“Say C-H-E-E-S-E”! You take the perfect picture, and you want a special way to frame and display it. So, you go to the store and search and search, but cannot find what you want. Instead, why don’t you make it yourself?
I like the look of antiqued distressed items; they just seem to have a certain appeal to me. It is like they are full of wisdom and knowledge of the past. Well, you can create this look without having to wait 50 years!
For this project, I went to a dollar store and found two picture frames that were solid wood. Sometimes this is hard to find now-a-days, but if you cannot find at a dollar store, go to a thrift store, you will find all sorts of picture frames.
Next pick out some colors you like, as this project is a layered color look. It is to resemble an aged piece that has had many layers of paint over the years. I went with a bright yellow, red and turquoise. You can use craft paint for this project, which you can find at any dollar or craft store.
What you need for this project:
- Wood picture frame
- Three colors of craft paint
- Small / medium paint brush
- Crackle medium
- Sand paper
- Metal drywall spatula or old table knife
Take the back off the frame and take out glass, set off to the side someplace where they won’t get broken! If there is a finish on the wood frame, give it a light sanding. Wipe off any dust with a damp cloth.
Start with the lightest color of your choice, in my case I chose yellow. Because I was going over brown, I had to do two coats to give a nice solid coverage. To speed up the drying process between coats, you can use a hair dryer on a low speed (I do, just don’t have the patients to wait). It is up to you if you want to paint the back of the frame as well, I did.
Then choose what color you want to show through the cracks, and what color will be the main outside color. I choose red to be the next color, with the final color being turquoise. I found that I only needed one coat of the red over the yellow. I was not 100% full coverage, but it is only really coming through the cracks (it’s distressed, so it’s not supposed to be perfect).
Next take your Crackle medium, and put on one coat evenly over frame. The thicker the coat, the larger the cracks will be, the thinner the layer, the smaller the cracks will be. I seemed to have some areas where I put a little more medium on it and others where I put less, so I have a variety of crack sizes.
If you do not have any Crackle medium, or cannot find any in your local craft store, try white glue. For larger cracks, paint on the glue full strength – and for smaller cracks, water it down with 1 part water to 3 parts white glue. Use the same method as you would with the Crackle medium.
Finally you put your last color on! When painting over Crackle medium, you can only paint one coat, and cannot brush over the same spot more than once, or it will not work. So load your brush with a generous amount of paint and cover an area with one swipe. Continue until the whole frame is done. Then the magic happens, I love this part. Again, I am not patient, so I use the hair dryer. As it dries, the cracks start to appear!
Once fully dry, you will start sanding the edges and corners. Try to sand down to the first color you painted, so that it will peek out. In my case, I got little pops of yellow coming out. Now you can leave it here, but I took it a step further. I took a metal drywall spatula, and start to scrap and chip away at random areas on frame to make it further aged and distressed. Some areas I went down to the raw wood.
If you want, you can finish it with a clear sealer. I chose not to, as I like the matte look to it. Take your favorite picture and put it in the frame, and display for all to admire your crafty skills!