I found this sweet cross-stitched kitty at my favorite thrift store a couple of months ago. Someone had put a lot of time and love into it, and I couldn't pass it by. The price was right, too, only $4.00. I stashed it in a closet and quickly forgot about it, as it needed a new frame and a good cleaning.
I also had a needlework kitty pillow, a gift from my dear Mother a few years ago, so I put that on my sewing chair. My stuffed sewing caddy cat that I made so long ago to hold pins and notions by my sewing machine fit right in. And the little white ceramic cat came from my Mom's estate. I had a collection and didn't even know it!
I just sanded the frame a little bit by hand, then used black craft paint and a small brush. It is always helpful to use plastic underneath when you are painting something that might stick, rather than newspaper, and I always save my old shower curtain liners for that purpose. I also save little fruit crates as throw-away craft caddies for little projects. Oh, and those plastic lids from the yogurt containers are great for squirting glue or paint onto when you only need a little bit, then you just throw it away. No clean up.
So don't pass up a nice piece of needlework or art just because the frame is old and beat up, paint it! It only takes an hour or so, and it can really turn an ugly duckling into something beautiful.