It was a dreary start to Memorial Day weekend here in Seattle, which was the perfect excuse to stop weeding the garden and turn my attention back indoors to our basement media room. We worked on this room a lot when we first moved in, removing a closet and carpeting over the freezing cold tile. I really haven’t done a thing to it since I built our floating shelves, so it’s feeling a little unfinished. I styled the shelves with various metallic items, and I’ve been wanting to carry that design element to the rest of the room.
This room is full of geeky stuff, like this Firefly poster, Star Wars in Japan wall hangings and, of course, the TARDIS door. Our friends recently gave us an awesome Doctor Who poster, knowing that the 10th Doctor is our favorite. The print is 11″ x 17″ and I searched everywhere for a frame that would fit. I ended up buying a black one out of desperation, but it doesn’t exactly go well with the space. Luckily, I was able to give it an aged silver look with a little craft paint!
Materials (contains affiliate links)
Directions for Creating a Faux Aged Silver Frame
First, remove the glass and backing of the frame. Then, press thumbtacks into the back side of the frame in each corner. This will elevate the frame off your work surface and let you paint all the way to the edges. Make sure your thumbtacks have a flat head and not a curved one, or you’ll be rocking your frame back and forth as you paint!
I began with the sterling silver paint and a small round bristle brush. Get a very small amount of paint on the tip of the brush, then dab it on randomly, allowing some of the black to show through. I used the small brush on the inside edges, then moved to the foam pouncer brush for the flat areas. Play around with different brushes and techniques to create a random effect.
While the paint is still slightly wet, run a larger dry brush very lightly over the entire area in long strokes. This will give it striations and a metallic “grain” while leaving most of the random variation underneath. This also helps smooth out the paint when you get a little too crazy with the pouncer brush and end up with a bunch of little circles all over the place.
I went over the entire frame with this first technique, then allowed it to fully dry. Next, I mixed the sterling silver paint with black, to create a dark gray with a bit of shimmer. This color was applied in the grooves of the frame, to give it some contrast. I used a fairly small brush with looser bristles for this part, and very little paint. You don’t want to make a perfect line in the crease, but just enough to make it look tarnished.
Finally, I used the lighter paint to create highlight areas, such as on the top of the ridges. This gives the appearance that these areas have been buffed over time from dusting and cleaning, resulting in a higher sheen than the rest of the frame.
I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the various paint colors, adding a bit more here and taking away more there. The goal is to make it look random and natural, which is harder than it sounds! I’m not artistic by any stretch of the imagination, but I think i was able to achieve a pretty good aged silver look!
I love how it seems like the fancy aged silver frame almost tries to make the poster seem more serious, like it’s an old family portrait in silhouette. It’s the perfect addition to our geeky media room, and bringing in more of the metallic accent color gives the space a cohesive look.
Want more DIY projects?
Subscribe to get project ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight to your inbox!