Custom Finish Options
Our frames are made from 100% hardwood (basswood). Finishes are completely handcrafted from bare/raw moulding, and therefore each frame has a unique look. We use Composition gold leaf, not gold-toned paint, and 9-23kt gold leaf is available on request.
Please call us at 719.242.8482, or email email@example.com with any questions.
Finish options detailed below can be applied to any of our profiles (download catalog).
We currently offer oil-gilding with either true, karat gold (optional) or composition gold, metal leaf (standard). Our standard gilding is finished with a slightly warm patina, but we offer several different tones on all of our gilded finishes. Oil gilding is our standard gilding option.
We also offer water-gilding for true karat gold leaf. Please contact us for more information.
If you like a very, very antique-looking frame, we have a new finish option called Acid Wash. As the name implies, we wash the gilding with an acid to give it a mottled, oxidized look. Available on Sterling Silver, Metal Leaf, and Copper gilding only (this process will NOT work on true gold). Please note that this process is not easy to control, so about all you can specify is the type of metal leaf, and "light" or "heavy" acid washing. Additional charges apply based on the frame size. Not recommended for fully-gilded frames. Frame below is Genoa with acid-washed copper:
Muting and Matte Panels
If you prefer your gilding to be somewhat matte or muted, please ask for muting and/or a matte panel. Muting is available on all frames with any amount of gilding, matte panels are only available on fully-gilded frames. Muting is a more transparent version of a wash that is applied by dabbing small amounts onto the gold. A matte panel is achieved by several layers of light-colored muting and other techniques. Muting is available in light/tan, medium/lt brown, and heavy/dk brown (we recommend light/tan or medium/lt brown). The photo below shows two layers of muting applied to the "panel" of the fully-gilded Masina frame:
Metal Leaf - Colors/tones Available
We offer three color grades of metal leaf: dark/warm, medium, and light/cool. If you don't specify a color or tone, we will use the medium-colored leaf.
The standard finish is red bole (the gesso primer), composition leafing in gold, black panel, and light to moderate antiquing. Light "dust" in the corners is optional. Samples 1 and 2 shown with light antiquing. Water-gilding is now an option with the standard finish.
Antique Ebony Finish
Similar to the standard finish (above) but with an overall polished, warm brown to black look. Our basic version of this finish is a polished black look with a warm brown overtone. If you'd like the frame to be more brown, let us know and we'll antique it a bit more. We can also create a similar finish with colors other than brown - red, green, plum, and blue are common undertones we can use instead of brown. Again, we can water-gild the frame lip with this finish.
Similar to the standard finish (above) but with a crackle applied to the black panel for an aged look (see sample). Frame shown with red bole, crackle finish, and moderate antiquing. This finish can also be done with an optional black bole to make the crackle effect understated, or a gold bole to make it stand out.
We can rub your frame with an abrasive to give it an aged look. This brings out the base coat that's below the gilding or paint. Followed by the application of a sienna or neutral patina (optional but recommended), and finishing with the application of "dust" (also optional) gives the frame a graceful, aged look. Nancy's personal preference is moderate rub with the neutral patina and moderate dust.
Distress is optional and an additional cost - this consists of simulating dings/dents, and wormholes.
Please let us know what level of distress you wish when you order: none, light, moderate, heavy, or you can ask for just flyspecs, dinging/denting, or wormholes. Below is Verona 3, Standard Finish, Heavy Rub, light dinging, light wash and light dust:
Flyspecs are optional and simulate insect damage that is commpnly found on antique European frames. Flyspecs are available in light, medium, and heavy.
A simple wash is optional but no additional cost. We offer washes in a cool gray, neutral gray, warm gray, or sienna. Levels offered are light and moderate. Heavy is available but not recommended on most frames. Washes give the frame a slight dusty look. Below is Tuscany in Antique Ebony with sienna wash:
Optional. If you want a more dusty, aged look to your frame, ask for additional dust with a wash. Below is Verona2, Standard Finish with water gilding, light gray wash and light dust:
We offer burl wood veneers on our flat panel profiles. Optional, additional cost.
Sgraffito is scratching through the black to reveal the gold underneath. We offer sgraffito on our flat panel profiles. Optional, additional cost. Many designs are available, or come up with one of your own! See the Milan profile near the bottom of this page for an example.
This is a decorative touch that can be added to the edges of some of our frames (Verona 2, Verona 3, Milan). Optional, starting at just $10 per frame. Available on our metal leaf and true gold finishes.
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