[Gimp-user] adding sides to an image

Well, I thought I was getting a partial hang of how to use part of GIMP, but couldn't get things to work the 
way I want.  I'm trying to add sides to some images - for example, an image is 250 x 420...I want to make the 
width 420 by adding sides to the image, each added side being 85 pixels each, centering the image in the 420 
x 420 image.  I added a new layer, then moved the new layer so that the image was centered...seemed to work.

I then want to add my site's background color to those sides so that the centered image stands out without 
"interfering" with the site colorations and a "larger image" link appears centered below the total image.  A 
"bad" image can be seen here: 
http://shannonwestongifts.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_151_152&products_id=548.  What I'm 
trying to achieve can be seen here ( friend of mine did this for me with a different program):  

No matter what I've tried, I've been unable to add coloration to the added sides, and reading the layers 
parts of the manual hasn't provided me with an answer.  Can someone tell me what I need to do after I add the 
new layer and center the image on top of it?

Thanks for reading...have a great evening, and God bless!

The Ole Cowboy

theolecowboy (via gimpusers.com)

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