In this post I just want to share something that I do to make some ready-made frames look better.
When a frame is too dark or dull for a specific painting I use Rub'nBuff, which is a wax metallic finish that comes in different colors in small tubes. I apply this paste to the inner edge of a frame in order to make it look like a fillet.
The picture below shows some of the colors I use, from L to R: Gold Leaf, Antique Gold, Grecian Gold, European Gold(greenish), and Autumn Gold (reddish).
The steps are as follows: First, I isolate the area to be highlighted with painter's tape, making sure that the tape is positioned correctly.
I apply a small amount of the metallic paste (Antique Gold in this case) with a cotton swab, pushing it hard so that it gets into the edges of the moulding. I do the same thing with the inner side of the frame opening. making sure the application looks even. The paste/wax could be applied with your finger or a soft cloth, but I prefer the cotton swab method, and as a precaution, I also wear disposable gloves.