Distressed: make your own trendy frames
Picture frames that have
an aged appearance complement images in a unique manner; make your own and create a focal wall.
1 With the cloth, rub shoe polish into the grain of the wood to darken the surface – but keep in mind that the waxy properties of the polish will also prevent subsequent coats of paint from adhering to the wood. This will assist in creating the peeling paint effect. Remember Do not rub the polish onto the mitred edges, as glue will not adhere properly there either. 2 Apply two coats of white paint. Note The shoe polish may turn the paint pink; wait for the paint to dry and apply another coat of white. 3 When the paint has dried completely, rub an even layer of petroleum jelly onto the surface. This will prevent subsequent (coloured) layers of paint from adhering to the white layer, and help to create the effect of cracked, peeling paint. 4 Now paint a thin layer of grey or blue paint (shown here) onto the wood using quick movements and then allow it to dry thoroughly. Note Drying time may be affected by the petroleum jelly. 5 Use the paint scraper to remove sections of paint to reveal the wood underneath. 6 and 7 Put some glue onto the mitred edges of the wood and hold the corners firmly together while stapling it together from the back; you may need an extra pair of hands for this. Place the frame face down and weigh it down for an hour to ensure the joints are sturdy. Take the completed frame to a glass supplier and ask them to cut a pane to fit within the rebate. Mount the image you wish to use, and display.
• Picture rails are ideal for creating decorative frames because they already have a rebate to accommodate the glass and mounting board. If you use skirting boards or dado rails, you will need to cut a rebate of 5 x 5mm on the inside edge of the frame.
• To create an authentic effect, work with the individual pieces of the frame and only glue them together once you have completed the paint effects.
• Scraping more paint from two opposing sides and leaving the other sides intact will give the impression that the frame was created from different pieces of wood.
• Experiment until you achieve the look you want.
Other materials that can be used to create weathered paint effects:
Candle wax Rub it onto surfaces between layers of paint; you can easily scrape off the top layer of paint while leaving the bottom layer intact. Paint stripper A thin layer applied before subsequent coats will cause water-based paint to form small bubbles if the paint being painted onto is oil-based. It can then be lightly scraped with a wire brush to create a weathered effect.
These frames complete the picture by successfully drawing together the separate elements.
Shopping list • wood profiles to construct the frames; we used four different profiles to make ours • wood glue • petroleum jelly • dark brown shoe polish • acrylic PVA in the colours of your choice – we used white, grey and blue to match the tones in this room
Tools • paintbrush • sponge roller • paint scraper • staple gun with staples • soft cloth or paper towel