By Effie Carayannis
My inspiration for this design came from a large old frame I had sitting around for years (probably found on the side of the road somewhere). The frame was damaged, there were lots of knocks and scratches and the glass was broken. The backing board was made of MDF and in great condition. Perfect for painting! I found the size of the insert ideal for a sign, so I’ve used one of my favorite quotes. I was able to repair the frame and reuse it for this project. Now it’s perfect for a child’s room.
A little background
I am a passionate artist and designer living in Melbourne, Australia. I specialize in decorative painting, fine art, and mixed media. Creativity has given me the means to escape, fulfilling my days with fun, happiness, and relaxation. It continues to pull me into a whirlpool of color.
I have shared my love of art over many years through numerous publications in Australian and international art and craft magazines. I teach at conventions and have conducted decorative painting classes in the community and at major craft shows.
I have repurposed an old and used frame with an MDF insert. The insert measures 30inches x 17 ½ inches. The frame measures 34 ½ inches x 15 ½ inches. The molding measures 2 ½ inches wide.
DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints:
Burgundy Wine DA022
Light Buttermilk DA164
Neutral Grey DA095
Soft Black DA155
Warm White DA239
Misc. DecoArt Products:
DecoArt Media Texture Paste DMM31
Dazzling Metallics – Rose Gold DA336-3
Dazzling Metallics – Shimmering Silver DA070-3
Glazing Medium DS18
Patio Paint- Home & Garden stencil -Decorative Scrolls DCPS05
Americana Stencil – 3-inch Simple Script Alphabet AS110
Americana Classic Stencil – Whimsical delight ASC06
Americana stencil brushes DABK
Glamour Dust – Copper DGD20
Glamour Dust – Champagne DGD19
DecoArt Americana Matte Spray Sealer DAS13
DecoArt Americana Gloss Spray Sealer DAS12
Brushes by Loew Cornell:
America Painters Series 1 Inch Glaze/Wash
Golden Taklon ½ Inch Angular Shader LC740 1/2
Golden Taklon #2 Ultra Round Brush LC7020-2
Golden Taklon #4 Ultra Round Brush LC7020-4
Golden Taklon #10/0 liner brush LC7350-10/0
Medium grit sandpaper or sanding pad (if required)
Fine grit sandpaper or sanding pad (if required)
Old hog bristle brush or similar
Scoop out some texture paste from the jar and onto your palette and mix with enough water using the palette knife until a soft icing consistency is achieved. Spread over the board with the palette knife – like icing a cake- so a textured effect is achieved. Let it dry thoroughly then give it a light sand.
With the base coating brush use mixes of Light Buttermilk, Dazzling Metallics- Rose Gold, and Dazzling Metallics- Shimmering Silver to paint the background. Use horizontal strokes and work from the top of the surface downwards. Work quickly so colors blend wet into wet, but do not over blend. Load the brush with one color, and then sideload with another and begin applying the paint to the surface; sideload the third color and continue moving downwards. Keep alternating the colors each time you load the brush as you progress towards the bottom of the surface. If the colors on the brush seem to over blend, then rinse the brush and reload as before.
To create the boards in the background, use the ruler and the chalk pencil to draw a horizontal line at each of the following distances. Measure 7½ inches from the top of the surface, and then draw a horizontal line using the ruler and chalk pencil. Next, from the line you have just drawn, measure 5 inches below it and draw the line for the next board. Measure 9¼ inches below this line and once again draw a horizontal line. Measure 4½ inches from the previous line and draw the final line.
Place painter’s tape below each line and seal the edges with Glazing Medium and let it dry. Float to shade above the tape with Neutral Grey sideloaded on the ½ inch angular shader, then remove the tape. Place painter’s tape above the drawn lines and seal the edges with Glazing Medium and let it dry. Float to highlight below the tape with Light Buttermilk and let it dry.
Painting the design
1. To ensure that the stenciled words are straight, use a ruler and chalk pencil to lightly draw a straight horizontal line where required.
2. Follow the stencil guidelines to line up the letters you are stenciling.
3. You may also add a little tape to hold the stencil in place before proceeding.
4. Draw a vertical line using the ruler and chalk pencil down the center of the surface; this will help as a guide when centering the words.
Stenciling the Scrolls
Position the two scrolls on the Home & Garden stencil about 1½ inches from the top of the surface while keeping it centered horizontally. Place Light Buttermilk on your palette, then using the dry stencil brush, pick up a small amount with the tip of the bristles, pounce on a paper towel to remove excess paint, then gently pounce over the stencil. Let it dry, then reload the brush and reapply as required. Remove the stencil. Paint over the top with Glamour Dust -Copper using the round brush. Let it dry, and then apply a couple of coats of Glamour Dust -Champagne. Float to shade along the base of the scrolls with Neutral Grey sideloaded on the angular shader.
Stenciling the words
The following stencils and line drawing were used for the words:
SHE - Americana Stencil - 3 inch Simple Script Alphabet
LEAVES - Americana Stencil - 3 inch Simple Script Alphabet
A LITTLE – Americana Classic Stencil – Whimsical Delight
SPARKLE – Line drawing
WHEREVER – Americana Classic Stencil – Whimsical Delight
SHE - Americana Stencil – 3 inch Simple Script Alphabet
GOES - Americana Stencil – 3 inch Simple Script Alphabet
All the words using the Americana Stencil – 3-inch Simple Script Alphabet, are horizontally centered. Place the middle letter for the words with an odd number of letters on the vertical line and trace the design outline using the pencil, and then continue with the letters on either side. If the word has an even number of letters, then use the space between the two letters in the middle of the word as a guide to centering it. By outlining each letter with a pencil before painting makes it easier to erase any mistakes with their positioning. When you are happy with the outlay place the stencil over each traced letter, one at a time, and gently pounce over it using Neutral Grey/Soft Black 1: touch. Repeat as necessary before moving on to the next letter. Refer to the stenciling process under “stenciling the scrolls”. Fill all the areas where the stenciled bridges connect with the liner.
Trace the word “Sparkle” onto tracing paper, then, transfer it using the transfer paper and stylus, referring to the picture for placement. Base with a couple of coats of Burgundy Wine loaded on the round brush. Next, paint over the top of each letter with several coats of Rose Gold.
Using the Whimsical Delight stencil place the words “A LITTLE” just above and to the left-hand side of “SPARKLE”. With the same stencil place “WHEREVER” just below and to the right-hand side of “SPARKLE”. Again, trace the design outline of each letter with the pencil. When you are happy with the outlay, place the stencil over each traced letter, and then gently pounce over it using Neutral Grey/Soft Black 1: touch. Repeat as necessary before moving on to the next letter. Refer to the stenciling process under “stenciling the scrolls”. Fill all the areas where the stenciled bridges connect with the liner.
Preparation for a pre-loved frame
If you are using a pre-loved frame as I did you may need to do some repairing before painting.
Give it a good clean first with soapy water, and then let it dry. The frame I used had knocks and scratches, so I filled these with putty and then allowed the putty to dry. Using the sandpaper, I gave the frame a good sanding to smooth out the filled areas and then gave the whole frame a light sanding using the fine-grit sandpaper. Next, I gave it a wipe with a damp cloth.
Painting the frame
Paint the frame with Warm White to a solid coverage. Using an old cheap hog bristle brush, stipple over the frame with Glamour Dust -Copper and Glamour Dust -Champagne. Let it dry and repeat for extra sparkle.
Erase any pencil lines and transfer lines. Then apply several light coats of matte spray sealer on the main surface, allowing drying time between coats. Use several coats of gloss spray sealer for the frame.