How to Make a Picture Frame Look Antique

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Making a picture frame look antique involves first painting a dark, even base coat on the surface before brushing on layers of metallic paint. Create a faux antique effect on wooden picture frames with a demonstration from a professional framer in this free video on wall decor.

Part of the Video Series: Picture Framing
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Sheri Wright. I own Fourth Corner Frames in Bellingham, Washington, and I'm going to show you how to antique a frame. The materials you are going to need, today, you're going to start with your frame that you're going to antique, sponge brushes, rollers. You're going to need various stains and paints and acrylics, water-based so you can clean it up easily, and it's nontoxic, and some paper towels or rags. Step one, take your wooden frame, and if it's rough, you might want to sand it with some nice, fine grit sandpaper and then just start in one direction, go with the grain of wood, and nice even strokes, and you're going to work quickly because this is acrylic, so it will dry fast. Don't forget that inside lip, and let that dry. Once the black paint is dry, then you take gold paint and we repeat step one with gold over the black. Now, you'll notice that the black, which I used as a base coat, will come through and give the gold a different look, and that's part of the secret of the antiquing. Otherwise, you get too flat a color and there's no life to it. Okay, so once you've got your finish where you want it, and the paint thickness and everything, we're ready for our next step after this dries. Once the gold is dry, you're ready to put the final antiquing on it. So, what you want to do is take your antique stain, open that up, dip your brush in and liberally brush that antiquing on here. Okay, now it's pretty liquid here so we're going to put ,that on here good and solid. Now, what we're going to do is we have our paper towel here and we're going to wad that up and we're going to create an antiqued finish by just dabbing it on, and that pulls off some of that antique stain and let's the gold kind of shine through. If you want a different pattern, you can use a sea sponge or paper towel or soft cloth will give you different patterns. I like this one because it's nice and random and once you've got the pattern you need and you've got all the bits and pieces, you have a beautifully antiqued frame and you just need to let that dry and put your favorite photo in it and that's how to antique a frame. But, you can also add a little extra detail to it. This particular frame has got a lot more detail on it. One of the things you can do is use something called rotten stone or a little bit of soft pastel and you can take a little bit of that, so put a little bit of soft pastel on to your cloth here and you can dab the color into this detail and that will bring the detail out. You can just rub a little bit of that pastel over the surface lightly. It's very soft, and it doesn't take much, and then take your cloth and just rub that across like this. It does two things. It polishes your frame and it adds a little bit of extra color in there. And there's lots of other things you can do. You can just use your imagination. You can distress the wood, add extra, other colors, just have fun.

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