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Baroque Frame Makeover

by - Monday, August 05, 2013

Hello there! I hope you all had a good weekend. It was so lovely yesterday that I decided to (finally) work on this makeover project in the garden. It's one that I've had in the queue for months, and it kept getting delayed because I really couldn't make my mind up about it.
I bought this gorgeous baroque-style frame and print at a charity shop in spring, and was adamant that I was going to paint the moulding.
But, I kept looking at it and wondering if that would be a mistake. I knew that once I slapped some paint on it there'd be no turning back and I'd have to like it.

Well, here it is. I've never been a huge fan of these antique gilt frames anyway, as I have yet to see one that actually compliments the painting it surrounds. I find they tend to make the picture look quite drab and depressing, which really isn't my kind of thing. I've had this hung on the wall since I bought it and finally decided last weekend that I didn't like it and it needed to change.

So I set my garden table up with lots of newspaper (held down by gaffa tape - it was very windy!) and began to plan my process.

I sanded it down very, very slightly, to give the new paint something to grip on to. I didn't want to lose the gold paint though, which is why it was only a very gentle rub over.

I then just started painting the first coat on, stabbing at the adorned corners with the brush to get the paint in all the nooks and crannies. (I'm not sure if Neil Buchanan has copyrighted that phrase!?)

This is that 'no going back' part where I started to wonder if I should have even started!

The paint I used was the same as my Chest of Drawers Makeover, which was Gentle Fawn in matt by Dulux.

Don't forget to paint the inside lip of the frame; the bit that sits right up against the print. It may not be obvious when the frame is empty but you'll surely notice it when the picture's back in!

After two coats I finally had that 'this is the right move' feeling and got very excited about the next step. It looked lovely pure white, but I had a very good reason for wanting to keep the gold paint underneath...

I then took a fine grain piece of sand paper and started rubbing away the white paint where parts of the moulding were in relief. This bit of sand paper that I used was incredibly old and worn, therefore soft, making it easy to fold round my fingers to get to the trickier parts of the frame. I don't think it would have been as effective with a new, stiff sheet that cracks when folded.

If you do this yourself and don't have any used bits of paper, I do recommend getting a very fine grain as it takes the paint off gradually, giving you more control over the final result. 

This was the first corner compared to the pure white edge below it. I think with a frame of this style and age, the pure white makes it look a little too 'bought in a shabby chic shop' and not 'genuine antique' enough.

Lastly, I brushed the dust off (the brush from your dust-pan set works fine), clipped the print back in the frame, strung the back up, and hung it from a hook on our picture rail.

I'm currently loving frames hung by twine at the moment, so that was my string of choice.

The hint of gilt showing through the white is very subtle, and you don't notice it straight away. I think this works beautifully, as it has only a slight sense of vintage to it.

Note that I haven't tried to rub the paint off in the same pattern for each corner - it works a lot better being uneven.

It really has lifted the image, and compliments it completely now. The white picks out the lighter shades in the painting, while the hints of gold highlight the darker tones.

So all in all, a good decision I think! I'm totally in love with it now compared to feeling like it needed 'something' before.

Thanks for reading & I wish you a very happy week ahead.

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  1. I love baroque frames. I can never find them when I am out thrifting. Great job. I would love it if you would share this over at my link party that is going on right now.

    1. Shared. :) I love them too, but I just don't get on with dark ones like the original state of this! I'm now going to keep an eye out for more that I can renovate! :) X

  2. The frame turned out great. I love finding frames like that and giving them a much needed makeover!


    1. Thanks Trisha! :) I'd love to see what makeovers you do, if you've got a blog or Instagram etc, link me up! X


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