I started out with the pot metal frames that you find on eBay. I like them best because they are very detailed, not as thick as most "dollhouse" frames, come in a wide selection of styles and sizes and are highly affordable. That is, if you don't mind a little work.
I always start out with my kit of metal files to sand off the metal sprue from the molds. Then they get a good scrub with soap and water to remove the oily mold release agent. Then I paint. I've used a variety of methods from spray paint to acrylic, but I found a new favorite method this time: Tim Holtz Distress Paint in tarnished brass. It's very thin so it goes into all of the details, but the coverage is excellent. I used three coats, but two would have been plenty.
Once these were well dried, I used double sided tape to hold the art work to the working surface. Then I applied glue to the matted frame, lined up the part of the art I most wanted featured, and pressed the frame onto the print. Once that was dry I applied glue to the backing card stock and centered it on the back. Ta-Da!.
Although I used many different sizes and designs for the frames, I wanted the frames to be the same metal finish and for the art work to have the same cool blue feel of the build colors. I really like them all, and since my real life house has all warm colors and traditional decor, it's a nice way to explore a different vibe!
Now for the sealer. I used Aleen's matte spray sealer. It's quick drying and seems a lot less stinky than most others I've tried. Gloss ones are the worst! I still spray in the garage, so I like to have a box with a fold down top for my spray booth. Spray then close the top down. This keeps the little nasties from getting stuck to the surface while it's still wet. I applied three coats just for good measure. I don't want that printer ink fading before I am ready to remodel in a few years!
And now, a few shots after they've been "hung" (hot glue so as no glue moisture warps the papers). I also attached the dining room and entry mirrors - trying to do this after the ceiling is attached would be a nightmare!
I like the way they turned out, and the directions that this project is leading me. It's interesting, challenging and mostly fun. Next up: Finishing up the lighting so the ceiling can be attached, stairs, column bookcase and then... Well, a totally different direction. More on that soon...