I am a huge fan of art. Painting is one of my all-time favorite hobbies when I am having a slow day or when the Van Gogh bug hits me (at this point it is clear that his works are a go-to reference if you have been reading our past blogs).
By Sistine Chapel standards, mine would probably be described as something just a step above doodling. However, my last piece of work got me so excited that I am itching to get a frame for it. And because I am all for doing it myself from scratch, I was on the hunt for a DIY frame I could make myself.
Cue crown molding.
Crown molding is traditionally revered as a magnificent addition to a ceiling. It has long been the go-to to add a spark of elegance to a room, offering a smooth transition between the walls and the ceilings.
But what if like me, you wanted to be a bit more creative with your trim? What if you wanted to try out something else that would make a fantastic accent piece?
Try a picture frame.
Frames are a beautiful way to dress up a painting or a photo. They can also be a sneakily fantastic way to dress up the wall above the fireplace or create an accent wall. Yet they can be pretty expensive, especially if it is large and customized. Trim could come in handy to save you some bucks while allowing you to put your creative skills to the task.
Today, we’ll look at the quick and easy steps to making a customized frame from crown molding
Pick out the crown molding and accompanying trim you will need for the job. Consider our 7 inch-wide molding for a larger, more ostentatious frame, or the smaller, 3 ⅜ inch-wide trim for a smaller frame. Determine the length required for the frame and get just a bit more to cover the extra loss in making the corners.
All our trim is made from high-quality polyurethane that is light and flexible and will be easy to work with. It is moisture-resistant so your picture frame will be right at home even in the bathroom.
For this project, the assumption is that the frame will be out of a single piece of trim. However, there are no limits. If you want a stacked up frame, consider using baseboard trim as the foundation and then add a decorative piece of trim on top of it or have two pieces of decorative trim with varying widths.
Beyond the crown molding, you will also need:
● Tape measure
● Miter saw
● Wood glue
● Desired paint (depending on what you’re going for, opt for regular paint or spray paint. I find that spray paint will be easier to work with)
Be certain that you have the correct measurement of the item you intend to frame. The worst possible thing could be to work so diligently at the frame only for the item to not fit, or for the frame to be too large. The outside length of the picture should match the inside length of the molding you will cut.
When you have measured the dimensions of the item, round up to the nearest quarter inch and then add another quarter inch to the measurement to allow for some elbow room.
Set the miter saw to 45 degrees and cut the first length of the molding with opposite inward-facing angle cuts on both sides. Confirm that the length is accurate and then proceed with the rest of the pieces.
To help get an accurate frame, cut the top and bottom lengths first, or the side lengths. It is essential that the opposite sides are exactly the same length otherwise the frame will be slightly lop-sided (assuming that lop-sided is not what you were going for).
If your trim has an intricate, continuous design, be careful as you cut the pieces so that when you bring them together, the design will be seamless. This is where the extra measurements you rounded up your length to will especially come in handy.
Lightly sand down the cut edges to make them even and smooth. Be careful not to file away the length as this will interfere with how the pieces come together.
Assemble the pieces to confirm that they match as they should. Next, apply the wood glue and gently join the pieces at the joints. Wipe away the excess glue and use painter’s tape to hold the pieces together. Give the glue some time to dry- if possible leave the frame overnight so that it dries firmly.
When it is dry, remove the tape. Apply a bit of caulk where the joint is not seamless to hide any gaps. Remember to wipe away any excess caulk.
If your project involves stacked up pieces, they will probably need more reinforcement to the glue. Use corner braces to help secure the trim and add to the frame’s durability.
This is especially where you get to customize the visual appearance of the frame. Our polyurethane comes already pre-primed and ready to paint. Personally, I intend to go with black with gold flecks when I am done making my frame.
Paint it any color that suits you. If you are more artistic or the frame has some detailed motifs, consider painting only sections of it using a small brush. As aforementioned, I have found that spray paint does a faster job and is always my go-to when possible.
Leave the paint to dry.
If necessary, make a simple but firm backing using cardboard cut to size and stick it to the back of the frame using glue. Before sticking it on, be sure that your picture or painting sits squarely within the frame so that the complete work will be symmetrical.
Add hanging material to the frame and check if it supports the weight.
With that, you will have a fantastic frame and a new accent piece for your wall. Happy framing!