When it comes to art and photography, framing and matting are considered just as important as the quality of the art or photo. A great piece in a lousy frame will not be as magnificent as if it would be in a refinished frame. The trick is to refinish the frame according to the art or photo. You want the frame to match it – to compliment it and not work against it.
If the frame is empty take it out to your garage or workshop. Refinishing requires sanding and it’s best to not do this project inside of your home. If your frame is occupied lay it face down on your table or counter. Unfold the prongs or otherwise undo the back of the frame so that you can release the art or picture. Set it safely aside and proceed to your garage or workshop with the frame.
Wooden frames often have grooves and details in the wood. Frames are compromised of four pieces. Each is long and thin. An electric handheld sander could damage a wooden frame. It is best to use a single piece of sandpaper. Begin using a piece of rough grit. Run the paper gently back and forth until all of the old finish has been removed from each side of the frame. Don’t forget the edges. The back side of the frame can be done if desired but it’s not necessary. The frame hangs on the wall so it won’t be seen.
Once you have finished sanding with the rough grit switch to a piece of fine grit and go over each piece of the frame again. The fine grit gives the wood a soft smooth surface that is flawless. This makes the new finish blemish free and helps it to adhere better.
Once you have finished sanding grab a dry clean cloth and wipe the frame down really well. Do this to remove any dust left from sanding as it will become trapped under your new finish if it remains. Once the frame is clean it’s time to apply the new finish.
Frames look great both painted and stained. To paint a wooden frame use a spray paint made for wood. Spray paints are available in every shade and color you can think of. Choose one that matches and highlights your art or photo, and your matting.
Lay down several sheets of newspaper to protect your work surface. Lay the frame face up on the newspaper and begin to spray. Hold the can 8 to 10 inces away from the frame and slowly move the can back and forth lengthwise along each piece of the frame. Allow the first coat 20 minutes to dry then spray on a second. Let the second dry for another 20 minutes then spray on a third for the most even color coverage.
Let the final coat of paint dry for an hour or so then apply a coat of polyurethane. Use a small foam paint brush to apply the poly. Brush on an even coat then wait 25 minutes and brush on another. A frame does not get a lot of handling so two coats of poly is sufficient. After the second coat has been applied let the frame dry for 12 hours. After the 12 hours has passed you may bring it back inside. Place the matting and art or photo in the frame, secure it, and hang.