May 25, 2020

It started with that I saw the below bathroom from my perhaps most ultimate style inspiration, jenna lyons’, feature sharing photos of her loft. It put the thought in my mind that vintage paintings look really good on a simple, almost primitive piece of board. And that this is a very good way to get a custom frame set up very inexpensively. I had an old portrait of charles spurgeon that in my casual looking I had not yet come across a great frame for. I achieved a similar look using inexpensive project board from home depot and that ever useful diy product – modge podge.

Like my inspiration, black for the wood portion would look perfect for this portrait. The board I used is 5.0mm 2 x 4 underlayment wood here at home depot. It is very inexpensive. You can buy big 4 x 8 feet or smaller 2 x 4 foot pieces for little projects, just like this. I meant to do a 1 and 1/2 inch perimeter around all the sides, but forget to double and so my perimeter is 3/4 inch, but I am still happy with it. To mount it, first paint all sides of your board. I used benjamin moore “onyx” in matte for the paint color.

Then, carefully brush modge podge on the back of the art using a foam brush. Place it onto your painted board. The modge podge sticks quite quickly, so you want to try to get it right on the first touch. Re-positioning isn’t very easy.

My artwork was curled from being stored in a tube, which made bubble control a lot harder. It is worth it to take the time to get the art really, really flat before you start.

Try to thoroughly flatten out bubbles. Place something wide and heavy on the image and allow it to dry. (Be aware, the object you use may get some modge podge on it.) I use an extra piece of glass or project board and then put books over top so it has an even and heavy weight distribution. I have had great success with this ensuring no bubbles.

Then, paint two more coats of modge podge over front of art and the wood border. Sometimes I swirl the modge podge in my application and try to match the brushstrokes of the painting, but sometimes not. The modge podge adds texture to the image, which helps prints of oil paintings look more like originals. Use MATTE modge podge!! It helps the brushstrokes look more like real brushstrokes from the painting. Also I almost always like the look of matte on things best, and it certainly helps with glare in an application like this where it is for wall art.

Since this I’ve done the same concept elsewhere. For a cool graphic poster we have as a souvenir from a trip, I painted the wood board white and hung it with very strong velcro. The wall it is on is white, so this is a way to have a subtle frame for something like a poster that feels elevated. And “framing” it this way feels more permanent and intentional.

I think this concept can work on upscale oil paintings or simple posters. And with the modge podge it has some coating for protection as well. The other great thing is it’s a way to style poster type things either mounted to the wall OR leaning on a tabletop or other surface.

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