Building Your Own Frames Tutorial





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Published on Oct 18, 2009

A nice frame can really set off a painting, but custom framing is extremely expensive. In this video, I will show you how to build a very simple float frame, which compliments a modern, contemporary, abstract painting rather nicely.
If you want to frame a traditional style painting, a more ornate frame may be desired and this video probably isn't for you.

Building frames yourself saves money, and gives you complete control over the finished product. It's also not too difficult.

Poplar is my wood of choice. while it has a bad habit of warping if it is exposed to moisture, proper sealing can prevent that problem, and its other positive qualities more than make up for that shortcoming. Poplar a hard wood, relatively light weight and inexpensive, free of resins or oils that can negatively affect paints and stains, and a very light grain that will not soak in paint unevenly. In shot, poplar lets you build frames cheaply and easily.

The first step is to measure your painting, remember add a 1/8" to 1/4" of extra space to each piece of wood to leave room for error. (this is important!) then mark the side of the wood that will be facing inwards (the side touching the painting) in the finished frame.

Glue and clamp 2 pieces of wood together to form "L wood"-L wood is the secret to a good float frame.
once you have your 4 pieces of L wood, glue 'em together and you are the proud owner of a brand new frame! all that's left is paint and varnish.

Stain the wood with a watered down artists acrylic (do not use wood stain! it is oil based and will mess things up). Then, paint the frame with several coats of paint. The stain will hide any minor damage to the frame that may come up in transportation/storage.
Apply at least 3 coats of varathane, sanding lightly between each coat with light sandpaper or steel wool.
I have a top-secret step to really finish the frame off nicely, but to discover what that is, you're going to have to watch the entire video.
Then, insert the painting, add some picture hanging hardware, and your done.
Enjoy your very own do it yourself float frame.

~Kyle Clements



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