New frame finished. Advice needed

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Of framing styles or techniques that rocked your boat, and also of those that didn't
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Orde02
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New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Sun 09 Feb, 2020 7:19 pm

Hello everyone.

I've just finished this frame for a painting I did last year and I'm hoping for some feedback.

figs.jpg

It's a bit more traditional than my last one with the beetle but I'm quite happy with the overall look.
It's hand finished with 3 coats of red gesso, 1 coat of black acrylic paint, 2 coats of Kolner black bole then wax polished with Liberon Tudor Oak wax.
I tried to fill in the grain of the Ayous moulding using a watered down filler then sanding and although it's better, it's still visible.
Is it possible to make to surface smooth so you can't see the grain at all or is it something I just need to live with.

Any feedback or advice on any aspect of this frame welcome, I'm VERY new to framing!

Regards

Matt

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by vintage frames » Sun 09 Feb, 2020 8:41 pm

I like what you're doing. A wide black frame always looks good around a small still life such as this. I think they were often referred to as cabinet frames and many of the original ones I've seen were cut from walnut or other prime hardwoods.
The big problem with using a cheaper wood such as ayous or obeche etc, is the unattractive grain pattern. If you were using walnut, then you would be keeping some of the grain showing because it is very attractive in itself, but with the cheaper timbers, it's better to fill up the grain and have a smooth surface to work on.
So 1, bin the red gesso - I don't know what that purports to be - and buy some RSG ( rabbit skin glue ), and a couple of kilos of whiting. Both are dirt cheap.
2, learn to make gesso. I won't repeat it here but it's all to find in earlier posts if you use the search box. Two or three brushed coats of well made gesso will give you a perfect finish to work on. When it's dry use some 180grit sandpaper to flatten it down and follow with 320grit paper to polish smooth.
3, Paint on some red primer paint, red oxide or similar. It doesn't matter if it's a bit streaky.
4, Loose the black acrylic and the kolner bole. Why? Do you want your frame to be given a finish like stained glass or are you happy to cover it in black plastic? That's in effect what you're doing with the black acrylic.
5, Buy some Transparent shellac polish, some black powder spirit dye, meths and a 1" good quality one stroke watercolour brush. In a small dish, mix a 50/50 solution of polish/meths with the powdered dye until you have a strong black polish. Now paint this all over your frame. It'll be dry in 1/2 hour, then rub it back with 00 wire wool. Wipe it clean, then paint on another coat. If you're happy that the frame is as black as you wish, then leave to dry overnight.
6, Rub back the finish carefully with 00 first then finish with 0000. Rub on some wax ( any type ), polish vigo.rously, then matt it back with the 0000 wool.
And there you have it. I'll send you my PayPal address for payment.

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by prospero » Sun 09 Feb, 2020 9:05 pm

Minor niggle. The white bit is the same width as the black bit. :|
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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 9:23 am

Dermot, thank you so much for your advice, I'll start googling for supplies.
I have very little idea what I'm doing really, I'm just going on instinct, discovering various techniques and then experimenting with them.
I tried shellac before, it was the first hand finished frame I made and the results were pretty bad. Ended up in the bin. However I'll give it another go following your advice and see what happens.

Prospero, the width of the frame and the mount wasn't planned, it just happened. I cut the mount then ordered the moulding I liked the look of on chop, I didn't take into consideration the sizes of the two parts together. I will do from now on though. Out of interest, would you have preferred to see a wider mount or wider frame?

Thanks for your feedback.

Matt

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by prospero » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 10:12 am

On the whole, the mount a bit narrower. Problem is, it's and oil framed like a watercolour. :roll:

No reason to be bound by convention, but I would have taken a different approach. :D
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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by prospero » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 10:15 am

As regards the grain of the wood, it looks fine to me. Why spend hours trying to make it look like plastic? :lol:

btw. If you have used a card mount, you have put glass in front? Haven't you? :shock:
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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 10:50 am

Hello Prospero. The reason why I framed it with a mount is that as I'm getting all my mouldings on chop and Lion have a minimum chop size of 150mm. The height if the painting is less than that so to be able to make a frame to fit the painting, I had to mount it to take it over 150mm.
However, I've been having my oils framed with glass for years, I love the look if the oil through the glass, it somehow makes the colours look brighter and sparkle. BTW, there's glass on my fig painting too, you can see my reflection in the glass in the photo.

The look I'm trying to achieve is more like this...if I can create this sort of finish I'd be very happy. Definitely not plastic looking and no grain.

IMG_4726.JPG

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 10:58 am

Acrylic looks a bit naff, when used by it's self. I like to mix it with Craig and Rose chalky emsulsion of mach the same colour and then smooth it down with OOOO steel wool. Really discerning customers will have expectations concerning the finish and as Dermot has already indicated plain ordinary acrylic does not always quite look the part.

If you want depth of finish, don'tt expect that from something thats is a totally opaque medium. Something transparent in the upper layers is needed and the honest answer is that most modern finishes that you can buy "off the shelf" lack any real excitement. learning about what makes the old things look different, is where it starts and from there on things get more interesting.
Mark Lacey

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by cleaver » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 11:03 am

Really enjoying your efforts, Matt - and all the discussions about them.

Good on you for diving in with bespoke finishes so soon.

Paul
:head:

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 11:07 am

Hello Mark. Your opaque comment makes perfect sense, I hadn't thought of it like that. This frame has had 2 coats of black bole over the acrylic paint and then a dark brown wax polish so it's not quite just acrylic. It is however still not the finish I'm looking for. I am thoroughly enjoying the learning process and experimentation though.

Matt

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 11:09 am

Thanks Paul. I'm enjoying it too!

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Orde02 » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 11:16 am

I got a hold of this book the other day on your recommendation, Mark. My bedtime reading for the next little while!

image1.jpeg

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by vintage frames » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 1:33 pm

Transparency is key to a finish with any sort of depth. Whether you use black acrylic, black oil paint, or any other sort of medium, if it contains black pigment then the finish is opaque. Which is fine if that's all you're looking for. If you want something that has an optical transparency to show a distant hint of the underlying colours, then some sort of a tinted varnish is needed. The early frame-makers used multi layers of blackened french polish to create the beautiful Dutch black frames you can see in many museums.
The final wax renders the surface of the varnish to simulate the finish and transparency of glass.

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 2:18 pm

I don't need to produce to many high gloss finishes, I'm in a rural area and old and antique fininishes go down really well around these parts. For high gloss, shellac is the order of the day and involves quite a bit more work. I can do the high gloss finishes, but as you have probably noticed from my other posts, I like quick, simple and easy. Really stunning high gloss finishes, well they are done right are not quick, simple and easy.

As I rarely get asked for the high gloss stuff, I keep my mouth shut and save my self the added hard work. BTW, I think that you will find the book is very helpful and an enjoyable read.
Mark Lacey

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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by GeoSpectrum » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 7:46 pm

I’ve been experimenting with diy casein paint and has some decent results. You can also buy it in powder form.
85545EE0-8E97-4F3D-A277-DF6934E783A1.jpeg
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Re: New frame finished. Advice needed

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 10 Feb, 2020 7:50 pm

looks very nice! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I used to mix casin powder with various different water based paints to increase the durability.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
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