shades of blue

Painted Frames 1

The girls and I made these sun prints a few years ago, out of objects we found in the jungle that is our backyard. I loved the way they turned out so much that I wanted to get them framed – mostly to protect them while I figured out where I might use them. I bought these so-so frames, mostly for the white mat and glass and protection factor. The profile didn’t do much for me, but they were safe and we boxed them up and sort of forgot about them.

Painted Frames

We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about our backyard these days (!), and we’ve also been cleaning up and working through some smaller projects in the house, and I remembered these sun prints in the process. M brought the box up from the basement and I unwrapped them. The prints themselves still look great, but the frames were really uninspiring. I don’t like the white at all – I might like it if it were a really thin metal frame (like my favorites here), just a thin profile line at the edge. But I laid them out for a few days to just think about it a little more.

I thought some contrast might actually be nice, and I wondered about trying a slim black frame like the one I just used on E’s VW print upstairs. But I still wasn’t feeling it. I thought about a custom frame in an indigo hue, but there are six frames and that was really going to add up. I did get some gift certificates for framing for Christmas, but I’m working on the big portrait wall in the stair hall, and I just wasn’t sure about committing that kind of money to these prints. I’m a little unsure how these will fare as the years go by – even with the UV glass that these frames have. But if they do fade or I tire of them, I’m not really sure what I’d do with six custom indigo hued frames in the futures.

Turns out M was wondering about blue frames too, so then we wondered if painting the existing frames might do the trick. Seemed like a better use of framing funds – I just went to Art Mart and looked at the dozen different blue options and picked the one I liked the most – Montana Black, Color: Space

Painted Frames 2Untitled

I didn’t want the frames to be a really bright blue, I was looking for a neutral blue that worked well with some of the darkest areas of the prints. Last weekend we had nice temps, so I applied two-three light coats on each side of the frames before bringing them inside to cure for a couple of days.

Painted Frames 4

I’m not really thrilled with the way the colors are rendered in this photograph, but, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, the light is really tricky right now. In person, I love the way these turned out. The prints still stand out, but the frames really make a difference, particularly when these are grouped on the wall. This weekend I’m going to mess around with some layouts in our room, and try them out in one of them.

Painted Frames 5

The color of the frames is almost indistinguishable from the color we’re leaning towards for the master bath. When I hold the frame up to the blue walls, it nearly disappears. the spray paint has just a smidge less green in it than the paint swatch, so I might end up color matching the formula of the spray paint for the room. It’s such a lovely muted indigo in person.

We’ve got another small repair / painting job in the master bedroom – but we need for it to WARM UP before we can get to that. Once that’s done, I’ll take some good pictures of that room, and how it’s looking these days.

8 Responses to shades of blue

  1. I want to learn more about making sun prints, they’re lovely!

  2. Spray paint is a wonderful thing. I’ve painted many fames over the years.

  3. Hi Kristin,

    I was about to email you for details, and to share some of our favorite Brooklyn spots from our days living there – but I realized I don’t actually have an email address for you. I believe you can see mine through the comments, so feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll send you some ideas. And I’ll check out your links and let you know if I have more questions on the sun prints and Girl Scouts (we’ve got 2nd and 3rd graders – not sure if these are too much for their age or not – but might be a nice camp activity).

    Thanks so much!

    • I will do that! Not sure if you read this blog on your phone in the mobile version, but in the full version of the blog there is a contact button at the top and it lists my email there.

      thirdstoryies at gmail dot com – it’s an easy one to remember!

      They can definitely handle it, and I’ll give you some make ahead tips so it runs smoothly.

  4. Hi again!

    Getting ready to order some sun print paper for a Girl Scout camping trip, and was wondering if you’d recommend the brand you used in your original post – Nature Print Paper. It looks like the prints lasted for you, but I saw a review that said they faded very quickly. Have you had good luck now that they’re framed and exposed to light?

    Thank you so much for the tips! And your bathroom looks great!

  5. Mine don’t seem to be fading, but I’d probably trust the reviews.

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