DIY Coastal Art With Aged Frame

Let your inner artist shine and build your own collection of images that speak to you.  


I’m adding more coastal touches to my home – some are small changes while this art print is a huge change for me.  Living in Florida, I’ve had shells on display for over 30 years. I have on display several small Florida art pieces.  Today I am creating my own art based on a classic illustration from John Gould’s 7 volumes of “Birds of Australia” (1848). This book is filled with illustrations of Australia’s birds by John Gould and several of his artists.




One print of a heron resonated with me.  I’ve found copies of the book at several locations online such as   The National Library of Australia  and the Internet Archive   (non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more).  I downloaded the image from Biodiversity Heritage Library . I edited the image and increased dpi to 300.  The illustration has quite a bit of color in it but I did not filter it out.  My image is vibrant and tropical; it looks like Florida to me with a pink sky. I’ll frame it with a vintage frame and hang it by the dining table. I’ll move the current iris canvas art to a living room wall.




If you are interested in the print, it is available for download in 16″ x 20″ and 24″ x 36″.

24″ x 36″ download at Google Docs

16″ x 20″ download at Google Docs


Many of the other versions of this same print that I have seen online are paler.  I have filtered out the color for a second version for download for your use.  It is sized 24″ x 36″.




Download at Google Docs






As with all my printables, they are for your personal use.   Please do not post these images on your own site unless you link back here.


I wanted a coastal wood frame but I didn’t want to buy a new one.  I found a wooden 16″ x 20″ frame at a yard sale for $2. It’s an inexpensive frame with a shiny brown stain.







I like the wood tone but wanted an aged distressed look.  I read online about aging wood with baking soda and vinegar. That is the best choice for me with my asthma. Chemicals can cause a major attack.






Cover your workspace with plastic. I used a dollar store shower curtain liner.  After I was finished, I rolled up the plastic and disposed of it with no mess.



Using Baking Soda & Vinegar to Age/Distress Wood

  1. Make a paste of baking soda and water.
  2. Apply heavily on wood.
  3. Spray with vinegar and let sit at least 10 minutes depending on the wood. The combination leaches the tannin from the wood.
  4. Rinse with water.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Finish as desired with stain etc.






Now several examples I read on aging wood started with a piece of wood not a frame.  Please note inexpensive frames can have a problem with the water on the corners.  My frame looked like the mitered corners were separating so I did not let the mixture remain long enough to remove all the color.   I rinsed and dried the wood but it took over 4 days for the corners to really dry out and they are slightly separating.




Even though I did not remove all the color, I like the aged look to the frame. I can see more wood grain and the shine has been removed. It seems quite appropriate for my coastal bird print.









If you enjoy working with images and editing, I suggest you check out, a free photo editor with all sorts of tools.  There are thousands of prints available online and with the right tools you can personalize them. As for printing, I’ve used Printique for years.  They have great sales in the fall and before the holidays; I had my bird printed for a great discount last fall and held it while I waited for the right frame.












I like the look and it wasn’t hard to do with no chemicals that can hurt family members or pets. I have a side table that needs the top refinished. I’m going to try this process again.  Until next time, thanks for visiting.








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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

22 thoughts to “DIY Coastal Art With Aged Frame”

  1. First, thank you for the download — it’s a wonderful print. And also, for the aging instructions. Good tips, all of them. I love how the frame turned out, although the wood separation is a bit troubling. Still, for $2, not out much and for now, I think I would be very pleased — hope you are, too!

    1. I’ve come to love it in the last few days. From a distance there is no sign of separation and the color is like old wood. So, yes I love it!

    1. Wow! you are a true artist. Love your birds and ships and you’ve done both multiple times. Thanks for coming by.

  2. I admire that you are purposely adding the theme of more coastal-themed art and decor. What a great idea! The vintage print is so appealing. Lovely.

  3. Great tip on how to age wood. Never would’ve thought of using baking soda + vinegar. Good to know! Love the heron print. Visiting from Happiness Is Homemade party.

    1. Thanks Christine. I would have like to let it stay on for a little longer to go a tad lighter, but I do like the result.

  4. Thank you for the lovely downloadable prints you share on your site. I visited Adorama and was amazed that there are so many choices to make. Which options did you use to print this picture?

    1. Depend on the image I am printing but I have used both Lustre and Silk finishes and like them both for a soft look.

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