Triple Stringer Picture Frame

When I was at the craft store, I noticed these basic picture frames made from plywood. They are mostly finished, but still need some sanding before painting. I thought these would these would be fun to get creative with, and maybe come up with a surfboard inspired frame, but I wanted to do something a little different than just painting surfboards on it.
I wanted to use some Minwax water based stain I had left over from a previous project in mahogany color.

I needed to sand the frame badly. I started with 100 grit, then went up gradually to 300 grit so it was smooth enough to paint. I concentrated on the edges especially, since they were glued in layers. Since the edges were glued in layers, I used a paint pen in deep brown since the stain wouldn’t take very well on the sides and would end up looking mottled anyway. The thicker paint also covers up the glued layers.

I painted all edges with the paint pen, being careful not to go over to the surfaces of the frame.

Next, I used a foam brush to paint the water based stain over the front and back surfaces over the frame:

I did this for several coats until I got a deep mahogany color. I didn’t do the wipe-on wipe-off thing, since this stain goes on more like a paint. I also went ahead and put a layer of gloss sealant on:

Using delicate surface Frog Tape for painting, I taped off sections and used my pale yellow pen to create balsa-like “stringer lines”. I was messy to ensure coverage, but that’s OK since the tape will cover the paint that spills over:

Then, after letting it dry for about 5 minutes, I carefully removed the tape to reveal the stripes:

After that was the final sealing process. I used gloss sealant in a spray can to make several light coats to make the frame durable and able to be put outdoors.
Next, I used a photo I had taken a couple of weeks ago at the beach as a subject for my frame:

Hibiscus by the beach

I printed this out on glossy photo paper, cut a piece of yellow posterboard to 3.75 inches square, and mounted the image on the posterboard piece using foam tape to give it a bit of dimension.

Finally, here’s the finished frame hung on the wall:

There should be plenty of good surfing pics here in the Cocoa Beach area for you to take this weekend if you make your own frame!

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