Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Painting Frames


In addition to the many other holiday tasks on the agenda my brother had asked if I could crank out some picture frames for some paintings that he was going to be giving as Christmas gifts this season.  With a basic idea of what works and a blank canvas that he had given me I set out to mass produce a couple frames out of pine and one out of some cherry that I had laying around.

The frame profile was pretty generic, I simply copied a store bought picture frame in the house.  I used some 1×4 pine that I ripped down to 1-1/2” widths.  I chose the wider pine because I could buy clearer lengths with fewer knots and imperfections.  It takes a little less than 8’-0” of frame materials to make one frame so approximately two 16” x20 paintings can be made from one 1x4x 8’-0” long.  One 8’ eastern white pine 1×4 at my local home center runs $5.83, so for $3 dollars worth of wood you can frame up a painting pretty economically.

From the photo below you can see the profile of the frame.  All I did was take a 1/4” by 1-1/4” rabbet out of the frame.  I did this because I noticed a fair amount of variance in the canvases that my brother had, so this 1/4” deep rabbet would allow me to oversize the picture frames and allow some play (~1/8”) within the frame itself.  I also felt that this basic frame did not detract from real focal point which is the artwork itself.

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After milling up four 8’ lengths of picture frame material to the profile above, I then took my time to make one picture frame which I would use as a template for the other three frames.  I cut each piece of the frame to length with miter joints and assembled the frame dry in my band clamp.  This allowed me to confirm that the canvas would indeed fit within the frame with about an 1/8” of play in all directions.

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It’s a little hard to tell in the photo below, but there is a little more than a 1/16” gap all the way around the inside of the frame.


With the canvas loosely laid in the frame I marked the top of the canvas and cut some slots with my biscuit cutter.  These slots are going to be used for some with some metal clips to mount the canvas to the frame.

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Below is the only photo I had of the clips, but you could really use anything to secure the painting to the frame.  I happened to have a whole bunch of these leftover clips from the raised panels I salvaged awhile back so I decided to re-purpose them.

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With the frames complete it was time to sand and finish them.

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Black and natural were the finishes selected.  The artist decided that black suited his deconstructed lobster best.


We went with a slightly darker Poly shades stain on the cherry frame which gave it a richer brown color, and hit it with a little Johnson Paste wax.

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Finally my brother surprised me with a painting of our very own, the wife thinks it would make the best blueprint of a future sugar shack.  The painting was complete with “Little Creek Maple Farm” at the front entry and on one of the sap buckets.

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I can’t wait to see what my brother paints next!

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December 27, 2013 - Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , ,


  1. Your parents must be proud – a talented carpenter and a talented painter. Good talents to have and good people to know. :-)

    Comment by Judy @ GrandparentsPlus2 | December 28, 2013 | Reply

  2. Great job on the frames have a great painting of Nubble by Jon and a great frame to go with it

    Sent from my iPhone


    Comment by Tom Webster | December 28, 2013 | Reply

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