Glitz and Glam Gallery Wall With Upcycled Thrift Store Finds

A budget-friendly glitz and glam gallery wall with upcycled thrift store finds. FINALLY, after years decades of being challenged by how to decorate the 12-foot wall in our front entry, we got it right.

It took months of scouring thrift stores to find the vintage wall art for this space and some we already had which makes this a budget-friendly wall design.

Once the wall was painted dark grey, I knew just two colors would pull the mix of traditional and mid-century modern frames together for this contemporary gallery wall.

Vintage Wall Art Gallery Wall

Budget Glitz and Glam Gallery Wall Idea


My vision for the wall was an eclectic mix of interesting picture frames and reflective mirrors. I wanted texture, swirls, curlicues, shiny gloss, and shimmery metallics for high contrast against the dark wall.

The wall has a sightline to our living room and dining room above so the placement is important. Gallery walls can be a challenge so I share some tips and tricks further down in the post that I hope you will find helpful.

Hanging the frames on the gallery wall takes no time at all with no measuring required. In fact, our gallery wall took a little over thirty minutes and some of these frames are heavy!

Glitz And Glam Gallery Wall

Let's take a look at where we started with our Sundried Tomato wall color and the DIY large plank wood clock that we built a few years ago.

Entrway Wall Pallet Wood Clock

During the recent living room makeover, the clock was modified and got a modern farmhouse makeover to hang above our fireplace. The clock looks very different now and so much better in the living room.

While we had the ladders in place to paint the wall, we also gave the ceiling fan a glitz and glam makeover too.

If you're thinking, oh a large hanging fixture would look so much better in that space, you'd be right. BUT this fan is the workhorse to keep our home cool during the summer months. We don't have air conditioning nor will we ever because living in a northern climate, our summer heatwaves are short-lived.

DIY Gallery Wall

Here's that same wall after painting over the Sundried Tomato with Behr Premium Plus latex paint in the color Mined Coal (PPU 18-18), the same color used as an accent throughout the house. The opposite walls are painted Behr Toasty Gray (N320-2).

Contemporary Gallery Wall

Big difference, right?

We still plan on adding more smaller elements to the gallery wall as we find them. I think the gap between the white mirror on the right and the chrome one on the bottom needs a little something-something.

The entry isn't quite finished yet either, we plan on building a small bench soon for guests to use to put on their shoes.

Glam Entry Gallery Wall


Step-by-step instructions for creating an upcycled gallery wall

So let's get into the nitty-gritty of this DIY gallery wall idea starting with the damaged mirror frame. 

How To Repair A Damaged Picture Frame

It wasn't until I went to clean all the frames to prep them for paint that I noticed one of them had a chunk missing.

Gallery Frame Repair

No worries, I've been down that road before and you can see how to fix this in my how to replicate missing trim tutorial.

Budget Glitz And Glam Gallery Wall

The new replicated piece looks a little crude in the photo above because it was glued first before cleaning up the excess clay. Once the glue cured overnight I used a sharp retractable knife to remove the extra clay and sanded the ridges smooth with sandpaper.

You'd be hardpressed to tell unless you knew exactly what you were looking for that the frame had a chunk missing from one corner.

Chic DIY Gallery Wall

Choosing Paint Colors For The Gallery Wall Frames

As I mentioned earlier, just two paint colors are all that was needed to unify the mix of gallery wall frames. We chose high gloss white and shiny chrome to create a high contrast with the dark grey wall.

To determine which frames should be painted white and which ones chrome we strategically laid the frames out on the floor how we wanted them hung on the wall. So we wouldn't forget the grid pattern I took a picture with my phone.

Next, I stuck a piece of masking tape on the back of each frame and labeled them W or C and headed outdoors to spray paint them with Rustoleum Touch Ultra Cover Gloss White and Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish Chrome.

Budget Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Placement Tips

  • Lay the gallery art on a neutral surface, something without a pattern so it doesn't compete with the art. A wood floor, neutral carpet, or a solid sheet make the perfect backdrop for this process.
  • To create a sense of balance, the gallery art should relate to one another either by subject or color.
  • The large grouping should form an outer square, vertical or horizontal rectangle, or circle.
  • To keep the grouping from looking disjointed, place the art fairly close together with no large visible gaps. You can fill larger gaps with small items that relate.
  • Balance the visually heavier pieces on each side.
  • Try to use an odd number of elements within the grouping (we used seven).
  • Stand back every so often and take a picture with your phone - a picture says a thousand words! 

Gallery Wall Frames

No Measure Tip For Hanging Gallery Wall Art

You can do this step before you paint the frames or after, it doesn't matter. These next tips are the No Measure deal-breaker for making it super easy to hang the art.
  • Trace the outline of each frame onto craft paper, label them if necessary, and cut each template out.
  • Flip the frames upside down and lay the template on the backside of the frame.
  • Mark with a pencil where the nails will rest on the picture hooks or picture wire. At the very top center of the D-hooks or pull the picture wire taut in the center. 

Now we're ready to hang the gallery wall art the easy way!

Entryway Gallery Wall

Easy Way To Hang A Gallery Wall

Now's when you'll want to refer back to that photo you took with your phone of the grid pattern. Thanks to the previous step, hanging the gallery art is so quick and easy. The hardest part is balancing on a high ladder!

  • Tape the templates onto the wall with a low tack painter's tape. If the walls are freshly painted you may want to use Delicate Surface Frog Tape. 
  • Check to be sure the templates are straight with a level. 
  • Play around with the grouping until you're satisfied with the placement.
  • Starting with one template, punch a hole through the template where you marked the picture hangers with an Awl.
  • Remove the template.
  • Chances are you didn't hit a stud so be sure to use drywall anchors and screws.
  • Whether you're using screws, nails, or monkey hooks, make sure they are rated for the weight of the frame.
  • Continue the previous step for all the templates and you're done!

Glitz and Glam DIY Gallery Wall Idea

I hope you found the gallery wall tips I shared here helpful and if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this vintage-contemporary gallery wall idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your DIY Gallery Wall Ideas or Budget-Friendly Wall Art board on Pinterest.


Entryway Gallery Wall With Thrift Store Finds

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

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Comments

  1. {{gasp!!}} You not only found some beauties, but you really made them gorgeous, Marie. ��

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    1. Thank you Larissa, it took a bit to collect all these beauties but our perseverance paid off. I'm enjoying the quest of finding smaller trinkets to add over time.

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  2. Your wall looks stunning, Marie! And I can't believe all of the frames are thrift store finds! What a collection fabulous designs! The dark grey background really makes it look very chic and dramatic! You certainly created a beautiful display!

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    1. Hi Gail, I'm glad you like it! It took a bit to find just the right pieces to create the dramatic effect I was going for. I love the reaction we get from guests when they walk through the front door.

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  3. Marie! This is spectacular! Wow...what a dramatic and elegant makeover. I love it. I would sit and stare at that wall all day long. It's just beautiful.

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    1. You made me laugh...pssst...because I do stare at it often...shhhh. LOL Thanks Kim, I'm glad you like it!

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous!! I don't think I would add anymore. It really is a statement wall. And your clock n fireplace wall look great too. Im ready to do something to my walls too. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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    1. Thank you, so glad you found inspiration here! Have fun with your wall makeover 😀

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  5. That wall is stunning! I love, love, love the combination of the dark gray wall color with your white and silver frames. Simply perfect.
    -Niky @thehouseonsilverado

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    1. Thanks so much Niky, I'm glad my vision for this wall turned out exactly like I had hoped. We're thrilled with the results.

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  6. Wow, this looks fantastic! I love that these are thrifted finds you updated with love, too. There were so many steps to this - I bet the paper tracing took a while! It was WORTH it! So sweet!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachael, we are pleased with the results. The paper tracing actually went very quick with two of us doing it, around half an hour. I'm glad you like the vision I had for this wall!

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  7. This is very ambitious and amazing! What wonderful results! WE've had staircases like that as YOUNG people, and I'm quite happy in my little ranch as an old person...but loving the treatment just the same!!Sandi

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    1. Thanks Sandi, I'm glad you like it! It definitely was an ambitious project and took several months to put together but we're thrilled with the results. Our house is a raised ranch (bi-level) where all the rooms are on one level except for the front entry which leads to the basement with more above ground walls with larger windows.

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  8. WOW!! Your gallery wall looks absolutely amazing and very impressive! Pinned.

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    1. Thank you very much, Allyson! I'm thrilled it looks like I had imagined it would and we're loving it. Thanks for the pin too btw

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  9. WOW! What a beautiful and elegant wall with the picture frames and wall color! I, too, would have to sit and admire it!! You have a wonderful vision for decorating and then making it happen!!! Love your posts, Marie...you are so inspiring to me to make changes in my own home!!

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    1. Karolyn, you are so sweet and made my holiday Monday! So glad you are enjoying what you see in my little corner of the blogosphere. Plus I'm thrilled to hear you're finding my projects inspiring for your own home. Music to my ears! 🤗

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  10. Love your tip for laying out the elements on the wall with butcher paper - BRILLIANT! I'd love for you to stop by and share your projects on our Creative Crafts Linky Party https://creativelybeth.com/creative-crafts-linky-party-1-join-in-the-fun/
    Have a great week! Creatively, Beth

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    1. I'm glad you liked my gallery hanging tips, Beth and thanks for stopping by for a visit! 🙂

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  11. Your Vision was spot on Marie, that wall looks stunning. It is so hard to find cool old frames like that anymore.

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    1. Thank you Anita, we did the happy dance every time we found an interesting vintage frame for our gallery wall. I'm thrilled with the results and I have to admit, I do stop every now and then to admire it. LOL

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  12. Oh my Marie this is just stunning. What beautiful elements you found and transformed for your gallery wall. Love it! Have a great new week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thank you, Kris, it was such a fun project watching it unfold over a several months. We are definitely enjoying our entry wall. Have a lovely Sunday and a great week ahead. Hugs backatcha

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  13. Great wall color choice and I love how it really makes your newly updated treasures pop. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Turn About Link Party. I'm happy to feature your post this week!

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Michelle and thanks a bunch for the feature! xo

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  14. Love, love, love your gallery wall. WOW, what a gorgeous eclectic statement those frames and even the buck head make. And the hanging tips you shared are brilliant. Gallery walls always frighten me. All our walls are plastered brick and if you make a mistake you're stuffed. So thanks for that Marie

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  15. Hey Michelle, so glad you like it and that you found the gallery wall tips helpful! It's been several weeks since we hung the gallery wall and I still every once in awhile stand there admiring it. LOL It only took us 20+ years to finally get that dang wall right.

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  16. I absolutely love the way this wall turned out! Simply stunning! Your link was the one I chose as my favorite from our linky party last week...you can view the write up and join this weeks linky party here: https://bellacraftspublishing.com/creative-crafts-linky-party-2/ Thank you for joining in last week! ~ Ann

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    1. I'm glad you like it Ann and thank you so much for the feature. I was thrilled when I saw it at the party this morning. Hope you're having a great week!

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  17. What a stunning transformation! I'm a sucker for the colour palette you went with, it looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah, I'm glad you like it! I'm thrilled with the dramatic results, its just what that wall needed.

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  18. Marie, your gallery wall is gorgeous! I love the contrast of the lighter mirrors and frames against the darker accent wall. Thank you so much for sharing this at Farmhouse Friday!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I'm so glad we went with the dark wall color, despite being a little nervous about it. Perseverance paid off with the thrift store finds too.

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  19. All I can say is woah! This is a show stopper feature wall, I can't explain how much I love it. Beautiful drama with the dark walls and metallics. I can't pin this post fast enough.

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    1. Your sweet comments made my day, Leanna, thank you so much! I have to admit, a few months in, I still stop now and again to stare at it. It only took us twenty years to get it right! LOL

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