framing – the bespoke option

A very old friend returned earlier this year from a break in beautiful Dorset with a couple of large photo prints and some very definite ideas on how he wanted to display them.

He explained the kind of look he had in mind, and we scoured the moulding catalogues trying to find something that matched his vision.

Rustic. Distressed. Driftwood. These were the keywords to the search, but nothing we found really made an impression. That’s not to say there isn’t a whole load of perfectly nice mouldings to be found, just that none really hit the sweet spot. Some came close, but none were the “Goldilocks” just right moulding.

The only real option open to us was to create something bespoke from scratch.

So, armed with a detailed description of the vision in his mind, I set about the task. It took a week or so to locate some suitable timber – a nice 6ft x 4ft pallet with 3 inch slats. Good firm wood, and importantly fairly straight and nice and dry.

After making a small sample piece, to show the effects of the finishes I planned to apply, we had an agreement to proceed. 

I started by routing out a rebate on all the lengths of pallet slats I’d collected, then I identified the areas showing the best of the characteristics we had been seeking – distressed and rustic. Cutting to size and mitring the corners.

Once joined to create the frames, they were given a rigorous rub down with progressively finer grades of sanding sheet to smooth off the edges and banish any potential splinters.

Once nice and smooth, a medium oak stain was applied, which brought out the grain beautifully. 

The finishing touches to get that bleached driftwood effect, a liming wax, then 3 coats of clear wax to protect and nourish.

Happily, after all that work, the finished frames were very well received, and I’ve added a new string to my picture framing bow. 



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