Dear Clever Chick: Painting Basics

For some reason, people have this delusion that I’m competent. In the face of overwhelming evidence, they continue to ask me for advice. Being the generous chick that I am, I share my limited wisdom, and, being lazy, I will now turn it into a blog post.

Naive Person Who Thinks I Have Skills: I have an art project question for you. I bought these ornate, fancy picture frames on craigslist and they turned out to be a yellowish gold color that doesn’t look good with any of my pictures. I want to either distress it or paint it (I’m leaning towards painting). Do you have any tips or ideas I can try?

Me Pretending to be Competent: I wouldn’t try distressing, just because that yellow color might still be visible (depending on the frame). If you’re going to paint it, since it’s a small project I would just go to a craft supply store and get a tube of acrylic paint that you like. Acrylic is the kind you can clean up with just soap and water, whereas oil requires turpentine, and also takes days to dry.

Acrylic will dry a tiny bit darker than it looks when it’s wet, so if you’re trying to match a specific color that might be important. If you don’t have a brush already, just get a cheap-ish one at the craft store. They should have the brushes grouped by what they’re used for, so just find one for acrylic paint.

I would take the whole frame apart (Edit: What I mean by this is separate the wood frame part from the glass and backing, so you don’t worry about getting paint on them), paint it over newspaper, then let it dry overnight. It probably won’t take that long to fully dry, but I can never be patient, so I always end up with finger prints on stuff where I “tested” it (Edit: This is completely true).

If you want to protect the coating once you’re done, you can get clear spray paint to coat it with. You can get different levels of shininess, and they have it at Wal-mart for around $3. Since it’s a picture frame, you might not have to worry about that. We use it on things that will be handled and moved around to prevent chipping. (Edit: Higher gloss levels make the object easier to clean. I have used clear coats on things I’ve spray painted as well, and it works great).

 So there you go. Advice, basic knowledge, and the laziest blog post possible. Do you have blog fodder crafting questions? Send them to me, and I’ll do my best to stay sober while I respond.


January 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts.

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