Sunday, April 13, 2014

Antique Frames

Just before Christmas  2013 I went on the hunt for antique frames to repurpose for chalkboards or other projects... this is what I came up with.  About a dozen frames, found on Craigslist.  The man that sold me the frames said that he gathered many of the frames at Roundtop, and he believed them to be from the 1800's.  A couple of the YaYa's took some of the frames to make over themselves, but the big one in front is still here awaiting transformation.

The one pictured at the back was the one I really had my eye on.  I really wasn't sure exactly where to start. The entire thing was filthy, with dirt caked all over it.... so the first order of business... dirt removal.

 I used a kitchen brush, and just started scrubbing and knocked off the really big pieces of dirt.
Then I realized that the dirt was not just on the surface, but caked UNDER all of those gorgeous carvings.  Using a staple puller (a tool that looks like a mini crowbar), I carefully lifted each piece, and removed it so I could clean each one thoroughly, but not before I grabbed the camera so I could remember where all of the pieces should be returned to.
 For some of the pieces, I actually scrubbed with a soft toothbrush to get the dirt out of all of the crevices.

 I used Murphey oil soap to clean up the frame, and all of the pieces, then I used a small paint brush to apply an ebony stain to the ornamental pieces before reattaching them.

(the rulers keep photobombing all of my projects)

 I lightly sanded the frame with 240 grit sand paper, only because it was badly weathered from years of sitting outside.  I couldn't decide what kind of wood this was made of, and decided not to add a tinted stain.  I used Minwax "Natural" stain to bring out only the natural tones of the wood.  I was able to replace all of the pieces, using the original nails, in the original nail holes.
 Then I gently applied pastewax and lightly hand buffed the piece.  My breath was taken away by how beautiful this turned out..... but it was missing something...
 Oh yeah... a chalkboard insert!

I used 1/8 plywood (Kevin helped me), sanded it, then applied a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, sanding lightly between coats, then I used spray chalk board paint for the final coat to eliminate brush strokes.  I reinforced the back with door shims that I glued together to make the perfect thickness, and attached with my Ryobi cordless nailer.

I no longer believe this piece to be a frame, and thought for a while, that it was a door.  But I now believe that it may have been the side panel of a piece of furniture.

As it turns out, this is the best writing homemade chalk board I have ever used.  The last thing to decide.... where to put it?

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