Monday, June 9, 2014


Just how easy is this mod? Well pretty much it's just painting over a frame with nail polish. Think of all the polish colors you have but may not wear anymore, or colors you see at the store but never seam to wear. I keep buying the same lime greens and teals on impulse passing through the corner store, yet the only polish I do go through is black. Just having them pile up in a drawer wastes space and it obvious I like to look at the colors, plus I had some rather boring ugly frames my mom sent me so I put the two together and wa-la! Unique frames, in colors, styles I like that can be painted to match the image, decor, well you know anything get creative. I like to gather my supplies, cup o' tea, start a good (or so bad it's good) horror movie and simply paint for a bit, relax, and when done I have frames that take whatever I frame in them to a new level. For more details and tips I've learned, read on...

Frame(s) (small) to paint.

An array of nail polish. (depending on size of frame more than one of same color, can also pick up cheap polishes at the store, think of all the varieties of specialty polishes there are. Whatever you can do to your nails you can apply bigger to a frame.
Surface to paint on (I use an old magazine or cardboard box lid)
An open window, ventilation, it's nail polish, be mindful of it's own inherent attributes, it's got fumes.

Optional Supplies: Movies, TV show, Orange is the New Black Season 2 or Iron Sky perhaps.

 First remove glass from frame. On small photo frames this is easy to do, where you open the back to slip in your image you should be able to just as easily carefully remove the glass, open the back, push slightly from the front and slip the glass out the open back. Set aside in a safe place to keep it clean and avoid losing. If you are not able to easily remove the glass, you can tape it off with masking tape and paper.

Second it is helpful to paint a base coat. (I used lime green, the frame before was an odd burnt orange something.) Specialty nail polishes are made to go over other nail polish, so by painting a base coat you can layer polishes to get desired effects. If you see a technique for nails, you can do it to a frame. (Be practical I haven't exactly tried everything so this may be a lie.) Over my lime green I painted a teal with a different satin texture. I like the grunge look so painted more blotchy sections, and went over the edges lightly with plain black to bring them out more.

Next image you can see me painting the black crackle. It goes on thick black and as it dries it crackles, so give it time and feel free to play with it a bit for variation in the cracks. Paint it on thicker it cracks to bigger chunks with wider gaps in-between, and painted thinner it cracks to smaller chunks with slimmer gaps. 

Layer, play, paint over spots, avoid getting it on your clothes. Try glitter nail polish, or on wet paint add glitter and then go over with a clear coat to seal it in. Paint your nails to match your frame, have fun. Then when you are all done and the paint has totally dried, open the back, slip the glass back in, slip your image you want to frame in, close it back up and ta-da! You have your unique frame to show off, or gift away.

 Here's mine below, I used the lime green, teal, teal glitter, black and crackle black polishes, then framed one of my girls for an art show. They, this frame and friends (including more frames I repainted) will be up for the next two month at the Dumpling Tzar, Fremont, Seattle.

Here are six mini frames I kept experimenting with. All with only nail polish. The red I let the nail polish drip, dry, and then dripped it again to build up a little texture. On the bottom right I used an paint pen to doodle on some details.

Thank you for taking a gander, now go get crafty.