Gallery Wall: From Salvage Yard to Modern Photo Swag

My husband sent me a photo text from our local salvage yard, showing me this old, grimy section of a railing that he stumbled across. “Can we do something with this?” was the question. “Not sure but bring it home,” was my reply. So this dirty railing made a temporary home in our garage until we figured out that it would look pretty cool on this large empty wall in our dining room as a unique photo gallery wall. And so began the adventure of turning something old into modern swag…

Photo Gallery Wall DIY

Use an old railing to make a gallery wall

Want to take the gallery wall effect one step further to show off your gorgeous children or pets or spouse, or highlight your around the world adventures? Turn an old bannister railing into an eye-catching wall-mounted photographic display. Your supplies: a trip to your local salvage yard, a little elbow grease, possibly some paint and a vision. (If you’re a DIY-er, you already got this stuff!)


It’s amazing how a good wipe-down can make all the difference, which was step #1 in our salvage yard transformation. The frame of the bannister was painted purple. Nothing wrong with purple, it just wasn’t the color of my dining room. Transformation #2, turn the purple teal.Photo Gallery Wall DIY
Personally, I liked the worn look of this railing and wanted to keep it “rough”. So using my teal paint, I used the dry brush technique to add my color but still keep it looking vintage-y. (What’s a dry brush, you ask? Basically it means you dab off any excess paint onto a rag or another piece of paper so the brush is pretty much dry and apply your paint this way.)

So anything purple was turned teal. Since it’s easy to get carried away when you are holding a paintbrush, I dabbed teal sporadically on the spindles themselves.
Photo Gallery Wall DIY
Next, I added carpentry nails to those spindles where I wanted to hang a photo frame. Best to have your frames there and come up with a layout that looks best to you.Photo Gallery Wall DIY
Now the best part: hang it on your wall! Given the heavy duty nature of the railing coupled with wanting to keep with the unconventional look of the piece, we used bolts. I think it adds to its uniqueness.
Photo Gallery Wall DIY
Add your frames and stand back and admire.

Check out how we displayed this salvage yard find find as part of our dining room makeover!

Want a unique, won’t-break-the-bank graphic backsplash idea? See how we used a free photo to make a huge graphic impact!
Photo Gallery Wall DIYTurn a salvage yard railing into a photo gallery wall
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