Darkening a picture frame with gel stain without sanding???

tuesday_2008December 23, 2009

Recently picked up a nice oil painting but the frame is gold, which I would like to darken. Is it possible to darken with gel stain without sanding. Frame has intricte design which can't be sanded, and from what I have read on here, gel stain goes on like somewhat like a paint. I was thinking a dark stain and dry-brush a little gold on. Would this work?

If I can't do that, I will probably spray paint it with oil rub bronze and maybe touch it up with a little gold.

Share your picture frame "makeovers" with me please.


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I use a dark brown acrylic paint and a sponge brush.
I mix a little water in with the paint to thin it. I then go over the frame with the brown.
I wait about 30 seconds and wipe it lightly with a dry cloth so that the brown remains in the crevices.
If I get too much brown, I take a wet cloth and remove it.
I also use Rub and Buff to highlight areas I want a softer gold.
I do not have any before photos but here is an after.
The frame is now more of an antique gold. I also did the same finish on the mirrored sconces.

My camera did not do a good job picking up the darker areas. HTH
    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Here is a better closeup.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 3:38PM
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I've used the same technique lsst describes above. Benefits are you get good control and usually won't harm current frame if excess acrylic paint is removed w/water.

Another way is to get some artist's oil paint (tiny tube will do) in burnt umber. Put on a waxy paper plate. Thin w/mineral spirits. 1 part paint to 4 parts min spirits to make a wash. I mix with a popsicle stick. You can play with it to get opacity of 'wash' you want. Wipe on with t-shirt rag (lint free) wrapped around a couple fingers. Or use art brush if you prefer. Remove excess w/mineral spirits dabbed on a clean t-shirt rag. (Doesn't take much.) I've used this over dried latex paint on a dresser to age it some. Did no harm to latex paint. But, if paint on your frame is oil based, mineral spirits will pull it off. To test if you want, if there is any gold on back side of frame, dab a q-tip dipped in Min Spirits onto back of frame very lightly. If any current color appears on q-tip, then avoid this method.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 3:47PM
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