then on to the fun part. i took a hot glue gun and free handed a rough leaf/branch motif onto the middle part. then i painted the entire faux frame a dark red, then gold leafed it all. as one final touch, i took some leftover wood stain and rubbed it into all the crevices to dial back the shine of the gold lead.
the result looks like it is a custom made frame hung into place. i get asked a lot how i came up with this idea. and the truth is i went through about 10 different layers of trying things out. nothing is right from the start, you just have to work with something until you get what you like.
i especially love how the wall frame matches a piece of artwork my brother painted for me as a college graduation present. this was a total coincidence!