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.  

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