Metallic Vintage Frames

It was not until last week when I felt the imminence of the big day. It is now less than two months away.

Thinking back, the very first decor I decided to get my hands dirty for were the distressed vintage looking frames. After making a handful of trips to local flea markets and antique fairs, I couldn’t seem to find the frames that I wanted for our signages. The frames I stumbled upon shouted either Renaissance or farmhouse chic, neither carries the natural, more modest vintage style I was searching for. I needed mirror or picture frames with less embossed details showing signs of usage while still retaining the original antique gold or copper colors.

After some googling, I decided to drop by Michael’s and Daiso for a few simple photo frames, some as cheap as $1.50, and started my first wedding craft project.

To give my frames a more natural worn, vintage look, I painted all the frames that are in lighter brown or yellow brown evenly with a dark brown acrylic paint. As most metallic frames were built with darker woods, the dark wooden color underneath would start to surface when the metallic paint on the frames starts to wear. Therefore, it is important to start with a darker base or simply purchase frames that are sold in darker shades, dark brown or black, to skip this step.

Next, I picked a junk brush that is pretty much ruined over time. Compared to fine and smooth bristles of a new brush, the coarse, brassy brush hair was perfect to create the natural wear and tear. I brushed the tainted gold color over the dark color frame, covering 90 to 95 percent of it and casually leaving out a few patches or strokes, especially the corners and edges where a frame usually starts to wear out.

To finish off, I sprayed the painted frame with my old hair spray generously to preserve the colors. And here they are, the classy vintage frames that I had been looking for!

I do want to note that, as recommended by a few DIYers online, I treated one of the frames a bit differently and applied patches of vaseline to the base color first, then top it off with the gold acrylic paint. Once the gold paint is dried, I wiped out the vaseline to reveal patches of the darker wooden color underneath for the distress look. However, this method did not work as well as I hoped for and the resulting brown spots turned out less natural, leaving more distinct sections instead of faded scratches.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, experiment with dark red, mahogany, or blue grey for your base color. The blue grey one I tried on turn out to be my favorite!

As hands on as I have been for our day - from the designing the theme of the event, the tabletop selection, to the curation of the ribbons and stamps for our invitation, I had been treating this year-long project as if I were the designer, planner or coordinator for a future bride, and not necessarily myself. And when I suddenly realized that this day will soon arrive, I started to feel a bit nervous. Not because of anything particular on our to-do list, but really because this will be the very first event I fully took on myself.

56 days and counting. I can’t wait to see and experience that day when it all comes together. After all, this is the longest project I’ve ever worked on, the one that prompted my career switch.

Fingers crossed!