Mixed Media – Modern turns Vintage – Picture Frame

by Gabriele Hunter on November 23, 2013


Old Modern Becomes Vintage New – Mixed Media to the Rescue 

During a recent house cleaning exercise I came across this contemporary or modern looking photo frame and noticed the panels coming loose. I was getting ready to put it into the “dispose” pile and then a creative idea hit me.  Why not refinish the frame and give it a vintage look.   So I did a major transformation using different mixed media applications. Here are the painting instructions on how this was accomplished.

Mixed Media Supplies Used:
DecoArt Gesso
DecoArt Texture Sand
DecoArt Metallic Lustre Copper Kettle (Love that stuff)
DecoArt One Step Crackle
DecoArt Traditions Burnt Umber
DecoArt Traditions Transparent Red Iron Oxide
DecoArt Traditions Medium White
Tim Holtz Tattered Florals
Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves
Tim Holtz Grunge Paper
Rusted Tin Wire
Martha Stewart Silicone Mold with Birds
Decorative Brads


Mixed Media Step by Step Instructions

Step 1:  Clean the surface with warm water and let dry well.
Step 2:  Apply one to two coats of Gesso
Step 3:  Once dry, apply a heavy coat of Texture Sand with a palette knife.   Let dry overnight.
Step 4:  Apply one coat of Burnt Umber.


Step 5:  Apply some Transparent Red Iron Oxide from the inside edge and walk it to the middle of the frame.
Step 6:  Once dry, load your brush with Medium White and dry brush from the outside towards the inside.
Step 7: With a soft cloth apply some Copper Kettle Metallic Lustre to the inside of the frame.


Step 8:  Apply a heavy coat of One Step Crackle and let sit for a couple of hours until the crackle process is complete.



Step 9:  Cut out any embellishments you wish to add out of grunge paper.  Apply a heavy coat of DecoArt Traditions Medium White acrylic paint.  Let dry.
Step 10:  Apply a heavy coat of One Step Crackle
Step 11:  Use a mold with small birds (I used a Martha Stewart brand – silicone mold) and add QuikWood into the mold.  Let sit for about 25 minutes or until hardened.
Step 12:  Base the birds with Medium White.


Step 13:  Use a blending tool or soft cloth and wipe thinned Burnt Umber over the flowers, leaves and birds.  Also apply this to the edges.

Step 14:  Use a soft cloth and wipe some Metallic Lustre Copper Kettle over the edges of the leaves and flowers and birds.
Step 15:  Lighten some areas with Medium White


Step 16:  Use some decorative brads for the center of the flowers and attach the other embellishments using rusted tin wire.  Glue everything into position.
Step 17:  Add your favorite photo and enjoy!

I know you will enjoy making this adorable mixed media vintage piece…this old modern picture frame has been repurposed into a ‘new’ work of art that someone special on my Christmas list will be pleased to find under the tree. This mixed media application isn’t limited to picture frames, how about trying these fun painting techniques on other surfaces? For example, you can try this on an old mirror, boxes and containers and even on a high-heeled shoe. The possibilities for having some creative fun are endless…and don’t forget…many of the painting and art supplies are available from our online store at Art Apprentice Online. We’ll be happy to ship them out to you regardless of where you live!

Have fun creating – Gaby Hunter

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ALICE S Jackson November 24, 2013 at 12:59 am

I would have trashed it. This sounds complicated. And it requires a lot of supplies that I don’t have.
But you have made a masterpiece out of nothing. You are so talented.
Have a blessed day!
Alice S. Jackson


Gabriele Hunter December 1, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Thank You Alice.


Jens March 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm

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Neadeen Masters April 4, 2015 at 8:01 pm

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Neadeen Masters


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