On the other hand several artists I know always paint to a set size, and therefore they can re-use the frames more readily and buy ready made frames in a standard size. There is nothing at all wrong with this, but it is something I struggle with.
I like to have the freedom when painting a subject, knowing that I have more than enough space to use on the watercolour paper. Of course, I plan my compositions, but not knowing the mount and/or frame size beforehand gives me this freedom and some flexibility too.
What happens is that if a painting does not sell, I am left with frames of a variety of sizes.
I have decided to be more pro-active and over the last week or so I have started to re-vamp some of the oak frames that I have, and several of them will be used to frame forthcoming paintings.
I have always liked the oak frame and the majority of my artwork is framed using this. I consider the colour a warm but neutral tone that generally compliments the natural subject matter in the paintings. I therefore didn't want to venture too far from this.
The decision was made and I am using a liming wax made by Liberon. This wax gives an almost bleached effect to the wood grain.
Step 1: was to lightly sand the frame surface using an extra fine grain sanding pad. This is not meant to be a heavy sanding, but more to remove any coating, grease or dirt.
Step 2: apply the liming wax using a lint free cloth, rubbing the wax into the grain. Leave for 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: wipe off the white haze or coating. To protect the frame further a neutral coloured wax can be applied and then polished. Alternatively, if a more durable and water resistant finish is required, finishing oil can be applied. This is put on the frame using a lint free cloth, left to dry and then buffed. I will be using the latter approach once the finishing oil arrives from the suppliers.
Here you can see the final result prior to applying the finishing oil. I have placed the frames next to our oak dresser so you can see the difference in tone.