Lately I've been repurposing vintage frames I find at the flea markets and antique shops... and using them to showcase prints of my original artwork. Sometimes the frames need a little jazzing up... like this one here. It was really ornate, but because it was one solid metallic color, none of the detail really stood out and it looked too "new".
So I brushed over it — one section at a time — with watered down black acrylic paint. I then quickly wiped off the excess paint with a dry paper towel. This leaves the paint in all the crevices, and... POW! What a difference it makes.
This frame had some fantastic detail as well, but my technique here was actually just the opposite of the one above! I wanted more of a dusty look to the frame, which meant giving it a kind of "faded" look. I also wanted to bring out some of the pink in the artwork as well. I accomplished this by taking a very fat paintbrush full of light pink acrylic paint... poking (like stippling) it into every crevice of the frame (again, one section at a time), and then removing the excess paint with a wet paper towel.
So there you have it folks! To add a little umph for your frames, remember...
dark color + wet paint + dry towel = distressed, aged