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Picture Frames

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Cut the boards to length, add a finish, and slip in the art, for a sleek display in any room.

Wooden picture frames on a bedroom wall.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Cordless drill with countersink and driver bits
  • Wire cutters
  • Clamps
  • Painting Supplies
  • Stud finder
  • Combination square
  • Wood glue
  • Tape measure
  • Random-orbit sander with 120- and 180- grit sanding disks


  • See Cutting Diagram for lumber
  • #6 x 3/4-in flathead wood screws
  • 4-pack D-ring small picture hangers, #264577
  • Anchor wire mirror/picture hanging cord, #52696
  • 12-ounce white aerosol primer
  • Valspar semigloss paint, quart, Ultra White, #7006-24
  • Valspar semigloss paint, quart, Almost Charcoal, #4008-2B
  • Minwax dark walnut stain, quart
  • 11.5-ounce satin aerosol polyurethane

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


There are five sizes of frames (Project Diagram, Frame Sizes) that follow a simple set of instructions and require only a miter saw (but no miter cuts), a drill, and rags for applying a finish. Make them in one day and add the finish the next. The frames take advantage of the wood thickness and width as it comes off the shelf. That’s true whether you choose oak, maple, poplar, or pine. Simply cut four boards with the ends square, glue them together, add cleats to the back, and have a Lowe’s associate cut the acrylic panels to size. For the Project Diagrams, select the frame size you wish to build and use that as Drawing 1. Drawings 2 and 3 apply to all the frame sizes.

Make the Frames

Step 1

Clamping cauls help align the parts while gluing the frame.

After selecting a style of frame based on the image you want to display and the size of acrylic panels used in the frames, cut the stiles (A) and rails (B) for the frames from 1/2-in-thick material (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List). Frame styles 1 and 5 have an additional rail (B-2). Assemble the frames using glue and clamps (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Clamp scrap material (clamping cauls), across the joints while you assemble the frame so the board edges align flush for a perfectly flat frame that requires less sanding. Use painter’s tape on the edges of the clamping cauls to prevent the glue from sticking.

Good to Know

A frame is composed of two elements: vertical elements called stiles and the horizontal elements called rails. Cut pairs of stiles and rails exactly the same length for frames that will assemble with ease.

Step 2

Cut the cleats (C) and (D) from 1/2-in-thick poplar. When the glue has cured on the frames, remove the clamps and cauls and sand all of the parts.

Step 3

Apply a finish of your choice to the frame, and add a clear polyurethane finish to the cleats. Allow the finish to cure, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 4

Add the cleats to the back of the frame.

Add the cleats to the back of the frames (Photo 2). For the cleats that will receive the artwork sandwiched between pieces of acrylic, drill a 3/32-inch pilot hole centered on the edge of each part to receive a #6 x 1/2-inch screw (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). After installing the art, the four screws will hold the acrylic panels and the art in the frame.

Insert the Art

Step 1

Position the art in the frame on the acrylic.

Have a Lowe’s associate cut two acrylic panels to fit each frame. Lay the first in position and add the art (Photo 3). If you need to trim the art to fit, lay an acrylic sheet over it, adjust the position for the cropping you like, and cut around the acrylic.

Step 2

Secure the art by driving screws into the frame.

Add the second layer of acrylic and add the screws to the pilot holes in the cleats you drilled earlier (Photo 4).

Step 3

Add the hangers and wire to the frame.

On the back of the frame, screw in two small D-rings and stretch picture cord between them (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) and (Photo 5), trim the excess cord with wire cutters.