Development Level Courses

Adding Decorative Finishes to Frames

Day course: find out about creating your own frame finishes

Course Overview

This is an exploration of the materials, resources and some special techniques that can be used to add creative finishes to bare faced mouldings.  It provides people with the chance to try out and combine colouring agents and finishes.  Practical workshops also take you through a step by step guide to a range of paint effect techniques.

You can book ADDING DECORATIVE FINISHES TO FRAMES as a one day course. These will take place throughout the year in the main training centres: Beaconsfield, Manchester, Nuneaton. 

This course runs from 10.00 am until 5.00 pm

What previous experience should I have?

No previous framing experience is required. However, there will be an assumption that you have some understanding of how to make picture frames.  These assumptions are reflected in the range of terms and references used by the trainers in their instructions.

What will the course cover?

This workshop will suit those who want to develop bespoke framing projects either for paying customers or to enhance their own artwork.

A series of "mini-projects", run concurrently, that look at ways of working with colour on natural wood.  Three underlying methods of working are identified:

  1. Applying a gesso base to provide a lighter look and more varied "patina" to a frame;
  2. Priming mouldings to create a base that can allow a whole range of paint effects to be applied;
  3. Working with natural mouldings directly, where the grain has an important part to play in the final finish

Those projects allow you to try a good number of basic techniques as well as working directly with a wide and varied range of products:

  • PVA size
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paints
  • Wood stains / dyes
  • Waxes (coloured / clear)
  • Varnish
  • Primer
  • Gilt creams / gilt varnish

By creating a range of "finished" chevron samples you will extend your repertoire of basic preparation / finishing techniques as well as working directly with a wide and varied range of products.

 The core skills are:

  • Priming moulding for paint finishes
  • applying gesso
  • working with a range of colouring media
  • Choosing a colour palette
  • Ragged paint effects
  • Sponged effects
  • Masking off areas
  • Picking out highlights (gilt cream / gilt varnish)
  • Adding a suitable "finish" to protect the moulding

Cost includes all tools and materials supplied.

What do I need to bring with me?

No artwork necessary.  Overalls, art apron will be useful as the day can become quite messy! We provide latex gloves: if you are allergic to latex you might like to bring some vinyl gloves instead.

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