Mission Frame

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Project by ncc123 posted 09-28-2014 11:02 PM 3556 views 14 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I found this great nouveau print while on vacation last year. We are both big fans of nouveau art and advertising and the colors in this print are perfect for our living room. I could’ve gone with a very simple mitered frame but I love the Arts & Crafts style. Plus, I wanted to practice my mortise and tenon joinery on a smaller project before moving on to furniture pieces and this was a great chance to play with my new hollow chisel mortiser.

I also cut my own matting for my photography projects and thought I’d try something a little more intricate for this print. I think it turned out great.

The frame is made from quarter sawn white oak and the tenons are pinned with walnut dowels. I though of making my own square dowels but found them to be very affordable at my local Woodcraft.

I wanted to stick with a more traditional craftsman finish but am not set up for ammonia fuming. So with a little research, I found a very nice method for achieving the same results with dye and stain. Below is a link to an article by Jeff Jewitt I found through Homestead Finishing. I have used this method on several projects now and love it for ease and quality. If it is good enough for Stickley, it’s good enough for me!

For my project, after sanding, I chose to start with Transtint Honey Amber.

I followed that with a coat of General Finishes Seal-a-Cell.

Next came my stain coat. I chose General Finishes Brown Mahogany Gel Stain for a richer, little darker look.

Several coats of Arm-R-Seal later and it’s done. I love this finishing method and will likely stick with it for all of my future Arts & Crafts pieces. I think it really brings out the ray flakes in quarter sawn wood. Thanks for checking it out!

4 comments so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3288 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 09-28-2014 11:29 PM

That is a nice frame and finish, but your matting job really sets it off. Nice work!

-- Art

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3210 days

#2 posted 09-29-2014 04:29 PM

Very attractive and nicely done. Appreciate you sharing your staining technique. Also, agree with Art above that “your matting job really sets it off”!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View pintodeluxe's profile


6231 posts in 3731 days

#3 posted 09-29-2014 11:11 PM

Looks great all around, and the finish came out just right.
The matting work is equally impressive.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CarlSanSoc's profile


4 posts in 1384 days

#4 posted 04-28-2017 07:37 PM

Nice project. And further insight into the dye/stain process that’s giving me a lot of guidance into how I want to finish a project that I’m working on. One question, though. I can’t tell in the first photo whether the walnut tenons have been installed. Did you put them in after the dye but before the stain? Thanks in advance.


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