Reframing the past….


I managed to squeeze off a few projects this past week/weekend.

The big project is to do a Home Office Makeover.  I shared with you the fix for my lateral file here, my desire to build some shelves for my Home Office  here, and that is coming soon.  For now, I am focusing doing more on deco-remodel (remodeling decorative items I already own) and creating some new decorative items.  All in good time.

So let’s step back almost 20 years to this set of photographs.

The Girls

Back in 1993, all the women of my family went for a portrait session.  These prints include me, my sister, my mom, my grandma, my aunt and my beautiful nieces.   My mom bought this gold frame, had a mat custom-made and it hung in her home for many, many years.  The picture of me and my sister chocking each other is one of my faves.

My Big Sis and Me

A couple of years ago, my mom gave me these precious pictures.  Sadly, I did not love the frame so I put the whole thing away (that whole “I can’t deal” response).  Now, armed with some DIY confidence, and a can of spray paint, I brought this frame out of its purgatory and gave it a new chance at home-decor life.

Love the detail, not the color

I started with Primer and put on a few light coats to cover up the (cheesy) gold and the damage.

The plan was to brush paint it with a can of Oil-Rubbed Bronze, left over from painting my front door last year.  I gave it a light coat of  paint with a brush, but I wasn’t happy with the results.  The paint was pooling into the crevices of the scroll work and flattening the look.   So I ran out and bought a can of spray Oil-Rubbed Bronze.

After a few light coats of paint, my little frame was quickly becoming a decor heavy-weight.

and the scroll work detail has been maintained.

Looking good….. but wait…. I am not done yet.  There’s the custom matting which also has that brassy gold look and it had to go.

The matting is made up of two layers.  The top ivory layer, which was still in great shape, and the bottom layer, which gave the pictures a gold frame.  So, I separated the two carefully.

and I was left with two options.  One, leave off the bottom layer and just use the top mat with my pictures, which would flatten the effect.  Or, Option 2, paint the second layer.

So, I took a chance (never painted a mat before) and decided to paint the gold layer the same color as my frame.  First, I needed to protect the beveled edges, as I wanted to maintain their ivory color and keep the multidimensional look.

I carefully applied painters tape to the beveled edges  and a piece of paper behind the open cut.

Then applied 3 very light coats of paint.  While it doesn’t look all that pretty where it had been glued to the top layer, the important parts around the cut openings are what matters here.  When the paint dried, I removed the backing paper from the back of the mat and the tape pulled through and left a nice clean line.

This is a close up shot of the finished look of the oil-rubbed bronze frame and mat.

Now this piece is ready to be part of my decor.  And while history has been preserved, the frame AND mat have been updated for the cost of a can of spray paint.

Here is a side by side view:

Total Cost:

Rust-ole-um Metallic Paint  $6.

I used less than half the can.

I am happy to have these pictures on display in my home, finally.  I know my mom and my sister will be glad too.  By the way, one of the little blonde nieces in the bottom picture has a blog of her own  She is now the mom of two beautiful little girls and has lots to share with other moms.  Check out her site.

What projects did you get completed recently that gives you such pleasure to have on display?  Anything of historical value to your family.

I will be back tomorrow with another low cost decor-improvement.



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