Matching Picture Frames

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Project by Wingstress posted 1397 days ago 1347 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife had some pictures of the kids taken in our back yard, so I volunteered to make some frames that matched our dinning room table. The frames are simple, but it was the first time I used water soluble dye so I decided to post it. The outer trim is walnut with black dye and the matting is cherry. They’re finished with a coat of shellac and some wax. The dimensions are 20X16 inches

I liked using the dye, but I was a little confused because the water makes the grain stand up so my nice smooth finish was ruined. So I had to sand it down, but that took some of the dye off, so I dyed it again, and of course the water made the grain stand up. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but then when I went to wax it, some of the wax built up in the rough surfaces which I couldn’t buff out. If anyone has any suggestions how to deal with the water issue, I’d appreciate it…

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

9 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12926 posts in 2616 days

#1 posted 1397 days ago

VERY NICE. great project posting

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 2331 days

#2 posted 1397 days ago

Great job, great design thanks for posting

View bibb's profile


289 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 1397 days ago

The trick with water based dyes is to wet your project down with a sponge then sand it after it dries before you use any color. You might need to do this a couple of times before you move on to the color. Use a very fine, 320 or better, grit to help burnish the grain closed on the final water only grain raising. Then add your color coat.
PS nice frames

-- "Imagination is more important than knowledge" Bibb in CO at

View Skylark53's profile


2559 posts in 1693 days

#4 posted 1397 days ago

Nice job on the frames. I like the two colors. Bibb gives good advice about the raised grain.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13337 posts in 2306 days

#5 posted 1397 days ago

Nice looking picture frames.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2880 days

#6 posted 1397 days ago


-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View KnotCurser's profile


1813 posts in 1702 days

#7 posted 1397 days ago


I totally agree with Bibb’s suggestions – raise the grain and sand prior to using waterbased stains and dies….

FANTASTIC job – love the pics as well as the hanging location – very nice!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Jason's profile


654 posts in 2142 days

#8 posted 1396 days ago

Nice frames, nice photos, nice backyard!

And thanks for warning me to stay away from dye for the time being. I have enough issues with wood that isn’t wet.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View a1Jim's profile


112016 posts in 2210 days

#9 posted 1396 days ago

Wonderful frame very good work

-- Custom furniture

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