Are you looking for a way to jazz up an old frame? As a photographer, I am always looking at frames and what they can bring to an image. Sometimes it’s important for the image to stand alone and sometimes it’s fun to play and compliment the image with something interesting or fun!
Candice Olsen, my all-time, favorite designer, was on HGTV and she talked about her mother gluing macaroni to a frame and painting it gold. She said that people often thought that her mother’s macaroni-trash to treasure project was actually a very expensive frame. Never doubting Candice’s keen eye for fabulous design, I decided to try this project.
All this project requires is dry pasta, gold spray paint, and a frame needing new life. Elbow macaroni from Target, metallic gold spray paint from Home Depot, and a used frame from Goodwill completed my shopping list. Although the frame was a little beat up, the structure was solid and intact. Make sure to look for something with only superficial damage to avoid a whole other project. If the frame is good but the glass is missing or chipped, hobby stores like Michael’s will custom cut glass in a few minutes for a reasonable price.
If there is flaking paint, other loose material or heavy grim then sand the frame with 100 grit sandpaper. The surface needs to be clean, dry, and free of grease for the glue and paint to stick.
Use glue to affix the pasta to the frame. I used wood glue because after trying some test samples with regular Elmer’s glue I found that it wasn’t strong enough. Make sure to use PVA wood glue; avoid polyurethane wood glue, e.g. Gorilla Glue, because it foams and makes a rough surface.
Using a small, artist paint brush I applied the glue a little at a time as I worked to adhere the macaroni around the frame. This gave me the freedom to stop if I needed to and kept the glue from drying out. With small jewelry tweezers I tried to stay a bit consistent with the placement pattern, but I allowed for some inconsistencies to add interest and avoid frustration. After applying the macaroni on the frame I let it dry overnight.
The gold spray paint is easy to apply and takes little prep work. Just make sure that you spray in a ventilated area that is not to windy.
Two light coats with an hour drying time between, gave the frame a lovely metallic sheen and completely transformed a handful of macaroni and a dust bin frame into something you’d be proud to have in your home.
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