Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Restoring an old picture frame

Project #2

It could be because I’m engaged, or maybe just because I like to try things I see, but the project for this was restoring/remodeling/redoing a picture frame.   If I told someone that I did this project strictly for the fact that it looked fun that would be a complete lie- it wasn’t all that fun or challenging.  The real reason why I chose this project?  Because I wanted to buy some power tools.

Before I go on to explain the steps of this project and whether or not it turned out the way it is claimed to turn out, let me share a little story.  I have been working at a home this past summer doing yard work/gardening/landscaping (whatever sounds most professional works fine) when I started to realize how many awesome big boy toys the owner of the house had.  Realizing that I’m in the position where I’m making some money (emphasis on “some”) I figured that I too should begin my own supply of big boy toys.  I figured that the best place for buying this ‘tools’ would be Home Depot or a store similar to that right?  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  If you’re young and not all that rich like me, the place you need/should go is the pawn shop.  That place is literally like going into the garage of all my neighbors in my hometown and having anything I could ever want.  You need a picture of the Beetles?  They’ve got it.  Need a gun?  They’ve got it.  How about an alarm clock, camera, toilet seat,  stereo, staple gun, or power sander?  They’ve got it.  What about a wedding ring?  They’ve got it and I actually bought one that my fiancé is wearing right now, but that’s another story for a different blog.  Point of the story- if you need inexpensive tools and are fine that they have been used, go to the pawn shop my friend!

Now, back to the steps of how to make your dull and ridiculous frame look fresh and new. 

Getting Started

To get started I went down to dumpster and found this old picture frame.  I actually knew the previous owner of it…don’t think that ‘they’ know I have it!  I got the sander from the pawn shop and some sand paper from the Home Depot

·      Old picture frame- free
·      Hand power sander $25.00
·      Sandpaper $3.96 (for a sheet of three)

Step 1

Before you can get started on this project you need to find a frame that is made of wood and has been painted.  I prefer a frame that is flat and not curvy (i.e. a router has been used to make the sides) so that a normal sander can easily remove the paint.

Step 2

While keeping the frame firmly on the ground (I crouched on the ground and held it down with one of my feet) sand the paint of the frame.  It takes a minute or two to break through the first part of the paint but once it comes off the rest of the paint follows along with some effort.   When the paint has come off and you are left with only the bare wood exposed, make sure that you are sanding along with direction of the grain instead of cross grained.  This will help the wood keep a good look.

Step 3

When the sanding is complete, use any type of stain you choose.  There are lighter stains that look good on lighter colored wood, often leaving the natural coloring of the wood, or you can go with a darker stain to match the colors of your cabinets or furniture etc. 

Helpful Hints

I found it helpful to use a 60-grained sand paper to easily and quickly remove the paint.  Anything higher than this grain will probably leave you sanding your frame for a longer time, but will result in the sanded frame feeling more smooth than the 60-grain piece.  

Canvas Picture Follow Up

Canvas Picture Follow Up

Because I had left over materials from my first canvas project (see below) I decided to try the project a second time.  I wish I had taken pictures of the project to post onto the blog, but because it turned out so well I decided to send the two pictures to my grandpa.  Needless to say- he loved it.

What I did Different

After completing the canvas picture for the first time, I figured it was so ugly that I could NEVER give it to my girlfriend.  However,  I gave the picture of myself to my younger who has proudly hung it on his wall in his room.  A great addition to a great room.  This time around I decided to have a picture printed from Walgreens instead of printing it from a printer.  This was super easy using the 'picstitch' app which allows you to print any size photo directly from your iPhone to Walgreens.  Using this glossy picture instead of the paper printed picture made a huge difference.

The steps from this point are basically the same; apply a layer of mod podge to your canvas and then the picture.  Smooth the picture evenly throughout (best to do this with the picture lying flat on the carpet and pressing from the back side of the picture- this will avoid getting nasty dirty finger prints all over your picture) and then let the picture dry.  The time needed for your picture to dry depends on how big your canvas is (I used a 5'7' and it took about 330 seconds or 5 and a half minutes) but note that it dries fairly quick.  After the mod podge has dried, apply another layer over the picture.  Your picture will look glossy but I promise that it will dry and look fine.  There will be a light film over the picture, but this will protect the picture from getting dirty.

Lesson Learned

It's always better to buy too much than too little.  I have used the paints and the canvas  that I purchased for other projects I've started....more to come :)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Canvas Picture

Project No. 1

I decided to try something that's been pretty popular on Pinterest for the past month or so. Basically it's a picture that is displayed on a canvas frame.  I've seen them in real life where the picture is printed right onto the canvas itself, but those projects from Shutterfly and other usually cost around $150 and up.  I don't have that money to just through around so doing something for $25 is much more attractive. 

Getting Started

To get started  I went to Michael's craft store and got all the supplies that were listed on the link from Pinterest.  Here's a break down of the costs
  • 5' 7' canvas $2.99 (40% discount)
  • Mod Podge $8.99 (16 oz)
  • Foam Brush .99 (2 in. brush)
  • Paint $1.50 (2x total at .69 ea

Step 1

You want to make sure that your picture and the canvas are the same size. Computers should have printing sizes that are very close to the size of the canvas but if they aren't then trim the picture a bit so that it will fit on the canvas.  

Step 2

Applying the mod podge was easy and straight forward.  Feel free to just dip the brush into the jar of sticky goodness and apply it straight onto the canvas.  I was worried it would dry extremely fast, but since the canvas wasn't very big I didn't have any problems at all.  

Step 3

Putting the picture on the canvas we RETARDED!  I thought that if I align the top of the picture with the canvas then everything would line up automatically...wrong.  I should have lined both side and top but hey, this was just a practice round.  Make sure that you get the side and the top aligned with the picture and canvas and slowly lower the rest of the picture onto the canvas.  You will want to press the picture onto the canvas, but I would recommend that you start from the middle and work your way towards the edges. 

Step 4

After the picture has dried onto the canvas (I let mine sit for 15 minutes) you can paint the sides of the canvas any color your heart desires. If beige is your thing, go for it.  If it's azure, the sky is the limit.  If it's red, let your heart bleed itself dry. Use the same foam brush to apply the paint and have it.  I held onto the inside of the canvas so that I could get to all sides then used the straight edge make sure that all lines were straight (with the picture) and even coated throughout.  


Overall, the project is pretty simple.  The biggest challenge that I faced was the actual printing of the material (they recommend using tissue paper but I would say.....better off printing one from Walgreens etc) so that it looked good and professional.  This example has just a normal color print but I will try again this weekend with a glossy black and white and another attempt with different types of paper.  Well worth your time for a fun date, family project or snowed-in activity!  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pin this-

I have a Pinterest account, and I love it.  Mock me if you want, but one day you'll realize I'm not the only guy in the world who does. I have more boards than my fiancé and love trying out new recipes or D.I.Y. projects more than even the most domesticated house wife.  In spite of the laughs that a l w a y s follow the sentence 'I have a pinterest account', I thought I would make a blog to document my projects included with reasons why I chose the project, step by step guides and a review at the end on my completed project.  My aim is to help the bored college student, the soon to be fiancé, the over zealous wife, the secretly domestic husband or the couple trying to restore a home- basically, this blog is for the secret pinner in you.