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DIY Framed Plaster Medallion Wall Art

January 28, 2020

An easy DIY tutorial to turn a ceiling medallion or carved wood applique into a framed piece of wall decor.

CREATE   |   Published January 28, 2020

White floral medallion

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After my grandma passed away a few years ago and we had an estate sale, there were a few things that I kept after the fact knowing that even though they weren't something that were my style the way they were, I could do something with them.  Today's project is made with one of those misfits that I kept.

Floral medallion in frame

Many, many years ago, my grandma enjoyed painting things she created herself from molds and plaster.  This medallion of a bouquet of flowers was one of the things she made.  The paint was chipped in places and the bright colors were not my style at all.  Even though I've now covered over her painting, I like that I'm able to still have something that she made by hand with her molds.

Colorful floral medallion

In addition to using the old plaster medallion, I was also able to use oak trim that my mom had leftover from a bathroom remodel, so the only thing that I had to purchase was a piece of plywood from Lowes.

It took me awhile to figure out exactly how I wanted to paint my framed medallion, so by the time I was done, I think I painted everything probably about six times, but I love the result.  The multiple layers actually added to the charm because it made the frame look like it had been repainted many times of the years.  In the end, I ended up painting Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement over top of Ash and then very gently distressing it using a fine grit sandpaper.

I'm hoping to be able to display it on my picture ledge shelves along with some photos and other decor.

Floral bouquet in frame

Even though I'm creating this framed wall decor from a handmade plaster medallion, you can make this project yourself using a ceiling medallion or any type of carved wood decor.  You could also use some of the carved wood appliques made for accenting furniture.

And it doesn't have to be made in a square shape either as I saw some beautiful wood carvings and medallions that are long and thin.

The size of your finished framed medallion will depend on how large your carving is and how much space you leave around it.

Places like Restoration Hardware, Ballard Designs, and Frontgate sell similar products for as much at $450, which is an insane price considering that you could make one just as nice yourself for less than $30.

It is a quick DIY that you can make to enhance whatever decor you already have.

Round plaster medallion in frame




STEP 1: You first must decide how large you want your framed medallion to be.  You'll need to measure the width of your trim, the medallion, and the amount of space that you want to appear between the medallion and frame.  Then measure and cut your plywood or MDF square according to the size you need.

STEP 2: Cut your trim at a 45 degree angles on both ends.  The outside edge of your trim should be cut just slightly longer than the length of the side of your square.  You can do this using a miter saw or a handheld saw and miter box.

STEP 3: Glue the four pieces of trim around the edges of your cut square, clamping to the wood if necessary.

STEP 4: When the glue is dry, fill in any gaps between the cut edges of your trim with either wood filler or spackling compound.  When it is dry, sand your corners smooth.

Spackling joints in wood frame

STEP 5: Attach the medallion to your wood square using a heavy duty adhesive like Gorilla Glue or construction adhesive.

STEP 6: When your adhesive is dry, paint the entire framed medallion in the color of your choice.  If you are going for a distressed look, you can paint another color over top and sand to reveal the first color in areas.  Or you can use aging wax or paint thinned with water as a glaze to settle into the medallion.

I actually painted mine separately because I attached the medallion using picture wire tied onto the hook that was already on the medallion and threaded it through two small holes I drilled in the frame.  Since the plaster piece is a keepsake, I didn't want to do something permanent with it.

Painting medallion and frame white

STEP 7:  Add a hook to the back of your medallion if you plan on hanging it.

White floral medallion in frame


Framed Plaster Medallion

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