Creating an Arts & Crafts Frame


This past weekend my friend Dennis Bertucci (left) taught a Stains & Finishes workshop at the Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference that I have directed each of the past 27 years. The workshop was sponsored by Minwax® and the participants stained and finished quartersawn oak frames we had made for them. Afterwards I found one frame left over, so I decided to stain it myself to display our conference poster. If you’d like to follow along, take a look here.

Each frame had already been assembled and sanded, so all my frame needed was a final light sanding with #180-grit sandpaper to open the pores.

One of my favorite Minwax® Wood Finish™ stains that matches much of my Arts and Crafts furniture is Red Chestnut (even the name sounds Arts and Crafts!). I applied a liberal coat and let the wood absorb all that it could for about five minutes.

I then wiped off all of the excess stain, revealing the grain lines now accented by the stain.

After letting the stain dry overnight, I set the frame on my workbench, held up by four finish nails I tapped into a piece of scrap plywood.

For light use projects such as picture frames, I often reach for an aerosol can of Minwax® Lacquer. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly.


And since I like the look of antiques, I chose the semi-gloss sheen, and applied four light coats, letting each one dry two hours before re-coating.

To give my frame even more of an aged look, I rubbed out the final coat with a fine synthetic pad dipped in Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax, then buffed it to a hand-rubbed finish with a soft cloth.

As you can see, the frame turned out great, and is a perfect compliment to the conference poster – which reminds everyone of next year’s dates!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!