How to DIY a Frame TV (without power tools!)

Most designers and decor enthusiasts would agree that having a large TV in a living space can be quite the eyesore, especially since it’s just a random black rectangle when powered off. Samsung offered a solution with its Frame TV (including customizable frames): a television designed to look like a piece of art while its turned off. 

Unfortunately, spending $1,500+ on a TV is cost prohibitive for most of us, which is why I turned to creators like Cass Makes Home, From Grit to Pearl and Jennifer Laura Living for inspiration on how to DIY a Frame TV – truly magical!

With a little bit of blood, sweat and possibly tears, I was able to successfully DIY a TV frame within the walls of my city apartment WITHOUT any power tools. At a steal for about $100 in supplies, here’s how to DIY a Frame TV on a budget!

You can also check out video clips and more photos on my Instagram Story highlights.

How easy is this DIY? 

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 hanging a painting and 10 building a dresser), this was a 5.

Project duration: Two (2) days (with the right materials)

Materials needed:
Wall mount
Cord cover
Decorative moulding
Saw plus miter box
Wood glue
Corner clamps (preferably 4)
Corner braces (4) plus screws (16)
Sand paper
Paint + Rub ‘N Buff (optional, depending on your decor needs)

Prep the TV

To truly make your TV look like a painting, hang it on the wall using a shallow wall mount. I got this one and had my handyman install it for me. (After the last incident with me hanging a heavy mirror, I wasn’t taking any chances!)

If your TV isn’t wired through the wall, camoflouge the cord with a paintable cord cover. I got one that conceals just one cord and comes with a sticker behind it to adhere directly and easily to the wall. (Use a level to be sure the cord cover is on straight.)  

Source the moulding

I have a 65” Samsung Smart TV, and decided to go with a 2” decorative moulding with rope detailing. Sourced at my local Lowe’s, I was pleasantly surprised by their array of choices! 

I bought three 7’ tall pieces: two to frame the top and bottom of the TV and the third to cut in half to frame the shorter sides.

Cut the moulding

VERY IMPORTANT: When measuring the lengths of each side of the TV, ADD 1/16” to each side and use that length to mark where you’ll cut the moulding. The inside of the frame needs to be built just a teeny tiny bit bigger than the TV because it will ultimately fit snugly around the TV on its own. Remember: measure twice (or even thrice), and cut once! 

Using the saw and miter box, cut the moulding at 45 degree angles, being sure you’re cutting the angles the correct way. This will require some muscle, so hold that miter box firmly when sawing! (I sawed the pieces on the floor to give myself more leverage.)

Put the frame together to double check that you got all the corners right.

Glue the frame

On an elevated flat surface (like a dining table or desk), glue the corners of the frame together with wood glue and secure them together with the corner clampsLeave the corners hanging off the side of the table so they’re level while the glue is setting. I would suggest waiting at least overnight for the glue to cure before proceeding. Be patient!

Secure the corners

Once the frame is built (huzzah!), reinforce the corners BEHIND THE FRAME with corner braces. (I used 1.5” ones.) Be sure you find screws short enough that don’t break through the front of the frame. (The braces I got came with screws that were too long, but fortunately I had shorter screws at home.)

Check that the frame fits

Now for the moment of truth! Take your beautiful frame and gently place it around the TV screen. If you got your measurements correct, it should wedge around the sides and corners of the TV perfectly and wrap securely around the edges on its own. Depending on your TV, you might also need to cut out a little piece of the frame to accommodate the sensor. I used a box cutter to do this. (Mine was in the bottom center of the TV with the Samsung logo.) 

If the frame is too tight and can’t be wedged around all four sides and corners of the TV completely, proceed to the immediate next step…

Sand down the inside of the frame

I’m not gonna lie, this part is gonna suck. I didn’t leave ANY room for the frame to fit around my TV and spent three hours sanding it down 1/8″ MANUALLY with 60 grit sandpaper. Hopefully you’re just off by a little bit. Sand down the INSIDE of the frame until it’s able to wrap around the TV completely.

Initially, my frame was only able to wrap around three corners of the TV because it was just a teeny tiny bit too small.
Paint the frame

The homestretch! I used a high gloss black paint from Sherwin Williams to paint the frame. Once it was dry, I used a small brush and dabbed the Rub ‘N Buff in antique gold to the rope detailing in the center of the frame. I went back and cleaned up the edges with a small brush and the black paint.

“Hang” the frame

Once the paint has completely dried, carefully wedge the frame completely around the TV, ensuring that all the edges and corners wrap and align tightly with the edges of the TV. TA DA!!!

Displaying art on your TV

Some Samsung Smart TV’s have a built-in ambient mode, but mine did not. Here’s how I put Georgia O’Keefe’s Lake George Reflection painting on my TV using my Google Chromecast device:

– Create a “TV Art” album in Google Photos
Download museum art pieces and place them in your “TV Art” album
– Open your Google Home app and select Chromecast
– Tap Settings > Ambient Mode > Google Photos > TV Art
– IMPORTANT: Turn on “Choose Live Photos” to keep the image to your TV Art album

This blogger has a tutorial on using other devices like Roku, FireTV or Apple TV to display museum art.

I’m super happy with how things turned out, and I hope I’m able to help you DIY a TV frame on a budget. Share if you plan to try this DIY in the comments!

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  • Mary Armstrong

    This was super helpful – thank you! I’m not understanding why you had to sand and then there doesn’t seem to be any instructions on how to hang / install the frame when it is completed and painted. Please share!!

    • missnataliewong

      Hi Mary, thanks so much for stopping by. I see your confusion and I edited the post a little bit. Basically, the frame should wedge around the sides and corners of the TV and wrap securely around on its own: like putting a rubber band around a tennis ball. 🙂 I hope this makes sense!

  • Michelle

    Great tutorial. No tv should go unframed! Ours is curved so probably I’d need to do flex moulding.

    • missnataliewong

      Can’t wait to see you tackle this! <3

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