Hypocrisy (i.e. DIY Painted/Distressed Picture Frame)

Shabby Frame

I’m not really sure what all the hype about vintage is. Before you dismiss me as a hater, let it be known that I harbor as much nostalgia and wide-eyed wonder about Renaissance and Victorian as much as the next froofy romantic obsessed with anything from “the old days”. However. I think the whole idea — especially in DIY furniture — of always necessarily distressing and glazing everything and its mama (especially when you don’t really need it) strays far from personalized and instead comes across as cliché. When it gets to that paint when you’re sanding and glazing just because, you know, that’s the “in” thing to do, face it: you’re just a conformist.

That said. I find myself often intrigued by the techniques involved in achieving “antique, vintage” looks with paint. And since I’d just gone on a picture-frame-purchasing spree at an A.I. Friedman sale, I figured I’d test some out myself.

I like more of a clean look when it comes to painting and generally prefer the look of immaculate finishes than aged. But ruining my clean painting job turned out lovelier (if I say so myself) results than expected and was, hey, even fun.

I started with this gold-ridge frame:

Picture Frame

Since I’m dumb and forgot to take step-by-step pictures of the process as I had intended, here’s my quick rundown of the steps:

1. Paint. Give the frame an all-over single coat of Behr’s Ultra Gem Turquoise.

2. White-wash: with acrylic crafts paint in white mixed with water (rough 2:1 ratio).

3. Sand. To my delight, this revealed not only the gold paint of the original product, but also a richer, red-stained wood underneath that:

The Wood Underneath

4. Seal: everything with Liquitex Acrylic Gel Medium, to end up with:

Frame CornerFrame Top

Shabby Frame Closeup

Had no art to frame, so there’s me instead. Hallo!

Not too shabby (hah!), I think.


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