I was on the hunt for an oversized picture frame suitable for making a large bulletin/sample board for the workshop. I made a short list of the likely places I might find such an object at the right price.
My first stop was the East Bay Thrift Shop on Franklin Street in Bristol because every purchase supports the East Bay Food Pantry. It also doesn’t hurt a bit that the price is right! This means I don’t have to patiently wait out a mark down at a consignment store which can translate to multiple visits and the very real possibility that my almost prized possession could soon be in the hands of another.
If that is a miss, my next stop is always Second Helpings on Gooding Ave. in Bristol. They have a very large selection of items at a range of prices and it is just a great place for scouting out the next great find. Problem is, I am not the only one on the hunt! On more than one occassion I have scolded myself for waiting too long to make a purchase and discovered on the day of a final mark down that someone had long taken possession of my object of desire. I take solace in the fact that I have been on the winning side of the transaction as much as the losing side –but it still hurts!
Since I was plainning to discard the contents of any frame I could find, it made the assignment a bit more challenging. I found a very large mirror at Second Helpings, the frame was the perfect size but the price was too steep considering I only wanted the frame. I needed to wait it out, so I did. Finally, about 4 days before the final markdown I entered the store and found the once obscure mirror prominently displayed on an easel front and center. I had a decision to make. I could wait four more days and save another $7 or I could just take it home before anyone else had the same idea. I quickly grabbed the tag off the mirror and proceeded to the cashier.
Once home, I removed the mirror from the frame, apparently not carefully enough because the backing scratched the back of the mirror and de-silvered it in one spot. Well I’ve always wanted to experiement with antiquing an on old mirror so I guess I have another project I can add to my list!
I quickly cleaned off the frame and then started painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The first layer was Arles (a beautiful color) and on the second layer I added a bit of Emperor Red and Louis Blue in spots where I wanted to distress the frame. When that quickly dried I went over it with a coat of Graphite and then a coat of clear wax. I distressed the piece and then added a coat of clear wax to seal it. I set it aside and moved on to making the bulletin board.
We cut down a scrap piece of homosote board to size using a utility knife. I had some bleached drop cloth fabric left over from an earlier project and attached that to the board using a staple gun. I bought some 2-inch sticky-back velcro tape at Home Depot. I lightly marked lines on the fabric where the center of the sticky tape would go. I then used the staple gun to secure the fabric to the homosote board using the penciled in vertical lines as a guide. We then cut the velcro tape to size leaving 2-3 inches of overhang on each end. We needed a couple of hands to keep the velcro tape in place when removing the tape backing and to press and secure the tape to the canvas in a straight line. When that was done, we wrapped the ends around the back of the canvas and secured it in the back with a staple gun.
The board was inserted into the back of the frame and secured in the corners with thin wood strips (cut down paint stirrers). While we first thought about hanging the board on picture wires, we realized that it would be best to secure it directly to the wall which we did with drywall screws. To finish the piece, I attached Velcro tape to the back of my sample finishes and hung them on the board. They are now appropriately framed.