We love unframed canvas. We do. We love it so much that we decorate with it everywhere – the Studio, our offices, our homes. And when it comes to the modern look of an unframed canvas painting, Grand Rapids is totally in on the trend. But sometimes the elegance and class of a frame just can’t be beat. Our lead artist is currently renovating her house in a simple but beautiful neutral country house style, and shared with us this tutorial for a totally easy and affordable frame that works for any canvas – and budget!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pine furring strip
- Sand paper
- Varathane Kona Wood Stain
- Sherwin Williams Paint – Alpaca
- Paint brushes
- Finishing nails
Start by measuring your painting. At Bamboo Studio, we use canvas sizes 16”x20” and 9”x12”, so if you made your painting with us, that’s taken care of! Head to your local hardware or lumber store and pick up some pine furring strip. Frances picked hers up for only $1.06! If you don’t have a way to cut it at home, the store employees can probably do it for you. You will need 2 20” pieces and 2 17.5” pieces for a 16”x20” painting. While you’re there pick up your dark Varathane Kona wood stain, gray paint, and some finishing nails.
Once you’ve got all the materials you need and are ready to get started with the frame, stain your furring strips with the dark stain color. Follow the instructions on your stain, and allow the pieces to dry completely before continuing.
When the stain is dry and set, sand the pieces lightly to distress them, causing lovely rustic streaks and a worn-in look. Make sure that you clean off any dust that sanding may create! Then, mix one part gray paint with two parts water to create a runny wash. Brush the paint-water mixture onto your pieces, then wipe off excess paint. This process is called gray washing, and gives the finished product a beautiful rustic feel.
Once you’re satisfied with the color, you’re ready to begin assembling. Take your finishing nails and attach the two 20” pieces to the long sides of your canvas. You can nail directly into the balsawood of the canvas stretch frame, but be careful not to nudge the canvas, as it may distort. Then, nail the two 17.5” pieces to the short sides and to the 20” frame pieces. You’re done! You can add hooks, chain, or fishing line to hang your painting, or hang it directly on the stretch frame.