April 1, 2013

How to Fix Missing Moulding

I hope everyone's Resurrection Day was filled with happiness, grace and loads of candy! Pittsburgh, unfortunately hardly ever has nice weather for Easter and because Easter was so early this year, that pretty much guaranteed that we would have rain. 

I was not disappointed. 

But good food and family makes any day shine. We were able to eat dinner with my brother-in-law before he had to head back to D.C. which was a treat for the kids especially. They don't get to see him that much so he was the main attraction this weekend.

I was really behind on basket filling and egg dying this year because I was trying desperately to get a frame completed for my Mother-in-Law (MIL from here on in). 
She had found this frame years ago and  someone started to try to strip it only to find out that it was plaster over wood. I have  never seen anything like that before. Too make it just a teensy bit more of a problem, it was missing huge chunks of the wood filigree pieces as well as bits of the plaster.

And she asked ME to fix it? I think she thinks I have a magic wand!
Well, maybe not a wand but I have found something magical!

I knew I would need to make a mold of the complete piece of wood filigree in order to create the missing parts. 

So the magic is Sculpey Mold Maker!
It is a super elastic clay that when baked becomes a flexible mold that can be used over and over again.

So how do you do it? It is beyond easy but first you need to get some. 
I searched every craft store in the PGH. area but I never found any so I ordered mine off of Amazon for $4.99, with shipping it was $8 something. But I would look in the Sculpey clay section first before having to pay shipping.
Then you need:
 baby powder
small dry paint brush
cookie sheet
maybe some tin foil
Sculpey regular oven bake clay in any color (you're going to paint it so it doesn't matter*) 
Two Part epoxy adhesive

*Although if you are trying to make the clay look like wood, I would use a light brown so that you could add darker stain and paint to match to the wood piece that you are trying to fix.

Once you get your mold clay, knead it for about 2 minutes and apply to the piece you are trying to copy. 

I was so excited I thought I should just make a mold of the entire intact piece. When I peeled it off, it did not have enough detail so I decided to just make a bunch of smaller molds for the actual spots that were missing.

Add baby powder to the area you want to mold

Use your brush to remove excess and cover all the spots with the powder

Take a small bit of the clay and press it around the spot you want to be copy. Build up the edges so you have something to grip.  You will need to keep your finger on one side of the clay as you are pressing or it will lift. Once finished, remove  mold carefully. 
Here are all of my molds. The foil is to keep this set of molds from going flat since the finished copy will sit on the part of the frame that is raised.

Bake in the over at 250 for 15 minutes per 1/4". Mine took about 40 minutes. The small flower I took out at about 30 minutes since it was not as thick.

Now you are ready to make your copies! Take the regular Sculpey and knead it for about 2 minutes until very pliable. Dust your mold with baby powder and brush away excess like before. Press your clay into the mold holding with one finger like before as well. For this frame I made two pieces a little too thick and they sit up higher than the rest. But once they were painted, it wasn't noticeable. Next time,  I would be more aware of the thickness and try to match it better.

 I make these kind of mistakes so you don't have to!!!
 I'm a giver.


Here I took the foil and pressed it onto the area that my copy would go so I had the exact copy of how it is raised and then placed my clay piece on top to bake. Bake the same as before.

So while my clay pieces were baking, I got to fixing the gouged plaster and cracks in plaster where the old wood had started to separate.  BONDO is the key here. I love it much more than wood putty, especially since I was not fixing wood. Take a spoonful of the base and place on a paper plate.

Add just a dab of the accelerator. Mix until the color is uniform.

I added it with my finger. For the deep grooves and gouges, do several thin layers to build it up. Because this dries in about 5 minutes you will need to mix several small batches. Once it sets up you can feather out the edges or any really high spots so that sanding is easier. Let dry completely and then sand using 120 grit sandpaper.

By now your oven should be dinging and you clay is ready!
While the clay is warm, dry fit it in place. You can trim the clay while warm to fit better.

Here I had to trim off a good bit because it stuck out too far on the frame. 
Once completely cool, mix your epoxy and attach your new moldings!!!

The great thing about this mold making clay is it has so many possibilities. You can fix spots on drawers that have missing parts, missing hardware could be copied, you could make molds of cool mouldings and just add them to a piece to give it flair. People even make doll faces and jewelry beads out of it.
Let your imagination run a little wild. Okay are you back with me???

Now comes the fun part! 
To tell you the truth, this was harder than the molds! 
This frame had a beautiful peacock blue with gold underneath still on parts of it and I thought it looked so pretty, I wanted to try to match that look. 

This is how this went:
paint it the blue I matched it to at the Home Depot.
Add too much gold
sand it 
stain it
add darker blue, too teal
make my own custom mix and paint lightly over
sand it again
still too much gold showing through (really went to heavy on that gold, I tell ya'!)
added some black here and there
lightened up just the frame (no filigree ) by dry brushing white and rubbing it in, getting there....
went back to original blue from HD and dry brushed and rubbed it in on the frame only....
 Finally what I was imagining!
 now its time to wax it to bring out all this layering!

I'm exhausted.
Can ya' tell where the new pieces are?

Here's a closeup that does show where I added the whole half of the filigree.

Isaiah 64:8 

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.    We are the clay, you are the potter;   we are all the work of your hand.

He never makes a mold of you and just keeps turning out replicas. 
The beauty of this verse is that you are THE original. 
There is no one like you in the world.
Enjoy that for a moment.

*Here is another example of how this mold maker can be used. How about missing trim on a piece of furniture?

Always being renewed,

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  1. Fantastic! This will help a lot with projects. You can even make appliques to add to simple furniture!

  2. Kim, we are on the same page today!!! Was just researching replacing/fixing some broken decorative applique on my vintage vanity...then I pull up your post. Thanks so much. Hope mine comes up as lovely as yours. Great paint job by the way. And thanks for making it sound real, not "just painted it and it came out perfect" but more the way the rest of us do it with trial and error and "oh crap did I just ruin it!" before perfection. FYI I grew up in Monroeville a bizzillion years ago but now down in Tallahassee FL. I remember snow at Easter! Now we complain if it's in the 60's!

    1. We finally got to the 60's this week! Nice to meet a fellow "Northern" and I now work in Monroeville so small world!

  3. I am in love with this mirror! Makes me want to go find one right now! I have not tried this modeling clay, but am adding it to my amazon cart. Thanks for a fantastic and thorough tutorial.

    I'd love it if you would share this at "What We Accomplished Wednesday," at Green Willow Pond. It is live right now. Have a great week!


  4. That's a gorgeous mirror! I have a wonderful armoire that is missing some unique carved moldings. Your tutorial will be a great help!

  5. I just found your blog through hometalk!
    Wow what a Really nice job, thanks for the tip on the Sculptey! I have been looking for this type of product.

  6. Nice job. Thanks for posting this. I need to have this in my collection of "how to's"
    It turned out beautifully.

  7. What did your MIL think of it? I love it and the tutorial. I have a ton of frames like this waiting for a happening. Great job.

  8. Great tutorial ... thanks for sharing. I will have to try this as I have several frames that need repair. Hard to tell which one was repaired.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  9. OMG! You just saved my butt from spending big bucks! I have a gothic-style- armoire with some deep and detailed molding on the bottom drawer that is missing. Your absolutely WONDERFUL idea is going to work just perfectly for fixing this! I knew if I waited long enough, something would come along to assist me with this issue. You're a gem! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  10. This is such a helpful tip. Thanks so much for sharing it. I am already thinking of ways to use the product.

    All the best

  11. This technique that you shared was excellent! but the application at the end was priceless...we are all original works from His hand!

  12. You, my dear, are AWESOME!!! Thanks for that great tutorial!

  13. You, my dear, are AWESOME!!! Thanks for that great tutorial!

  14. You, my dear, are AWESOME!!! Thanks for that great tutorial!

  15. Excellent tutorial....thank you!

  16. I absolutely love your project and wanted to let you know I featured it on my new site Details. A sister site to Homework, Details will spotlight beautiful projects that have the little "details" that make them extremely special. I'd love for you to stop by and take a look. http://carolynsdetails.blogspot.com/
    & details

  17. What a beautiful restoration! Thank you for sharing all the details!

  18. This is the best tutorial I have come across since I've discovered such a thing as tutorials on the web. Thank you so much for the ideas, products, pictures. This post is bookmarked. I play with thrifted frames a lot...I use it to frame my art work and to decorate with, and this will be invaluable.

    The project itself is so lovely. Thanks again. Lynaea @ EveryDayBloom.com

  19. oooh, thanks for the tutorial, I have several frames I need to do this to!

  20. Thank you for writing a detailed, yet simple explanation for this! So helpful.

    Fiberglass Columns

  21. Wow, found your post on Hometalk. You did a great job and an even better job explaining how to DIY.

  22. Hi there, I am so glad I came across this, I am about to start a project fixing an antique mirror and I will be following your instructions the whole way through! However, I have a silly question- did you buy the two different products 'Sculpey Mold Maker' and 'Sculpey Original oven bake clay' or does one kind work for both the mold and and copies? Thank you for your help.

    1. You need both types of clay to make this work. The mold maker is a little more flexible so you can pop out you new piece of molding and the clay bakes to a harder finish.

    2. Ok, thanks again!


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