, the standard rectangular 8” x 6” frame is a great solution!
- Standard Scalloped - Looking for something a little more fun and childlike? The scalloped frame (6-⅜” x 8-⅛”) offers a unique take on other standard frames. It is also a great way to display smaller photos!
Decorative Picture Frame Styles
When you need something a bit bigger with a more ornamental look, you can’t go wrong with an unfinished decorative picture frame. Here are a few of the most popular sizes and styles:
- Decorative Square - The decorative square frame offers a bit more space to display your pictures and is specifically designed to be mounted on walls or other horizontal surfaces. The ornate trim also helps make any special memory stand out even more!
- Decorative Rectangular - Like the decorative square style, the decorative rectangular frame (8-⅞” x 10-¾”) gives you even more real estate to enjoy your hanging photos! Plus, with a trim that is less than a quarter of an inch thick, you’ll have no trouble mounting this beautiful frame proudly!
- Decorative Oval - Unlike most popular picture frame styles, the decorative oval frame (7-½” x 11”) makes no use of straight interior edges. Instead, you get a curved outline of your photo in addition to the fun, stylized trim!
Wooden Photo Cubes
You might be wondering: what would happen if I used a three-dimensional frame to display multiple photos at once? The answer is that it would look absolutely amazing! Take Woodpeckers’ Wood Photo Cube, for example. Not only is it a beautiful rustic decoration in and of itself, but it also gives you a place to display up to four photos that can be viewed from different angles.
Though not as common as the styles outlined above, wooden photo cubes are extremely versatile and a great addition to a breakfast nook, sitting room, bedroom side table, or really anywhere in the house where you want to add something truly unique. Even if you don’t have photos that you want to display together, wooden cubes offer a great way to showcase inspirational quotes or even stories with different “chapters” in each frame!
How To Paint Unfinished Picture Frames
Wood picture frames for crafts are great options because they allow you to paint whatever your heart desires! But if you’ve never painted unfinished wood before, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. To help decorate your frames and flex your creative muscles, simply follow the step-by-step painting guide below:
- Use newspapers or a drop cloth to create your very own workspace; make sure to cover any nearby surfaces or objects that could get stained
- (Optional) If you notice any rough edges or knots in the wood, consider using sanding paper to make sure that the surface is flat and smooth; when you get your wooden frames from Woodpeckers, we take care of this step for you
- Use a damp cloth to wipe down your frames, getting rid of any loose dust or debris
- (Optional) Apply a primer to the wood frame and let it dry before proceeding; this is usually helpful when painting lighter colors on darker wood
- Apply a single coat of paint as your base and wait for it to dry before making any changes
- Add additional coats or intricate designs as needed
- (Optional) If you want to give your frame that “finished” look, add a layer of clear sealant or varnish
- Wait for all of the paint to dry completely before adding pictures or hanging your frame
Remember, there’s no sense in rushing the process. It can take time to apply ornate designs to unfinished wood, and it can take even more time for the paint and/or varnish to dry. Always be patient so that your wooden frame will turn out great!
Did you enjoy our unfinished wood picture frame guide? Be sure to check out our shop to find the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one!