Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tutorial: Vintage Gilded Picture Frames

Yeah, Okay, to be honest I have no idea if "vintage gilded" is even a real term--but it seems to describe the effect I wanted. I was given the task of redoing a laurel leaf mirror frame to make it look like the mercury glass my sweet client has in her home. So I had to do some home work, and I thought I'd share with all of you!

What do you need?

Metal Leafing--in this case I used silver--which is actually aluminum--cause, well, we're working on a budget right??
Metal Adhesive--known as 'size'
A soft natural bristle brush
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint--well that's what I use cause I don't want to sand and prime!!
Annie Sloan Dark Wax
A few throw away rags for buffing

And the 'thing' to be silvered!!

 The Volunteers: one faux gold and one wood color picture frame:
 I used a left over can (can you tell? It's not obvious is it??) of Graphite color Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which happened to have a bit of French Linen color Annie Sloan Chalk Paint mixed in,to paint the wood picture frame. Traditionally faux mercury glass is backed with Prussian Blue, but none of that one hand!

What's a girl scout to do??


Here are the frames after having size applied. It looks milky when it goes on, but dries clear. How long do you need to let it dry?? Oh about one load of dishes, one load of laundry, one sweep of the floor, dress 3 kids who happen to be naked at 5 in the evening, answer a few emails and texts . . . about that long. ;)
 I used the easy kind of leafing--it is already backed with a piece of waxed paper. You can get the regular stuff, but it is a bit tricky to handle for a novice.

Lay down the metal leafing on the frame. Use your clean, dry brush to gently nudge it into the nooks and crannies.
  Lift the paper, and continue nudging until it seems mostly stuck all over. Continue this all over the piece!

My 2 picture frames--a 5x7 and 8 x10 used 9 sheets.

 After you have gilded the entire piece, use your clean, dry brush to gently rub off any excess.
 Ok, here is your basically gilded frame. You can stop here if you like. But it was just too shiny and metallic looking for me.
 So I used Annie Sloan Soft Wax Dark over the entire piece to age it and deepen the patina. 
Left frame is waxed, right isn't waxed yet.
And here are my vintage darlings!!
 What do you think--does this remind you of faux mercury glass?
 I think I'm lovin' it!
 Hum, yeah, I might have to do more!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. oh jessica.. you inspire all of us great job my friend!

  2. Love it, Jessica!! I am going to try this soon!

  3. Okay, I'm lost. At which point did you apply the chalk paint?

  4. OH wow these are great! I do have one question though I can't tell when you painted. I'm pretty sure before you put the size on but the pictures don't really show it. I have 4 pictures to frame in my little girls room and this would be perfect for them!

    Thanks for sharing your tallent and tutorial
    The Glitter Tart

  5. Beautiful. Thanks for showing us such a lovely idea!!

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