I’ll admit it, I have a problem! I have a supreme inability, to NOT, turn away from beautiful old picture frames. I have to have them! Problem is, most of the time there are broken pieces, from others careless actions. So what to do now? Google, of course!
Out of all the methods to restore an antique picture frame, the idea about using hot glue seemed to be the easiest, and I already had that in my closet. Win! Let me show you just how simple it is to bring these antique frames back to life.
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Supplies
- Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
- Cast Powder
- Disposable Cups
- Petroleum Jelly
- Wood Glue
- Chalk Paint (or finish of your choosing)
- Protective Finish (ie, Polycrylic)
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Step One
First, you ALWAYS want to clean your frame. I like to use a microfiber rag, hot water, and Dawn dish soap. Make sure it’s completely dry before moving on. Next, apply Petroleum Jelly to the pieces you will be making into molds. The jelly will allow for the mold to come off easy.
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Step Two
Now time to make the mold! Take your hot glue and try to go in a back and forth sweeping motion, so to make sure you are getting the entire piece. Using this technique will help that there are not any holes in your mold. Allow it to dry for about 10 minutes. Then it’s time to lift the mold off. Isn’t it CUTE? Lol.
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Step Three
Ok, now it’s time to make the casts!!! You need to grease the molds so the casts will release when they are dry. Since my molds are small I didn’t think I could get the petroleum jelly in all the grooves, so cooking spray to the rescue!! I found my cast powder at Hobby Lobby but you can find all the supplies and links at the end of this post. The directions called for 3 parts powder to 1 part water, mix for 2 minutes, and tap the cup on the counter to allow the air bubbles to rise to the top. Once that was done, I used an old children’s medicine syringe to put the cast solution into the molds. Since my molds were so small I didn’t want to pour the cast from the cup, as it would of gone everywhere. So, this was a perfect solution. Make sure to have your molds balanced so they won’t tilt and your cast will be even. Allow for your cast to set for 45 minutes, then you can remove them carefully. Leave them alone for the next 24 hours, as this will allow them to fully cure.
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Step Four
Once the cast are cured, you can now place them on the frame. I used hot glue to attach my casts, but wood glue would work as well. One tip, if you have edges that getting in the way of placing your cast, grab a nail file and shave it down. Once everything is attached, now you get to choose the finish.
How to Restore Antique Picture Frames – Step Five
I’m a sucker for white chalk paint. I think it helps to keep the old look once I use the sandpaper to distress it. It’s my go to method, for sure! The very last thing is to protect your hard work with this matte clear finish from Krylon.
There you have it! From broken and unloved, to easily repaired and BEAUTIFUL! Now I have a something to glorify my favorite quote from Theodore Roosevelt!
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