How About a Little Arty DIY?

Published on Friday, July 10th, 2020


Remember the super secret surprise Mother’s Day maneuvers I pulled to get a painting hung in my mom’s house? I use nailhead in many applications – upholstery, decorative objects, and in framing large works of art. I never can find large nails in high quality finishes that I like, so sometimes I do the finishing myself. I love a ribbon frame in certain styles, this one in particular being appropriately feminine with Mom’s French antiques surrounding her silk and velvet sleigh bed. I was talking to Randy about creative ways to hang art, and I found this post to show him about how I managed to create a ribbon frame and have it assembled remotely. I imagine with so much time at home, some of you may be looking for a little DIY. Here’s how it’s all done

Below you’ll see the steps:
Start by finding great antiqued cotton or grosgrain ribbon in a width that matches the depth of your canvas. Keep in mind this method is very much like like the gold leaf techniques at Versailles. It’s fancy enough for Versailles and Beverly Hills, so…
1. Set up a large brick of styrofoam with a piece of parchment draped over it to make the messy part disposable. Pierce the parchment with the nailhead (find on ebay or amazon), leaving the heads easy to paint
2. Brush the heads with liquid acrylic gesso and allow to dry. It will dry with a chalky patina.
3. Paint a thin layer of matte medium onto each nailhead, then sprinkle with leaf flecks – the flakes fly everywhere, be careful! You can also use sheets if you want a more perfect leaf, but that’s a whole other DIY.
4. Before matte medium dries, sprinkle gold leaf powder over the leaf flecks and allow to dry.
5. Using a clean dry flat paintbrush, brush the loose powder and flecks away from the heads until smooth and gesso is peeking from underneath
6. If you are not confident in choosing supplies like gesso and mediums for a project like this, a good starter kit is the Sepp Basic Gilding Kit. If you try this, tag me in social media so I can see your creativity!


One Response to “How About a Little Arty DIY?”

  1. The Beverly Hills Mom » Mother’s Day redux Says:


    Visit The Beverly Hills Mom » Mother’s Day redux

    […] great – there is no such nailhead finished off in this way, so I have to find the size and then do it myself, since you know I am an expert at gold leafing techniques (not). When it dawned on me that I had […]


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