How to Clean Gilt Picture Frames

Written by nick davis
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How to Clean Gilt Picture Frames
It is not hard to keep your gilt picture frames clean. (antique wooden picture frame image by Alx from

Gilt picture frames, available in a variety of sizes and styles, contain a decorative border and ridges that catch dust, dirt and debris. The frames require regular cleaning to keep the frame's gold finish from changing colours and grime collecting in the ridges. When cleaning your gilt picture frames, you want to use a chemical that won't damage the finish or soak into the frames' backing. Like other frames, you need to clean your gilt picture frame's glass as well to remove any fingerprints and debris from the surface.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Non-abrasive cloth or rag
  • Latex gloves
  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Turpentine
  • Sponge
  • Small paint brush (optional)
  • Gold paint (optional)

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  1. 1

    Place the gilt picture frame on a flat surface---desk, table, workbench or other surface.

  2. 2

    Wipe the frame with an non-abrasive cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt from the frame's surface. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean.

  3. 3

    Spray 1 tbsp of window cleaner on a paper towel. Wipe the frame's glass with the window cleaner-soaked paper towel.

  4. 4

    Apply 1 tbsp of turpentine to a sponge. The sponge should be damp and not soaking with turpentine.

  5. 5

    Wipe the gilt frame gently with the turpentine-soaked sponge including the sides of the frame and the back. Let the frame air dry---do not wipe the frame dry, as this may smear the frame's paint.

  6. 6

    Use a small paint brush and gold paint to touch up any faded paint on your gilt picture frame.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a mixture of three egg whites and 28.4gr. of baking soda to clean your gilt picture frames. Apply the mixture using a sponge then wipe off the dirt and grime with a paper towel. Let the picture frames air dry then use a small paint brush and gold paint to touch up any faded paint.

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