It all started because I can never find 4x4 square picture frames for Instagram photos. I had two silver ones that we hung on the wall, but the space called for a third one. And for the life of me I could not find another silver square frame.
I stopped at A.C. Moore the other day to see if they had valentines (they did not), and came out with about ten non-silver picture frames, some e5000 glue (the best most toxic glue ever), and this paint, from Martha Stewart's craft line with plaid.
Now the quickest, easiest way to dress up cheap picture frames is paint. Go get some crappy looking, crappy colored, or cheap unfinished frames, and paint them all the same color. Various sizes, shapes, texture frames became unified cohesive and sophisticated with $5 at the craft store.
My maternal grandmother is a fine artist, and she has drilled into me over the years that frames solid always be either metallic (silver, gold, bronze, platinum), or black. And I for one am not about to argue with a 98 year old Austrian woman for fear of how badly she will school me.
I am a big fan of using metallic craft paint to dress shit up, and the Martha Stewart line had some if the best, actual METALLIC metallics I've seen in a while. But I also expect any Martha branded line to have an excellent color palette.
It is amazing, you guys. AMAZING. Unlike most acrylic craft paint, it claims it can be used as is on multiple surfaces, including metal and glass (prepped and cleaned with alcohol first), and after a 21 day curing time, it's theoretically dishwasher safe.
Most of the old school craft paints are standard acrylics, which is to say they dry flat matte, and sometimes stay a bit tacky or lift the color if the painted thing is left on shelf and hasn't been sealed. that's not to say they're not exceptionally useful.
I stenciled my dining room to mimic wallpaper using two colors of metallic craft paint mixed into a little shimmery latex wall paint. And I used the same two paints for stencils and foam stamps on paper for holiday cards for years. But for painting objects, I would never use straight craft paint without a primer or gesso and an acrylic sealer. And sometimes the sealer would turn an object into a little-too-glossy bit of cheese.
So far, this paint has retained its gloss as it dries, and I am not planning to seal or varnish the frames.
Martha (yes we are on a first name basis, at least in my head) recommends an hour drying time between coats, so after i used a foam brush to do a quick thin coat on the wide wood frame, I went looking for other shit that needed painting.
Like this weird faux croc 1990s padded picture frame up above (which holds my senior prom picture. Yes I have had this frame for more than 20 years). It needed painting. AND NOW IT'S METALLIC!
(Also quick plug for the Martha branded paint brushes. I let the littles use this one, and attempt to destroy it, for the last three years. A bit of cleaning and it's still in great shape.)
...and this diy'd snow globe from Max's preschool. It is an old jam jar, and had a red and white checked top that didn't look super awesome. AND NOW IT'S METALLIC!
... and these tiny glass jars from the fancy pants French yogurt i get occasionally. The one the left has 2 thin coats on the outside of the glass. The one on the right has one thin, kind of uneven, coat on the inside. I won't use either for food use, but they're cute bud vases, no?
I literally walked around the first floor with the paint brush saying, "what else needs painting??"
The cats better run...