Building a frame for a canvas panel

After watching the first two seasons of “The Borgias” — and one episode of season 3 (because season 2 ended on a cliffhanger and I had to see how things turned out) — I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and start hanging some art on the wall in my upstairs hallway.

(I blogged about my ragtag art collection in my last post; click here if you missed it.)

Unfortunately, a couple of the paintings I wanted to hang weren’t even framed, so I had to take care of that before I could start pounding nails into the wall. I’ve never framed a picture before, but, as with most things in life, I was confident I could figure it out as I went along.

The first piece I wanted to frame was this large (30″ x 25″) oil painting of an old country church that I’d bought at a thrift store for a few dollars.

The painting was done on a canvas panel, and it was pretty beat up, especially around the corners. I wanted to give it a really simple, utilitarian frame — nothing fancy.

I had another painting with just the kind of frame I wanted to make, so I used that as a model.

To start, I dug a couple of spare 1 x 2’s out of the stash in my husband’s workshop and laid the painting on top of them to mark trim lines. My plan was to attach 1 x 2’s all the way around the back of the painting first and then use them to nail the frame onto.

I trimmed the 1 x 2’s with a jigsaw.

Then I flipped the painting over and attached the pieces to the back of the painting using wood glue. (My husband was doubtful that the glue would hold once I started hammering the frame onto it, but as he didn’t suggest an alternative way to accomplish what I needed to, I kept going — and, just to be safe, I doubled down on the amount of glue I was using.)

I let the glue dry overnight; then I flipped the painting back over again.

I dug through the husband’s stash of leftover wood once more until I found four pieces of lath that weren’t (too) warped to use as the frame.

I trimmed the lath down to size with the jigsaw, just like I did with the 1 x 2’s. Then I painted the pieces with some white chalk paint that I had left over from a previous project.

I lined the painted lath up to the side of the painting and drilled holes before driving nails in (to keep the wood from splitting). Then I crossed my fingers that the glue would hold as I started pounding.

It did.

Here’s the painting, all framed and waiting to be hung.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you the other picture I framed. And then hopefully, I’ll actually get things up on the wall someday and can blog about that, too.

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