3. Spruce up an old frame
is a great idea and there are so many frames to choose from. You
might even have one at home. Don't worry if it's scratched or chipped,
we will fix that right up! I like to take my print
measurements with me to the thrift store. I look for two
things. A well made frame and the right size. If you are lucky you
might even find one with a good matt in it. When you find a frame you
want to reuse, check for solidity and safety. Check the glass for
scratches and the mat for water stains or bubbling. You can always buy
new glass and if the matt is stained or faded let's paint it!
Ok, so you have your frame, what do you do now? The first thing to do
is to carefully disassemble it starting from the back. Gently cut the
paper backing and remove it. Inside you will find the print backing,
probably cardboard. Look around the edges for the points or nails that
hold it into place. Use a pair of pliers or a screwdriver to remove
them. Be careful, it
is easy to cut yourself here. When all the points are out carefully
remove the backing without bending it.
Alright, it looks like
you may have done this before! Let's Keep going!
the drawing or print and then the matt. Now very, very
carefully remove the glass and set it to the side. Do NOT put this
somewhere where it will be easy to knock over or sit something on. Look
for a space between a chair and the wall or behind a closed door - not
Now we have all the pieces, let's get to work. First let's look at the
mat. Is it in excellent shape? - if so - just lay it to the side and
use as is. If not, let's do a quick paint over.
on your color choice. Put two generous dabs on the paper plate, add a
drop of white to one of them & stir. Use the same plastic bag
dabbing technique that I described in the last example. Cover the
entire area and set aside to dry. If you don't like the color you can
always do a second coat and adjust either lighter or darker.
Now for the frame, I recommend priming
the entire frame first - before you add anything. This makes
for good adhesion and easy painting. Priming is the best step to take
to guarantee a good job. After you prime you will probably notice any
dings scratches or missing ornamentation. I use wood putty or spackle
to fill holes or rebuild missing areas. Use several coats if necessary.
What if the frame is
just plain boring? No problem! Here is a cheap,simple and easy
solution: (Feel free to practice on
scrap board first.)
With black craft paint,
make a black strip around the inside of the frame about 1" wide -let
dry. Next, tape off ½" around the inside of the frame over the black
paint. (next to where the print will be)
LEAVE THIS TAPE
ON until the VERY END
of the texturing process.
Take a small bowl and put 1 cup of spackle
light in it, add 4-5 tablespoons of white
glue or wood glue to it and stir. This should make
a sticky mess. It did? Great!
Now, Mask off
two sides in the corners (like a miter cut)
small putty knife or your finger to smear along one side of the frame
(only do one side at a time) make the spackle about 1/8" - 1/4" thick
and cover the whole side of the frame. Don't worry about the edges. Now
you can be creative!
I like to use a comb and
create patterns or simply comb from inside to out like a tooth pattern.
Another favorite is to crumple up a paper bag and lightly pounce the
spackle. It gives it a rough texture that paints up nicely. A third
idea is to lay a pen or pencil into the spackle to create grooves.
Don't get obsessive with this step, start with something freeform and
random and work your way up to complex patterns. Once you finish one
side do the opposite side and let it dry
Take off the corner tape
ONLY (NOT the inside trim tape) and do the other
two sides. Let them dry too.
Now you can sand
& shape it and remove any unwanted areas with medium
grade sandpaper. Now prime it again - what!! I
already primed it once! Yes, and that was to seal the wood and help the
spackle stick to the frame, now prime it so you can get a good paint
job. A good latex primer will only take a ½ hour to dry and it will be
well worth the effort.
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Use a latex metallic gold
leaf paint (available in 2 oz bottles at craft stores and
Wal-Mart.) Paint the outside of the frame twice. Then take a dark brown
color about 3 tablespoons and add a thimble full of water and stir, it
should be milky. Quickly brush the watery paint on one side and
immediately wipe off, leaving some of the color down in the crevices
and textures. Repeat this process on all sides - don't mess with this
too much just paint it on and wipe it down. This will give you a soft
antiqued look and the texture - especially if it isn't perfect, will
look good. You can also add gold highlights if you wish or seal it with
a clear varnish.
can take off the inside strip of tape covering the black.Touch up the
great doesn't it!
Now we are ready to reassemble! Clean you glass and collect your parts.
Trim your print so that it fits inside your frame, center it inside the
mat and leave plenty of room to adjust the positioning.
linen tape or acid free mounting tape to secure the print to the back
of the mat. ONLY TAPE at the top of the print, let
the rest hang like a curtain to allow for movement and to avoid
Put the glass
back in the frame. Add the matt & print.
If the fit is tight, gently bow up the center and ease into place. You
can use the back that came with the frame but I like to add a sheet of
clean white acid free paper to the surface that will touch the print.
If you have it - put it in. Add the backer board
and replace the points or nails. This is where it
NOTE: You may
have tried to bend the nails back in order to take out the insides, now
you are fighting them and worse of all it is mucking up the track that
everything sits in. If you haven't already, just take them out. Trust
me on this, it's easier!
Use painters glazing points or
small nails to hold the backing into place. Make sure you place them
every 4 "around all sides of the frame. Hint - if it is hard to get the
nails into the frame try this: use a pushpin to start the hole, then
gently squeeze the nail into place with some pliers.
done, but it's going to be worth it!
The finishing touch and a great way to keep dust and bugs out of your
print is to add a paper backing, like the one you removed. Not only
does this look pretty it helps protect your print.
brown craft paper and white glue. Just run a line of glue around the
frame about 1/2 "from the outside edge. Lay your paper on top and let
dry. Trim excess paper and add hanger wire and small eyehooks if
WOWY ZOWY! - you DID IT!
now have a very unique and stylish work of art for LESS that what you
would normally pay for a cheapo poster mounted on cardboard! Don't
forget to SEND PICTURES!!!!!! Send
them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that you know just
how easy it is to mount and hang your art prints isn't it
time to start picking
out prints for the next room? Perhaps your home
office needs alittle inspiration, or your children
have outgrown Barney. Maybe you are in the mood for portraits from your
favorite photgraphs. At ArtCantHurtU we
make it easy and affordable to have the unique home decor you want at
prices you can afford.