Today was a good day!
I got an early start, and proceeded to 'prep' the frames.
'Prepping' is basically wetting down the frame(s) with a
soft hair brush.
This raises the grain of the wood. The frame will dry in
about 20-30 minutes.
We want to raise the grain. When the frame has dried,
I sand the frame with 120 grit sand paper.
This is an important procedure, if you don't do this, the
wood grain will ghost through and has an undesireable
You have to look at the frame. Sometimes I will wet and
sand twice. (Some wood has a pronounced grain, and
wants to raise more.)
Once the frame is sanded, I tape off the inside that is
not to be gesso'd.
In the mean time, I have the jar of gesso that I made
the other day, melting down in a double boiler.
I brush on the gesso from the corners to the middle.
I try to do this in one long stroke. Not like Huck Finn
painting the fence. (If I need to use a few srokes, then
Once the frame is painted I let it dry. I do this three
times.(depending on the profile, or detail carvings)
I can discuss this more on another post~
When the frames are bone dry, I can start sanding.
I'll usually start with 220 grit, but 180 may be needed.
Again, depending on the look, I will sand from 220, to
320, to 400, to 600! (I stop at 600 because any higher
and the gold tends to get a plastic look.)
I have and can sand up to 1500 grit. But not always!
Once my frame(s) are sanded, I wipe it down with a
paper towel, to clean all the dust from it.
Then, with a horse hair cloth, I polish up the frame
and it will take a luster almost like glass.
If I do not have a horse hair brush, then a paper towel
will do.( A brown paper bag will polish gesso too!)
Gesso is the base foundation in water gilding.
Your frame will only be as good as your gesso coat.
So make it pretty, and it will sing forever.
What you see in the picture is Daves frame, with the
liner. My frame for Richard. And two wooden plates
that I plan to surprize you with.
I like surprizes, don't you!?