How to update your picture wall without buying any new prints

Liven up your old art prints with a lick of paint and use up any sample pots going spare with influencer Megan Ellaby’s DIY decor hack.

Lockdown has seen an interest in all things interior design soar. From the influx of renovation Instagram accounts supplying DIY hacks and satisfying before vs after pictures to a greedy audience, to the birth of hand-crafted home accessories businesses started by women in their bedrooms – a collective obsession with interior design is well and truly here. 

And it makes sense, doesn’t it? As the one-year anniversary of lockdown approaches, it marks a whole 365 days that we’ve been stuck inside staring at the same walls and therefore thinking about how we can make these environments more enjoyable. 

So, if you’ve been living for weekends of DIY and home improvements we think you’ll love this supremely easy (and budget-friendly) trick to liven up your walls.

Picture walls have been a big trend for years but because it takes a lot of time and effort to pick and perfectly coordinate these art prints in the first instance, it’s also not easy to switch them up. 

Similarly, while you might fall head-over-heels for an art print when you first buy it, with all the time we’re spending inside it won’t be long until you’re itching to spruce up your walls again and give them a new look. 

Enter style blogger and fashion designer Megan Ellaby who, while doing some home renovations over lockdown, discovered that you can completely change the vibe of a print by adding a card mount and painting it a new colour – simply using an old sample paint pot.

“I was staring at a gallery wall that sits behind my TV and there was one particular piece that just kept bugging me. Something about it wasn’t quite right – and that’s when the idea came to me,” Ellaby tells

“My eye kept being drawn to the white mount surrounding the print and I realised that this was potentially the problem; maybe it needed a coloured mount instead. And, voilà, my addiction of painting all my mounts was born! 

“We’ve been doing lots of decorating during lockdown so it’s a really great way to use up the spare sample pots of paint and now I’ve repeated the idea all over the house.”

The idea is great for giving new life to a gallery wall that’s been hung up for a while, so even if the prints don’t currently have a mount you can easily buy one for them from online stores like Desenio.

What you’ll need:

  • Sample paint pot (would be great if they’re old and need using up)
  • Paint brush
  • A sheet to cover your floor
  • A card mount the correct size and shape for your print

How to do it:

  1. Spread your sheet across the floor to protect it from paint.
  2. Paint your mounts in batches doing one colour at a time. 
  3. Pop your brushes in hot water immediately before the paint has time to dry on them. 
  4. Leave your mounts to dry for two hours. 
  5. Re-frame your art prints with their new mounts showing proudly.

Images: Getty / Megan Ellaby 

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