April 28, 2010

How to repair gesso (Decorative boarder) frames

For a more extensive repair please see this post

You often find wonderful gesso frames, but since they are antiques most of them have some of the gesso (Decorative boarder) damaged.  Don't pass them up!!
Here is my $9.00 find, a wonderful heavy mirror, but it had damage to the decorative boarder and outside corners.  Now since I love the shabby look I paint everything white before I put it in my antiques booth to sell.

I am sorry I did not take a picture of the missing gesso, this was after my repairs started, but you will still get the idea.

This is where I did the repairs, this is soooo easy you are going to love it!  First get some epoxy putty at any hardware store.

This dries rock solid, you can paint, sand, or drill it.  It has 2 parts in it that have to be rolled together in your hand like regular putty

Ha!!!  This looks really bad!!  I wanted you to see that the center is a different color and you slice off a hunk and then mix the putty together until it is all one color.

OK so this doesn't look much better! I have to quit laughing or I can't type......Deep breath!
Now roll it into the shapes you want and put it on your fame it sticks on, no glue needed.
Look again

Now put some little grooves in it, I am not an artist, but you people that are could make it a perfect replica of what was missing.  Now wait 45 minutes and paint..TaDa!!

Look closer

My $9.00 frame just went way up in value!

Now, don't limit yourself to frames.  I had a heavy antique plant stand that was disintegrating at the bottom of the legs and I repaired it with epoxy putty.  You could use it to fill it gouges and broken corners in furniture.  I even used it once to rebuild a broken handle in an antique wooden serving tray and it sold in the blink of an eye.

Oh, I can tell your minds are swirling with ideas so
Get creating!


rachel (curly and crafty) said...

great tip! i have a mirror with a broken corner and this just might be the way to fix it!

Pat Harris said...

I have an old mantel from New Orleans that is quite elaborate. I had planned on using that craft stuff that had to be baked. Can't remember the name. But now I'll use the putty. I already have it. How great is that?? I'm going to blog about the mantle so you'll eventually see how much you helped me. Thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

What kind of paint have you used on the frame? Does it need to be a special paint? Have a convex mirror with gesso frame I wanted to change the colour of... Thank you!

Cass @ That Old House said...

Hi Carol --
I just bought a mirror with broken decorations, but I paid a LOT for it -- a whole ten bucks! :-)

I blogged about it today, and a blogger friend -- Kim from Cheap Chic Home (http://cheapchichome.blogspot.com/) -- sent me this link to your post about this very thing.

I am going to give it a shot. I'll let you know if it works!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Both gesso repair posts are so clear and easy to follow--thanks so much for so generously sharing your knowledge!

Unknown said...

My mirror frame has a big crack. Could I still use the epoxy putty to close up the crack or is there something else I should use?

Felicity Georghiades said...

Hello, I have a beautiful gesso frame which has pieces which have just cracked/broken off. I have the pieces!! How/ what can I stick them back together/on with?