Renew Your Favourite Portraits ... Renew Memories




About: Art lover. Love to create, build, make and fix things. Well ... creating is pure fun!

I had this portrait with me for quite some time, and wanted to put it on in my new painted room. Though, wasn’t too happy about the frame’s condition, some of portions of the design and paint on the frame had worn off. I was almost about to get the portrait’s frame replaced, when I thought why not give a shot at renewing it. If it wouldn’t work, there was always the other option ... get a new frame. So I did it with little investment, finally put up the portrait on my wall and here is me writing this instructable, to share this with you all. Here are the steps.

List of items:

1. Portrait/ Picture frame to renew

2. Playing clay - used clay that kids play with

3. Synthetic resin adhesive - used a white adhesive available easily at stationery. On drying, it forms a thick layer and retains impression.

4. Gold paint - purchased an inexpensive small can of paint, containing the paste and solvent separately

5. Paint brush

6. Scissors (optional)


Step 1: Clean the Frame

Wipe of the dust or loose paint with a soft cloth.

Step 2: Missing Design on Frame

List down how many portions of the design are worn off from the frame. You will need to make those many portions for replacement as mentioned in further steps.

Step 3: Design Moulds

Take clay. Knead it in a ball big enough to take the impression of the design and flatten it at one side. Gently press the flat side on one of the designs in good shape. Do it firmly as well gently so that you do get a good impression on the clay, and yet do not damage the frame.

Gently peel off the clay. It is better to use a big chunk of dough so that there is enough clay back-side to hold with your fingers to pull it off. Make sure that the impression remains intact and is not distorted. No worries, if you do not get it right first time. Do it again, but knead the clay to make it smooth dough, free from wrinkles. Repeat for as many pieces you need to replace on the frame.

Step 4: Mould Filling

Take the clay ‘mould’. Pour synthetic adhesive in the mould so that it fills up the cavity completely without air bubbles. I used a bottle with nozzle, which helped neatly filling up the mould. Repeat previous and this step with more clay moulds for as many pieces you need to replace on the frame.

Step 5: Take a Break

Take a break and let it dry. Mine took 4-5 hours to dry completely, including from inside. Time to dry depends on the adhesive you are using. Make sure that the filling dries completely. Remove the dried filling from the mould. Trim of the edges with scissors as needed.

Step 6: Pasting on the Frame

Time to work on the portrait frame. Once you have as many replacement pieces as needed, begin pasting these in the damaged portion of the frame. I use the same synthetic glue to stick these. Let it dry off completely.

Step 7: Final Touch ... Painting

Okay, time to give it the final touch, i.e. paint the frame with gold paint. The paint I used dried off in a few minutes. Let the paint dry and there go memories on the wall! Cherish it!

Some tips I followed during the painting part

1. Cover the portrait glass with paper, so that it does not get spoiled.

2. Also cover the surface on which your portrait is resting (ofcourse, you do not want the glittering paint all over)

3. Wipe excess paint from the brush within the can before applying to the frame.

4. Apply easy strokes of brush on the frame along its length so that the paint's coat is uniformly formed on the frame. I just needed one coating of paint.



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    5 Discussions

    This is a really great instructable for fixing any type of fancy molding! I'm very impressed and will have to remember the method you used to fix the intricate details. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    1 reply