Print Friendly and PDF

How to gild a picture frame

Transform a chalkboard into a sophisticated gilt frame for mounting in a dining room. Write a thoughtful greeting for holiday guests, or use it to announce the dinner menu or evening's festivities.



Large wooden frame - or make your own
3mm hardboard - have cut at your local Builders Warehouse
Gold leaf (2-3 packages for large frame)
Leaf sizing
Artist's paint brush
Soft makeup brush
Small sponge applicator
Disposable gloves
Clean rag
Woodoc imbuia gel stain
Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint or spray paint
Foam roller
Paint tray






Step 1
Use an artist's paint brush to apply leaf sizing to entire frame. Allow to dry for approximately 30 minutes, or until sizing turns from milky-white to clear. Sizing should feel tacky to the touch.

Step 2
Use a soft makeup brush to gently lift gold leaf sheet and apply to frame. Brush gold leaf down onto sizing. Pieces will flake off while brushing . Pick up these flakes and use them to fill in small gaps in leaf. Continue this process until frame is fully covered in gold leaf. It will look rough and a little 'shaggy'.

Step 3
Gently rub makeup brush over gold leaf to buff surface and remove excess leaf.

Be sure to put down a dropcloth before you start gilding, as it can become pretty messy.

Step 4
Apply gel stain to a small section of frame using a foam brush, working the stain into molded details. Gently rub off excess with a clean rag. Repeat process around entire frame. Wood stain will stain skin, so wear latex gloves.

Stain will remain tacky for about 24 hours, so allow plenty of dry time after this step.

Step 5
Use a foam roller - or spray - the chalkboard paint onto the front (smooth) side of the hardboard. Follow the instructions for application and drying time. Once dry, mount the painted board onto the back of the frame.