How to Change the Colour of an Oak Frame Without Paint


Last week I shared about the IKEA bookcase with the huge electrical holes in it (you can see it here if you missed it) and after I redid it, I still needed a piece of art for above it. I have been keeping my eye out this summer for some botanical art but I haven’t found anything that caught my eye.

The Paper

I did however find a piece of vintage-inspired paper that I fell in love with. It has the same feel as a vintage school poster or an old botanical book so it was a great compromise for what I wanted.oiseaux paper Cavalini

The only drawback with the paper was that it was a lot larger than I needed for the space. With the different birds on the paper and how they were spaced out, it lent itself well to only using a portion of it though.

Cutting the Paper

I found a frame in my stash that was the size I needed and removed the glass. With the glass laying on the paper, I moved it around until I found what would look right in the frame. It just happened to be the bird I liked the most so that made me happy.

cavallini oiseaux paper

The Frame

The only thing I didn’t like about the frame was the colour of it. The Oak was quite an orangey colour that really didn’t match anything in the space. I wanted a natural wood look that would compliment the paper and didn’t want to paint the frame so needed a solution… I know right?! Not painting something in my world is craziness LOL! I do love natural wood though 😉

orange oak frame

To tone down the colour of the wood, I started by sanding off the clear coat.

sanded oak frame

With the bare wood exposed, I added a coat of clear wax and then antiquing wax. Getting the antiquing wax into all of the crevices of the frame was imperative so that it had a naturally aged look. By using a small wax brush, I was able to do that and get the look I wanted.

dark wax on an oak frame

With the frame sanded and the antiquing wax, the frame looks as old as the vintage-inspired paper now. As much as I wanted a vintage piece of botanical art, I think this worked out even better. My new little bird filled in the space beautifully… and I do love birds ♥

bird art in an old oak frame

bird art in an old frame

I'd love to hear what you think...