Last week I shared my 10 Tips to a Perfect Empty Frame Gallery, and this week I want to show you mine. Are you ready?! I hope so, I love this!! Hope you like it too!
Almost a year ago I started collecting lots and lots of frames. I got some big and some small, some ornate and some basic, some wood and some metal. You get it, I wanted a variety. It took me over a year to get together a little collection from various thrift stores and garage sales and I just kept setting them all aside. (Which is also why I often start off a post saying, "I've had this frame for a while now, but I just finally...")
We got all of the frames together in the basement, and I started grabbing my favorites and laying them out to get a general idea of which frames would look good together and what groupings would work best.
We then primed and painted them. I was insistent on priming because I had several metal and plastic frames, and I wanted to be sure that the paint would stick. However, I was painting them a dark color, so the white peeking through ensured that the frames each needed 2 coats of color. Ugh. So many steps when I was just so anxious to get them on the wall!!
We took the painted frames upstairs and laid them out on the floor again. There were 2 gorgeous golden frames that I chose to leave as they were and went with a monochromatic color scheme for the rest.
When it came time to make the templates for each frame, I decided to use something that I had plenty of laying around - Christmas wrapping paper. It was so thin that it kept tearing as I cut it, so I switched to a thicker roll of brown shipping paper. Let me just say, DON'T DO THIS! Both types of paper immediately rolled up after they were cut, as pictured above. Trying to make paper lay flat on the walls that just wants to roll up is INCREDIBLY annoying, and it took several pieces of tape to secure down, which ruined the ease factor of being able to move the templates around on the wall. Save yourself the trouble and find some flat paper to use as a template (paper bags, newspaper, etc). You will be much happier.
My sister helped me take the paper to the wall and started taping it up until we found the layout that we liked best. We hammered nails into the templates, removed the templates and started hanging the frames one by one.
Now, a note on the layout that I chose for my walls.
I have always loved the look of framed photo galleries, but one of the major things that held me back from starting one in my home is my darling little 2 year old. I was nervous about him bounding down the stairs one afternoon, running his hand lightly along the wall, hitting a frame, and it (and possibly others) tumbling down on him. Sharp edged-picture frames, pictures matted behind glass, glass that could crack or shatter, the potential domino effect of knocking down one in a series of frames...you can see why I never moved forward with this. But an empty frame gallery, without the potential danger and weight that glass panes would add, that was much more up my alley.
That said, I still decided to hang my frame gallery entirely on the top half of the wall. This would remove the temptation for my little guy to touch the frames every time that he walked past. Out of sight out of mind, right?
Also, my home has an open floor plan, so as soon as you walk in, you see this.
I didn't want all of my beautiful frames and arranging efforts to be hidden behind a sea of white spokes. Hanging the frames above the line of the railing kept this from looking too busy and cluttered from the downstairs, and added some much needed color and interest.
I wanted to maximize the look of the frame wall up close in addition to the view from the rest of the room, so I focused on bringing out the great details in each of my frames.
The color of my frames is Green Bay by Sherwin Williams. I loved the fun turquoise color, but on the walls and amidst the color scheme of rest of the room, it was just a bit too bright. So I turned to one of my favorite things, Valspar's Antiquing Glaze.
I added a light layer to each of the frames and then wiped them off with a dry cloth. This darkened the color just a bit and added some depth. I used an old terry cloth rag which gave even my plastic frames the slight appearance of wood grain - just perfect!!
I also used it to draw out the details on some of my more ornate frames. I brushed it on heavily, let it settle into the recesses, and then very gently wiped it off.
For the more ornate frames where the details were fairly prominent, I highlighted them using this gorgeous DecoArt Metallic Glaze in Olde World Patina. I dipped the edge of my cloth into the glaze and lightly ran it over the details. The color is similar enough that it doesn't take away from the newly darkened color, but there is just enough shimmer that it catches the light perfectly and helps the details pop.
I used a similar technique on the gold frame with DecoArt's Metallic Glaze in Luminous Gold. See how the little details pop?
I was in love with the look of my frame wall, but decided to take an extra step for some additional security. I pulled out my 3M Command Strips and trimmed them into 1 inch strips. Starting from the bottom of the gallery, I applied my strips to the bottom 2 corners of each frame. I leveled each frame, and then pushed the bottom corners until they were secured to the wall. Then I let out a big happy sigh!! This satisfied my "Mom Paranoia" about the frames falling on my little guy, and my perfectionist side that I was sure would always be standing back looking at the frames, trying to determine which of them were crooked. Now I could be assured that they were all level, and wouldn't shift if a troop of 2 year olds came bounding down the stairs.
Sigh! I'm so happy with it! What do you think?
Have any of you braved hanging a similar gallery? We'd love to see it!! And if you put up one of these beauties in your home, be sure to add it to our Flickr page so everyone can enjoy photos of the fruits of your labor!!
I'll be linking this to these great parties. Swing by and say hi!
Have a great week!!