Picture Frame Repair and Cleaning

Picture frames require occasional care and cleaning in order to look their best and remain in good condition. If you have a picture frame that needs repair, don’t throw it away. It’s not hard to repair a broken or damaged picture frame. You can repair it yourself simply and easily.

Repairing a Gilt Frame

Gilt frames are covered in gold, and they usually very ornate and exceptionally beautiful. Even with the utmost care, the gold sometimes becomes worn. If you have a gilt frame that needs repair, you can repair it yourself.

You’ll need package of gold leaf, a round sable brush, denatured alcohol, distilled water, petroleum jelly, a cotton swabs, cotton balls, a thin blade, and a gilder’s brush. You can find these supplies at a craft store or online. Shop online to compare prices and find the best overall deal on the materials you need to complete the job.

In a glass bowl or measuring cup, mix together ¼ cup of denatured alcohol with ¾ cup of distilled water. Apply the mixture to an area where gold has rubbed off using a sable brush.

Quickly apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the edge of a gilder’s brush. Lift a sheet of gold leaf with the tip of a thin blade, and pick it up with the edge of the gilder’s brush. Lay the gold leaf over the worn spot while the area is still wet.

Gently tamp down the gold leaf with a cotton ball. Allow it to dry for approximately 12 hours. Complete the repair by polishing the area with the tip of a cotton swab.

If your gilt frame is glazed, coat the repair with matching glaze. Wipe away any excess, and allow it to dry undisturbed.

Cleaning a Gilt Frame

Improper cleaning can wear away gilt finish. To properly clean a gilt picture frame simply go over it with a cotton ball and a little rubbing alcohol. Remove dirt and grime from nooks and crannies with cotton swabs. With occasional careful cleaning, you can keep the gilt looking as good as new.

Repairing a Loose Wooden Frame

Loose wooden picture frames are easy to repair. All you need is a pair of pliers, a flathead screwdriver, wood glue, a right-angle clamp, matching wood putty, finishing nails, and a small hammer.

Begin the repair by taking the paper backing off to expose the metal brads. Pull the brads out with pliers, and carefully disassemble the picture from the frame, piece by piece.

Pry away and remove the nails from the loose corner, and remove any dried glue. Fill the old nail holes with matching wood putty, and allow it to harden.

Spread a layer of wood glue on the corner ends, and attach a right-angle clamp. Before the glue dries, tap small finishing nails into new locations. Allow the glue to dry completely before removing the right-angle clamp.

Cleaning a Wooden Picture Frame

Wooden picture frames require occasional cleaning beyond regular dusting. Simply make a soapy solution with warm water and oil soap. Dampen a soft rag, and thoroughly clean the frame. Dry the wood thoroughly, and polish it with lemon or orange oil.

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