Friday, March 2, 2012

Antique Textured Picture Frame Tutorial

I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted. It's been busy around here. This time of year has a birthday seemingly one right after the other. January 10th, February 12th, March 1st, April 5th and April 6th. It seems that before we've even finished the last batch of cupcakes I'm off baking the next batch. I really should be baking a few more batches now for Jeremy's birthday party tomorrow but . . . I just couldn't keep away from my projects another day.

I wanted to share a quick tutorial with you . . . a finishing technique for an textured antique frame.

frame, any size
latex paint, any color
plaster of paris powder
steel wool or sand paper, fine or medium grade
gel stain or brown shoe polish

I started with an inexpensive frame I picked up someplace awhile back. I didn't paint a base color since the frame had already been stained a light brown. If your frame is unfinished or if you dislike the color of the frame you can paint a base color. Then paint a few coats of your main color, mine was a basic white.

Nice, but too bright and shiny for my taste. I used steel wool to sand away some of the white so the undercoat of brown showed through. Once you've applied the topcoat it will be difficult to sand though to the base color so it's best to do it now.

The topcoat is made of 1 cup of latex paint the same as your main color and 1 tsp of plaster of paris. I used a plastic spoon to measure and mix; nothing too precise. You can add more or less depending on how much texture you want. Now this is obviously more than you would need for an picture frame. I make up a batch and then store it in a small mason jar to be used for other projects. Closed tightly the plaster of paris will not harden but if it does get a little thick you can simply add water until it's the right consistency.

I simply painted the topcoat onto my frame. The texture will adhere to certain parts of the frame and you can always dab more on where you want it. If you added less plaster of paris, it will go on like regular paint with only a slight texture to it. If you added more it will be more like smearing icing on a cake. Either way look greats, it just depends on your own preference. Now I let it dry and then gave it one last sanding focusing on the areas I sanded the first time to bring that base color out. I then rubbed some shoe polish onto it for aging; it gathers in the texture quite nicely. Now, here's the tough part. Plaster of paris does take awhile to set. If you do not allow it to set fully the topcoat will peel right off when you sand. I'm an impatient person so I put mine in the oven on a low heat which certainly sped up the setting process.

Here's a closeup of the frame:

For now it's hanging in our living room with a few old family photos displayed inside. I love the look of frames without backing. I am contemplating another project to accompany this one so this frame may serve another purpose soon and I'll be sure to share.

I am feverishly trying to finish a sampler I've been working on for weeks now. It's so small I can't imagine what's taking so long. Perhaps it's all the cupcakes :) I just have a few more stitches and then the finishing. Hopefully, I'll be sharing that with you next week. Until then, I hope everyone is enjoying these last few weeks of Winter.


Jennie Lynn


Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

Wow, this is great. Thank you so much!

Penny said...

Love this -- it looks great! How do you attach your pictures? Are they in between 2 panes of glass?

Thanks for sharing!!