Introduction: Custom Frames

Picture of Custom Frames

My brother is an artist and wanted me to make him some frames for two paintings he did. They are canvas paintings so I had to make sure they were deep enough for the canvas to sit in and still be flush with the wall

Step 1: Tools

For the brown frame I used :

Miter saw capable of doing beveled edges

1x3 wood

Decorative trim (any design you'd like)

Stainless steel chain

Shallow screws

Construction adhesive (not necessary)

Wood glue

Stain and polyurethane

For the red frame I just used all of the above minus the chain and screws



Step 2: Cut 1x3 to Size of Pictures

Picture of Cut 1x3 to Size of Pictures

So since the canvas is about an inch thick I used 1x3 to be the base of the frame so the canvas would be even with it when sitting inside. Also I don't have a router so making the rabbet (the divot that the picture sits in) would have been complicated so I used the trim to overshoot the 1x3 by a few centimeters to serve this purpose.
Anyways I cut the wood with the miter saw set at a 45 degree angle making the inside of the cuts the size of the picture

Step 3: Pick Decorative Trim You Want to Use

Picture of Pick Decorative Trim You Want to Use

For the red frame I just used trim that I bought from the store (near the crown molding section). The brown frame I used trim as well as a few other things I'll describe in a bit

Step 4: Cut Trim, Stain, and Glue

Picture of Cut Trim, Stain, and Glue

I cut the trim and put it together the way I wanted, then stained the base (1x3) and trim and glued it down in stages. Working my way from the outside to the center. Like I said about the rabbet I made the inside trim overhang the base a few centimeters so the canvas sits on that. I don't get a picture of that so hopefully my explanation made sense.
Staining the wood before gluing may effect adhesion according to some but I was worried about not being able to get stain in the tight creases if I glued it first so I took the risk. It is very much stuck on. Just make sure you clamp it down for a good 30 min.

Step 5: Cut Trim and Squares to Size

Picture of Cut Trim and Squares to Size

For this one I again used the store bought trim and cut them to size. I didn't have to cut them at an angle because they fit flush with the corner squares.
The squares are from another piece of 1x3 that I cut to fit the size of the corners. The chain is leftover stainless steel chain I had. You don't need stainless for any reason, it's more expensive. Any kind would work.
I stained the base and trim and glued it down

Step 6: The Chain

Picture of The Chain

The chain I needed to be screwed down under the squares so that the screws were hidden. So I cut the chain in strands the length of the sides screwed them down with some shallow screws and threw some construction adhesive down just for added measure.
When attaching the other end of the frame make sure you pull it taught before screwing it down. Otherwise the horizontal pieces will have a bit of a sag when hung on the wall. I didn't pull mine tight enough so it has a small sag but not much. Still it's enough to annoy me.

Step 7: The Squares

Picture of The Squares

I beveled the edges of the squares with my miter saw so it didn't looks so plain
Since the chain needed to be under the squares I used a dremel sanding bit to shave out a little divot for the chain and screw to hide under.

Make sure you stain the inside of the hollowed out section because at certain angles you can still see a little of the inside when glued down

Step 8: Stain, Glue, and Clear Coat

Picture of Stain, Glue, and Clear Coat

I used a water based polyurethane. Didn't really like the outcome. Doesn't have that sheen. I'm sure if you applied 4 or 5 coats it might. But I'm horribly impatient. Also I know that oil based polys have a better result but the dry time would age me ten years. And the fumes are worse. Since doing this I've discovered lacquer which I'm super fond of. It comes in a spray can which is convenient and the dry and recoat time is a plus.
I didn't need glass in these because it's canvas but for a normal picture you could buy some and cut your own for way cheaper than having the store cut it. It's easier than you'd think. About 8 bucks for a cheap glass cutter and after maybe your first try you'll get the hang of it.

Comments

kevincarruthers (author)2015-12-18

Nice work. I'm thinking about making frames for my house and you gave me some good ideas

Thanks Kevin. Glad to share. Good luck with yours!

TerryS8 (author)2015-11-17

Very well done, I do a little of this but your methods are easy and look great, and the chain is a great idea as well, very inventive

jakeers (author)TerryS82015-11-17

Thanks Terry I really appreciate that. It is an easy way to get a fancy looking frame.

LouArt (author)2015-11-08

Great job! Never thought of adding trim to a frame. Gotta check if they sell trim like that here in South Africa. Been battling along with a router. The chain is a great idea too. Thanks a lot. I'm inspired!! :)

jakeers (author)LouArt2015-11-14

Thanks a ton! The trim makes it so incredibly easy instead of making a rabbet. But if you have a router I would have though it would be easy to make the groove? Guess it's not as easy as YouTube makes it look. If you can't find it at a store in South Africa you could order some online, amazon has a small selection, though it's about twice the price. Best of luck.

Duggietbuyer (author)2015-11-07

nice job, pretty sure I'll use your design on my next framing job

Thanks

jakeers (author)Duggietbuyer2015-11-07

Very cool. Thanks! I appreciate the feedback

Razor 911 (author)2015-11-03

nice

jakeers (author)Razor 9112015-11-04

Thanks!

mherweyer (author)2015-11-03

Very creative! Never thought about decorating a basic frame. Great idea and I really like the way yours turned out! I'll be using this technique the next time I make frames. Thanks for posting this.

jakeers (author)mherweyer2015-11-03

Thanks Mherweyer. Yeah It was really simple to do. With all the different trim pieces they make you can come up with endless patterns. Glad you found it insightful.

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