Step 1

Purchase Salvaged Stamped Tin

Locate and Purchase Materials

Purchase Materials

The most challenging material to obtain is the stamped tin ceiling panel. Visit local architectural salvage stores and search online. Prices range from $15 to $70 per panel, based on condition and material.

Old wooden house siding, high tide flotsam or even rough-cut oak or cedar fencing will work to create the rustic appearance. Keep an eye out for old houses being remodeled. The building site burn pile is an excellent location to claim the perfect piece of rough-hewed lumber.

Step 2

Fabricate the Frame

Rip the Frame Width: Based on the intended use of the frame and its dimensions, set the table saw to the desired frame width. Depending on the overall size of the frame, rip enough lumber to accommodate all four sides, with plenty of wood to spare.

Miter Cut the Corners: The frame will consist of four sides connected to make 90-degree corners. Each side of the frame will have the ends miter cut at 45 degrees to make the corners square. Place a framing square or speed square on the corner to confirm 90 degrees.

Making the Frame: Pre-drill the frame corner pieces using a pocket hole jig. Apply heavy-duty construction adhesive to the contact edges. Secure the corners by screwing them together.

Step 3

Route the Frame

With the frame screwed together, scribe the face in pencil with the desired shape of the imbedded stamped tin. Insert a straight cutting router bit (dado bit) into the router. Clamp the wooden frame onto a solid surface and carefully route out a 1/2" deep pattern for the stamped tin insert. Repeat the routing process on all four faces of the frame.

Step 4

Sand and Stain the Frame

Sand and stain the frame prior to installation of stamped tin inserts. Hand sand with course grit sandpaper (60-80 grit) to preserve the rugged, reclaimed wood texture. Vacuum clean.

Test the stain on a sanded piece of scrap frame wood to confirm the intended tone before applying to the frame. Apply stain and use a rag to wipe off excess stain. Apply as many coats as needed for the desired tone.

Step 5

Insert the Stamped Tin

Hand cut the stamped tin with tin snips so that it will fit snugly into the recessed frame. Cut all four tin inserts before attaching.

Apply heavy-duty construction adhesive to the recessed portion of the frame, being careful not to drip adhesive onto the stained face of the frame. Insert the cut stamped tin. Use small finishing nails and a nail set to secure the tin in place. Put weights on each stamped tin insert to secure it to the wood. Allow 24 hours to cure.

Pro Tip

When cutting the stamped tin, there is a tendency for the tin to warp or "potato chip." Before gluing the tin in place, set it into the recessed frame and flatten it down to fit snugly.

Step 6

Spray the Frame with Polyurethane Sealer

The stamped tin paint is old and highly brittle. To prevent the lead-based paint from chipping off, apply one or two thin coats of satin polyurethane spray to the entire frame. This will seal the project. Allow the project to dry before attaching a picture frame hanger.