Things You'll Need
Silver spray paint
Black spray paint
Spray gloss coat
Silver picture frames are a treasure, and antique frames even more so. While there's no substitute for the genuine article when it comes to antique silver, you can still create a convincing and attractive artificial antique silver effect with the right combination of paint colors and application techniques. Add a touch of class and old-fashioned charm to an otherwise plain picture frame for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
Remove all but the metal frame portion of the picture frame. Set aside photos, glass and any fiber board backings.
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Spray paint the frame silver. Follow the instructions on the spray paint can (especially those concerning the distance of the can from the object) to ensure that you get an even spray that will look realistic. Let the first side you've sprayed dry completely, then flip the frame over to do the other side. For best results, spray paint the front of the frame second so that you can spray over any drips that happen while spraying the back side.
Fill a paper cup halfway with water, then spray gray or black spray paint into the cup. Use gray for a more natural aged look and black for a more intentional, stylized antiquing, such as that used for filigree. Spray for about 10 seconds.
Apply the water and spray paint solution to the picture frame immediately. Dip a rag or disposable paintbrush into the solution and apply it to the picture frame, then wipe away with a clean rag. Enough speckled paint will stick to the frame (especially in cramped areas) to create an antiqued effect.
Add more water and spray paint solution as needed. If the paint sprayed into the cup of water becomes too sticky to use while you're applying it, pour it out and mix more in another cup.
Spray the picture frame with a gloss coat. This will give it shine and make it look more realistic.