Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Painting Antique Frames

What a joy it was to turn over those calender pages, to see what March will bring. February was cold and snowy and brutal for so many of us. March is my Birthday Month, and it always signals the start of Spring. I feel my optimism and mood lighten with that one little flip of a calender page.

A week or so ago, Hubbs and I hung up a few oil paintings that he's given me over the years. They are my favorites, but I was just guessing at where they should be. Wall space in this house is scarce, and I'm trying to be selective about what I'm putting up. So we ended up changing things around because the space really needed something bigger.

I'm sticking with my theme of French Shepherd Girls and Dairy Maids, and also using a few English Landscapes and rural scenes. I had used this particular print at our old house in the Living Room. I don't know when I shared photos of this, because it was in a space that didn't photograph well. It's really old and in it's original heavy, heavy, dried out wooden frame. The frame has 3 separate pieces and it was so fragile, that chunks of molding and the wood supports in the back were disintegrating.

(don't you love my worn out Zebra Ugg slippers,
 and of course, a nosey fur girl)

We hung it up, but the more I looked at it, the uglier that frame became. It didn't do anything for the room, and it was so beat up, that it detracted from the wonderful old print. Big, brown, and ug-ly! I started out with ASCP Old White, but it was too much of a contrast with the print. It looked pretty on the wall, but the print was reading as too dark. Then I tried some of my wall paint, Ben Moore Smokey Taupe on the outer edges...better...but still too light. 

Next I used my concoction of Antique Gold Rub-N-Buff and DecoArt Metallic Luster in Bronze that I used on the Dining Room Chandy...getting better.

Hubbs weighed in with his opinion...still too light to really see the print at it's best. okey-dokey. Let's try ASCP French Linen, which is what I used on my LR furniture pieces. (I had to admit he was right) Just what I want to do...spend all weekend working on these dang frames. oh yes. there was another one that needed to match.

I think it turned out pretty well. Since the paint was matte, it needed a little sealer and sheen, so I used one coat of Liquid Poly applied with a sponge brush. Now the frame doesn't "compete" with the print. You can see that adorable white cow, now.

"How now, white cow."
(sorry, just had to say that.)

someday, when I'm brave,
 I'm going to paint this railing to match the woodwork.

Here's the other misfit. It started out as the same type of dried out wooden piece and I painted it in white and gray back in 2012. I did a quick job of it then and it showed. It was streaky and too light for the print, but at that point I couldn't stand the "brown", and just did a quick fix before Hubbs could stop me. This was also before I painted the walls...can't believe I actually picked this color once. 

old house February 2012

wall color May much better!

I'm ashamed...

So, here it is now at the new house; better paint job in ASCP French Linen. Now the frame actually enhances the old print instead of making it look dull and dark. Those are shadows on the right side, upper and lower corners.

It's in the LR above Hubbs leather recliner. I'm trying to walk the line with my shabby french-y-ness, since I've had to incorporate this dark leather and lots of wood finishes into the LR. At the old house I could be just as white and french-y as I wanted...but I can't do that here. 

This wall decor thing is moving pretty slowly around here. I'd like to do a Gallery Wall on the long hall, but I still need to find more of my prints. I'll also need my daughter's input and an extra set of hands to tackle that project. 

Hope you all are off to a good week,
it's supposed to be in the 50's by the weekend!

Joining in at these party places:

Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
Let's Talk Vintage at Bella Rosa Antiques
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Cup at Mrs. Olson's
Share Your Style at Common Ground
Shabbilicious Friday at Shabby Art Boutique
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Sundays at Home with Thoughts from Alice
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush



  1. Well, you're a whole lot smarter than me. I'd have just bought another frame probably because I'm not too wise about painting things like frames!

  2. You did a great job on those frames. They look really good on your new walls. When is your birthday! I'm a March baby also.


    1. tomorrow, whoo-hooo! I'm just celebrating; not counting the years!

  3. I love these paintings. So cute and they look fabulous in the new house.

  4. Well done - look absolutely gorgeous now.

    Your changes are wonderful. Keep up the good work.

    Oh? And please please please send us warmer temps.

  5. Look at the way the artwork stands out now. I love what you did! I have painted frames several times and never seem to get the look I had in mind. Great job!

  6. Hi Debra,
    Happy Birthday for tomorrow. Enjoy your day. Love the painted frames. So brings out the white cow. So pretty.
    Love this.

  7. Well done, Debra! Hope you have a happy birthday. Wishing you blue skies and a bit of sunshine. '-)

  8. Love the transformations! They do go perfectly now with your style and colors. I have several of those frames waiting to have a fresh face but I am too scared to do it!

  9. The colors in those prints look so fresh now - great job!

  10. Love the frame redo! Looking awesome! Enjoy your day dear Debra, HUGS!

  11. Beautiful!!!! This post is perfect for my "Let's Talk Vintage!" link party today! I post every Tuesday morning at 9 and send out an email reminder. Would love to have you stop by!


    1. Hi Jill, thanks so much for the invitation, I just came by and linked up!

  12. Love that print. I think that you got it exactly right and you had the vision to keep going.

    Know what you mean about daughter's help. My Kathy has a good eye too.

  13. I think those are all such pretty pictures! I love the new look of the frames too. I often paint frames too. it makes such a difference and is cheaper than replacing the artwork or the frame!

  14. Debra,
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful frames at my party...I am a big fan of updating old frames.


  15. You know how I love seeing an old frame that might be falling apart get a new life! And this turned out beautifully! And you new home is a well. Happy Birthday, one day early is better than way late. :)

  16. love the "new frames" also love the dining room chair covers. do you have a pattern for them...I would love to make them for my outdated dining room chairs. thanks..Carole

  17. We almost share the same birthday! Mine is today. :) Love, love your frames, so pretty! Love the prints too! Everything looks so good!

    1. Me too, Kathy, 3-3!! Hope you're having a great B'Day, just came home from having Chinese at our fave place!

  18. I love that you show your fails. That's why you're on my bloglist.

  19. Hi Debra! Oh, you did a great job on your frames and you fixed that one! I love the new color you've chosen. The prints are lovely too. Hope you're doing well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  20. I just love the detail in beautiful old frames. You have certainly done them justice. I love the difference your paint job makes. Worth the effort, I think.

  21. I am silently laughing at that wall color--I painted our kitchen that color a few years ago--and my sweet husband called it "Naked Butt." It lasted one year, until the next summer when I painted it white. The frames are great!

  22. Debra,
    Happy Birthday, dear friend!!!
    Love the updates you've done to your vintage frames!!!
    Adore seeing your "helper" (aka nosey fur girl) in your photos!!!
    Hope your day is a keepsake to hold in the memories of your heart!!!

  23. That was a lot of work for your frames, but they turned out fabulous!

  24. Happy Birthday, Debra! My B'day was the day before yours. I love the old prints and the painted frames look wonderful.

  25. The frames look great Debra! I have the exact same cow print from your old house but in a smaller version. It is one of my favorites. Thank you for joining THT!

  26. OMGosh Debra...what a huge change a little paint can make! I love the way your frames look now!
    XO Barbara

  27. Debra I love that milkmaid art and the frame did turn out perfect! Sometimes you just have to tinker a little. I hear you about not a lot of wall space. I have that same problem n our more open home. We've lived here 5 years now and my large 20 ft. wall in the family room still isn't quite what I want. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  28. That came out amazingly well!
    I would love for you to stop by my blog and join our link party Something to Talk About!
    Have a great day and hope to see you there!


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