Sunday 29 January 2012

Reworking A Picture Frame

At auction, I bid on a grouping of a dozen picture frames. They averaged out to $4 each. Some were more elaborate than others but all will get used eventually.

My favourite one was this ~

It's a deep frame and the "carving" is intact.  That's unusual as the detailing is made of plaster and easily chipped. If it had the original gilding, I would have left it alone.  This one had been spray painted gold.  Really, really shiny gold.  The answer is to age the paint job.

If your frame is chipped and the white plaster is showing, you can start at the spray it gold step.

Once the frame is dry, mix some black craft paint and water.  Any black or very dark brown will do and thin it to the consistency of water.

I use a brush to paint sections about 12" long and let the black drip into all the crevices. Immediately wipe it off with a lint free rag or paper towel.  If it has pooled too much in some of the carving, use another brush to wipe out the excess.  This leaves the raised sections looking like dulled gold and the crevices are darkened with age.

If the sides are smooth, paint a couple of swipes of the diluted paint on and wipe off. Hopefully, there is enough grain in the wood to catch the dark paint and tone down the sides.

Here she is aged to her original glory! ~

                   (The chicken is the tablecloth pattern but I thought it was kind of cute.)

If I had decided to change the colour of the frame, I would have used the same technique so the detailing would stand out.

I'm snowed in here tonight and hope that holds true for tomorrow!  I may get to tackle a few more of these little jobs!

I'm sharing with these great blogs ~


  1. Ooooh that is a gorgeous frame, and you made it even more so. Thanks for such a great tip!

  2. Wow really pops now! That was a really great and simple tutorial...even I can do that! yay! xo

  3. Testing Maureen...still love your frame! xo

  4. Don't you hate those Gold spray painted frames! Much better aged and patina-ed! XO Cindy

  5. Lynn @ January 2012 at 18:22

    Great job!! Love the new look.

  6. Awesome!!! Thank you for stopping in to see me! How interesting to read about your grandfather, that is amazing!

  7. Great,thanks for linking up to Creative Mondays :0)