No job is perfect, not even the art ones. For me, one of the worse parts of being an artist is having to frame your artwork each time you put them on display. For a very simple reason: I am cheap. And if you are in the art business, you know that a good presentation for your artwork can be very pricey. And if you are an emerging/newbie artist, you may find it a real pain in the pocket. But if you paint small and you are in a show with other dozens of artists, there’s no escape, since a good framing will help your work to have the attention it deserves.
1. For this project, I used a size 24′ x 30′ masonite panel ($3.58) and one 10 feet long wooden strip measuring 3/4 wide and 1/2 deep (about $6.50 each, the most expensive material you’ll get.) You’ll also need a hammer, a ruler or measuring tape (I prefer the tape), pencil, a hand saw or electric jigsaw (I highly recommend this second one), wood glue (not used by me in this first attempt, but proved useful later), sandpaper, and tiny little nails. And, of course, acrylic gesso and a brush for priming.
2. Cut the wooden strip in four pieces according to the measurement of your panel sides. Top and bottom + two sides. I chose to cut two 24′ strips (top and bottom), and two 29′ strips for the sides. Since I’m using a 1/2 inch thick strip, I had to take one inch off each side (which measure 30 inches) in order to make the longer strips to fit in the rectangular structure.
3. Apply the wood glue to stick the strips into place, and reinforce it nailing the corners and borders of the masonite. Three nails in each side will do the trick. Make sure the heads of the nails are not sticking out and the surface is even, and sand off the masonite powder that will accumulate around the nail holes.
4. Ta-dahhhhh! You are good to go. (But with no blonde little head, sorry. This privilege is mine.)
6. … and start having fun with the acrylic gesso. I use about three coats, and since I like a smooth surface, I sand between each coat. It will depend on how textured you want it.
8. Also, gesso the sides to make your board uniform and nice-looking. It will also cover imperfections. Here is the board hanging on the wall, ready for the brushes!