Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gilded frame with appliqued cutouts

Decorative ideas for your home


Hi everyone. My name is Lola Sandino Stanton.  When I was 14 years old I told everyone I was going to be an interior decorator.  That was a long time ago in a country where there were no interior decorators at the time:  Nicaragua.

I did not become one, but I think I could have been one. I have been a photographer, a writer, video maker, fitness trainer and, finally, an art teacher.  At age 55 or so, I discovered that I love painting.  I also love paper mache, stenciling, screen-printing, carpentry--- in general, just making things. I want to share with you some of the projects I  create.

Check out my paintings at lolastantonart.com

Gilded frame with appliqued cutouts

The first project I want to share with you is a silver gilded frame. 

I love decorative frames. At museums I look at frames carefully.  For a recent commission I wanted to make a delicate guild frame to enhance a portrait. It took many hours, definitely not a money making endeavor, but it was fun an interesting.

I started by making the outside frame myself. A added wood trim on the edges for more detail. You can purchase a simple frame at a place like Michael's, but I couldn't find a flat one the right size.  The insert frame is store bought. 

After priming it, I painted the frame with flat red latex, a color traditionally used under guild surfaces. I have read that a spring green is also good for silver leaf. 

I buy latex color paint samples so I can have a variety of colors in stock. Latex spreads smoothly and easily. I have tried acrylic paint but you can see the brush strokes and it gets gooey. 

The next step was to sketch a design for the decoration.  I cut it out of the cardboard that comes from the dry cleaners because it is thin enough to cut with scissors. I then glued the pieces in place with white glue.  I numbered them because I wanted the repeats to look the same, but after a while I realized that it would not make any difference.

Once the pieces were pasted on, I painted over them with more latex paint to seal the edges of the pieces just in case I had not applied enough glue. Then it was time to apply the silver leaf.  I am not going to gives details on leafing since there are plenty of tutorials in the internet.

I used a spray adhesive instead of a liquid adhesive to apply the silver leaf (actually aluminum leaf). The spray dries quickly but it allows you to work on the piece for up to eight hours.  

I had to put two coats of leaf on it because I had a lot of bald spots. For small bald patches, you can use a brush-on liquid adhesive called adhesive size. 

I waited a day or two and then covered it with two coats of high gloss spray polyurethane.  I tried liquid poly using a very soft brush, but the brush lifted off some of the leaf.  I used high gloss after I discovered that low luster or matte dulls the beautiful sheen of the silver leaf.

Make sure the glue is dry before you let your Norwegian Forest cat help you.  Cat hairs do not enhance the look! I was very pleased with the frame and so was my client.

Another appliqued frame

This was a present for my new grand-niece, Olivia. I followed the same steps as the frame above, but this time I used animal silhouettes from Google images.  I printed them out the right size and then traced them on cardboard and cut them out. The frame is from Michael's.

See you next time! Lola

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