I wanted to build a frame for a particular painting using the Auricular Style of ornamentation that is used in this painting.

< Imaged borrowed from This Blog:"Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Charles I, late 1630s, o/c, 54⅝ x 43¾ in (138.7 x 111.1 cm), in its original carved & gilded Auricular frame, Kingston Lacy, Dorset, NT 1257097"

To start I took a trip to Home Depot for some pine wood (fairly soft wood to work with for a novice or amateur wood carver). Best wood to grab is the pre-planed wood found in the section for base boards and trim.



Wood Glue

Finishing Nails and/or wood joiners

Sand paper: 60-80 grit, 220 grit, & 400 grit

Paint: white primer coat, black or clay red base coat, gold paint acrylic paint.

Tools Used:

Miter Saw or Miter Box Saw


Chisel and/or Dremel

Band Clamp or Mitre Clamps

Band saw(SUPER Helpful but not required)

Because I don't have access to a router I had to think about how I'd cage the artwork.

Here;s the quick contour sketch of the schematics.

Step 1: Build cage

This is what your art work will sit in. Depth is especially important, so making sure your cage extends a 1/4 inch above your painting will save you heartache. Anything size greater might be seen from the side.

(miter cuts aren't necessary here). If you have access to router, skip this step.

After you've cut the pieces, glue them together and clamp it down. Allow time for glue to dry, by using the recommended time found on the bottle.

Once the glue has set use finishing nails on each corner for extra support.

Finally, to be on the safe side, test to make sure you painting fits in with ease.

Step 2: Build The Outer Frame

After you've made the proper measurements add wood glue to each contact point and clamp it together. Allow time for glue to dry, by using the recommended time found on the bottle.

Step 3: Draw and Stencil Design

I used a piece or card stock I had lying around. I cut it to the size of the corner and drew what I wanted the bottom corners to look like. I cut out that shaped and used it as a stencil to trace onto the wood.

I repeated this for the two top corners which are slightly different from the bottom.

After I completed the contours of corners, I work on added detail around the frame.

Note: Sorry its really hard to make out the drawing on the wood in this image.

If you have access to a router here's a good time to cut out

Step 4: Cut edges

Based off your drawing, ideally one would use a band saw to cut around the edges. I had to use my trusty dusty Dremel 4000 (wood cutting and sanding bits).

Step 5: Carving Time

I used my Dremel 4000 with about 15 different wood carving bits as well as a couple of flat chisels to cut down in depth to pull the shapes out that I previously drew.


After you've completed your carving. You must sand it.

60 or 80 grit will get rid of all cutting mishaps and smooth down rough patches.

188 and 220: Refines the surfaces sharpens or dulls edges and smooths

440: Lowers surfaces friction caused by superficial nicks and buffs surface

Note: You can never spend enough time during the process. Personally I know I Could've spent waaaay more time on this step.

Step 7: Paint:Prime and Base Coat

Once you're happy with the sanding results, apply a prime and base coat to the frame.

Step 8: Paint or Gold Leaf?

Initially my plan was to add metal(gold) leaf to the frame. But for the sake of my time, I decided to paint the frame gold using a gold spray paint as a 2nd base coat and then I finished with the amazing Fine Gold acrylic paint by Golden.

Here are my results.

#DIY #WoodCarving #painting #baroque #auricular

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