Frame a finished painting with a thin wood frame.

How to Frame a Painting With Thin Strips of Wood

by Kim Blakesley

Whether you are framing a new painting or one you have found at a thrift store or garage sale, a simple frame made with thin strips of wood creates a frame that is pleasing to the eye. Thin strips of 1/4-inch wood trim, wooden yardsticks, wooden rulers or lath are types of material that create interesting frames. Finish the frame with a coat of paint or stain, or leave the wood natural. The finished look is up to you.

Paint the lattice strips. Set the strips aside for the paint to dry thoroughly.

Measure the length of the top and one side of the painting. Write each measurement down.

Measure the distance across one side of the painting. Add 1/2 inch to each measurement. For example, the painting is 12 inches wide and 18 inches long. The two measurements used to cut the framework are 12 1/2 inches and 18 1/2 inches.

Turn the lattice on its side. The side is the 1/4-inch width of the wood. Cut off one end of the lattice at a 45-degree angle.

Look at the angle. Notice that one end of the angle creates a point while the second end is further in on the wood creating the inside of the angle. Measure from the inside of the angle along the length of the lattice strip to the predetermined measurement of the painting's top edge. Place a mark at this point.

Cut a 45-degree angle from the mark to the outside edge of the lattice. The 45-degree cut will be a mirror image to the cut on the opposite side of the lattice. Set this piece aside and cut a second one to the same measurement for the bottom of the frame.

Cut two side pieces using the same procedure.

Sand the angled cuts to smooth and remove any splinters. Do not worry about scuffing the paint. You will touch up the painted finish upon completion of the frame.

Center the top piece of the frame on the top edge of the painting. The 45-degree angle cuts will extend past the painting's edges. Tack them into place with a tack nail on both ends of the strip. Position the tack nails approximately 1 inch from the ends of the strip. Repeat the process with the remaining joints to create your frame.

Touch up the paint in each corner. Paint the top of the tack nails so they blend with the framing. Allow the paint to dry. Your painting is ready to hang.

Items you will need

  • Lattice strips
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper plate
  • Paintbrush
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Saw
  • Tack nails


  • Drill pilot holes for the nails to prevent splitting thin wood or when nailing close to the ends of the strips.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images