The art critic John Ruskin wrote, “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. ” At Lowy Frame and Restoring Company, color enlivens the surface and texture of thousands of frames, which in turn enhances the mood and effect of the painting within.

To achieve various colors on gilded surfaces, we use patinas. A patina is a thin coat of tinted varnish applied gently over the gilded frame with a soft bristle brush and rubbed off with a cloth, resulting in a subtle coloration that mutes the gold’s sheen while fine-tuning its color to perfectly complement the palette of the art within.


Patinas are usually warm earth tones, such as yellow, tan, brown or red, although other colors, like the early 20th century’s gray casein, rose to prominence along with the au courant artistic movements.

Shown below are a variety of patinas applied to several different frame styles.

1 2 3 Lowy__0004871-2 Lowy__0005023-3 Lowy__0005926

For more information on Lowy’s framing services and our collection of more than 5,000 antique frames, please visit or call 212-861-8585.

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