Make beautiful wood frames to match your entertainment center…
Custom home entertainment centers of real wood have the appeal of built-in permanence. Everything down to the stain and accessories is chosen by you. To further the custom look, we came up with the idea of do-it-yourself decorative framed photos, using frames that are stained to match the entertainment center.
By matching (or closely matching) the wood stains, your framed photos blend naturally with the entertainment center yet become attractive focal points. Like art in a gallery, they just seem to belong there.
Sound brilliant? All you need are some wood frames, stain that closely matches your entertainment center, finish coating and a few supplies to make this easy decorative element.
Stained Wood Frame How-to
Step 1: Select Frames
You can purchase unfinished wood frames or use frames you already have and strip off the old finish.
Step 2: Prepare the Frame
Remove the frame hardware and glass. Set aside in a safe location. Sand the frame with medium or fine-grit sandpaper. Sand until the frame surface is smooth and even.
Step 3: Clean the Frame
Use tack cloth to remove the dust. Clean the wood with mineral spirits to bring out the natural color variation of the wood.
Step 4: Condition
Apply a wood conditioner to help the wood absorb the stain.
Step 5: Choose a Stain
Select a stain that most closely matches the finish of your entertainment center. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match. Remember stains become darker the longer you let them set. There are three main types of stain:
• Water-based—Nontoxic and easy to clean, but has a tendency to streak
• Oil-based—Available in liquid or gel form, user friendly, but produces more fumes than water-based and is hard to clean up
• Hybrid—Hybrid stains offer benefits of both latex and oil-based, but they often cover the grain of the wood more than desired.
Step 6: Stain the Frame
Using a rag, soft sponge or brush, apply the stain. Work with, not against the grain of the wood in smooth, even strokes. Let the stain sit for 5-15 minutes. The longer the stain sets the darker it will be.
Step 7: Wipe Away
Once the stain reaches the desired color, wipe away the access and allow the stain to dry completely (4-6 hours).
If the required darkness isn’t achieved the first time, wait until the frame is completely dry then lightly sand the frame and apply a second coat of stain. Wipe away the excess and let dry for 8 hours.
Step 8: Finish the Surface
After the stain is dry, apply a finish to protect the wood stain. Polyurethane is the most commonly used finish. Tung oil is also a popular choice.
Step 9: Final Prep
Reapply the picture frame hardware and glass.
Step 10: Pick Your Pics
Select photos or art to go in your frame. Hang your custom stained frames or stand them directly on your entertainment center.
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