I like the idea of recycling old frames, if they are decent looking. Think of it, a frame from the 20th century is from the “last century.” One of the ways to help a work of art to “look old” is to put an old frame around it. Why would you want to do that? Mostly because either the old one was lost or damaged very badly or you want a new reproduction to look old.
So, here’s the drill. Have fun scavenging around garage sales for old frames. An old frame can be bought cheap but remember the following:
1. If the frame has ornamentation, it will be much more expensive to cut down and make it look good.
2. If the ornamentation is flaking off, the ornamentation might be brittle and break off in the process of handling. I think you should be able to see if the whole thing is going to fall apart in your hands.
3. Obviously, the frame should be much larger than the artwork so it can be cut down.
The photo shows a new art print (of an old piece of artwork) being framed with a new mat (in an old style) with a cut down old frame. The final result looks terrific! This recycling trick often costs less than buying a new frame. But if the frame is damaged and requires repair, then it could cost more… but then, again, you would have a vintage frame.