Monday, April 20, 2009

The Sharpie marker as a finishing tool

If you've ever had a poster / painting / picture professionally framed, you know what that can cost. But then if you are doing it yourself, the molding choices available most places aren't as good as what is available at the frame shops and what IS available is often pretty expensive and sold by the foot. Another alternative is to buy a pre-made picture frame and use as is, or cut it down to size. Depending on where you buy it, this can be a lot cheaper then professional framing or buying picture frame molding (or any molding for that matter) by the foot. In this case my sister Stephanie had found some nice poster-sized stained black frames that she really liked that were too big for the prints she wanted framed. The frames were shaped, pressed and even a little hand-carved (if I had to guess on how they were produced) which made the profile more than a little irregular. There wasn't a repeat to the pattern which meant that the corners were going to have to be joined somewhat haphazardly. These frames had a black stain with a satin finish over a very light wood. I cut the pieces down to the desired size, but the corner joints were looking pretty ugly - the miters were perfect, but the raw edges exposed the light color wood when I did a dry fit of the pieces. What to do? If I sanded the corners down I would have even more work to do trying to match the stain and finish? Luckily I had the scrap corners of the original frame to look at. When I pulled one apart I was able to see what they did - they had simply painted the end grain black and didn't worry about the surface irregularities of the joint. So, with a large black Sharpie permanent marker, I colored the end-grain edges that might be exposed, while completely avoiding touching the face of the frame pieces, as the colors weren't exact matches. This worked perfectly!


Anonymous said...

You could do the same thing with regular wood tones by using furniture touchup pens. Amazon has a few different multi-packs but any hardware store has single colors if you know what you need.

The Frog Queen said...

Great idea. You are so clever!