Sunday, 29 December 2013

Re-cycling Picture Frames - using Liming Wax

Over time an artist can accumulate spare frames and they are often left in a corner of the studio gathering dust.

On the other hand several artists I know always paint to a set size, and therefore they can re-use the frames more readily and buy ready made frames in a standard size.  There is nothing at all wrong with this, but it is something I struggle with.

I like to have the freedom when painting a subject, knowing that I have more than enough space to use on the watercolour paper.  Of course, I plan my compositions, but not knowing the mount and/or frame size beforehand gives me this freedom and some flexibility too.

What happens is that if a painting does not sell, I am left with frames of a variety of sizes.

I have decided to be more pro-active and over the last week or so I have started to re-vamp some of the oak frames that I have, and several of them will be used to frame forthcoming paintings.

I have always liked the oak frame and the majority of my artwork is framed using this.  I consider the colour a warm but neutral tone that generally compliments the natural subject matter in the paintings.  I therefore didn't want to venture too far from this.

The decision was made and I am using a liming wax made by Liberon.  This wax gives an almost bleached effect to the wood grain.

Step 1: was to lightly sand the frame surface using an extra fine grain sanding pad.  This is not meant to be a heavy sanding, but more to remove any coating, grease or dirt.

Step 2: apply the liming wax using a lint free cloth, rubbing the wax into the grain.  Leave for 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: wipe off the white haze or coating.  To protect the frame further a neutral coloured wax can be applied and then polished.  Alternatively, if a more durable and water resistant finish is required, finishing oil can be applied.  This is put on the frame using a lint free cloth, left to dry and then buffed.  I will be using the latter approach once the finishing oil arrives from the suppliers.

Here you can see the final result prior to applying the finishing oil.  I have placed the frames next to our oak dresser so you can see the difference in tone.

1 comment :

  1. Great idea Sarah. I love that limed effect. Never really knew how to achieve it so thanks for the tip!



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