Tips on Framing Your Artwork

Updated on October 30, 2019
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Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

It is fun to create a gallery that covers an entire wall.
It is fun to create a gallery that covers an entire wall. | Source

Many home decorators have a penchant for framing artwork and family photographs to create a gallery wall. It’s often intimidating when you try to find the perfect picture frames for a variety of photos, prints or paintings. If you’re looking for inexpensive choices you might end up with standard sizes and cheap frames. Unfortunately standard dimensions won’t fit the size of your artwork. Independent custom frame stores are definitely more expensive and made from quality materials.

In the middle of the spectrum, there are a number of online framing companies and big box craft retailers can create custom sizes at reasonable prices. They have a number of styles including contemporary, vintage, ornate and modern frames to easily coordinate with your decor. Retailers also do photo printing, framing and add sturdy hanging hardware that will hold the weight of the artwork.

The picture framing process is has intricate aspects that require a number of details before it is completed once the artwork is placed inside the frame. It is best to choose different types of frames, impressive images and other variety of factors to achieve the perfect final design.

With or Without Glass

Photographs printed on canvas and oil paintings should not cover glass so the ink and paint will allow to breathe. Add a canvas for a decorative frame to use without glass. If you want to frame a family heirloom such as fabric or antique paper, it should be protected with conservation glass so it will block nearly 100 percent ultraviolet light to prevent it from fading or deteriorating.

If you have oil or watercolor art, it is best to frame the canvas without using protective glass.
If you have oil or watercolor art, it is best to frame the canvas without using protective glass. | Source

Enhancing Artwork

Find the ideal frame from many different styles, colors and materials. Customers often choose the wrong type of frame that matches the room's decor instead of coordinating the art itself. If you can't decide, use a professional artistic framer to create the perfect frame for your art. However, rarely does the framer actually make the decision for the customer. Depending on the artwork your framer can recommend frame moldings and textural mats to create a unique composition.

The professional helps to guide them and help to choose the perfect frame selection. If a homeowner wants a colorful frame they should pick a specific color from the image that will enhance the frame. Most artwork or photographs have quite a few colors within an image. However, prominent pigments in the art should coordinate with the mat and frame colors.

You can choose from wood, plaster, metal or polystyerene.
You can choose from wood, plaster, metal or polystyerene. | Source

Budget and Custom Framing

You can always go to a custom frame shop for your artwork. There are many in-stock moldings that can be custom made within several days. Instead, you can purchase retail inexpensive premade frames that are generally available, such as 8”x10”, 11”x14”, 16”x20” and 20”x24”. Depending on the image size you can purchase ready-made mats for photographs to easily fit a standard size frame.

Custom framing is not an inexpensive job. It is an investment and will last forever. If it is framed professionally you won’t have to frame it ever again. Framed photos look best with a mat that surround the image with glass to protect the photograph. Framing canvas paintings are considerably less expensive than framing original prints and photographs using conservation mats and clear glass versus non-glare.

There are best sources for budget frames from big box retailers.
There are best sources for budget frames from big box retailers. | Source

Trendy Frames

Although frames come in many different colors, matte gray or black are definitely the designer trend. However, weathered wood is quite popular for for picture frames. Just because barn wood is unrefined it is often used in a variety of interior designs, such as contemporary, modern country, southwestern and rustic cabin home decor.

Thin metal frames made in gold, copper and nickel are subtle and modern. Floating acrylic frames are a fabulous chic way to highlight your artwork--however they can be pricey. Less expensive acrylic versions and DIY materials and instructions are extremely budget-friendly.

Floating acrylic frames look light and airy in  a modern room.
Floating acrylic frames look light and airy in a modern room. | Source

Quick Framing Tips

1. Certain artwork might need a mat. If you have a watercolor painting or photograph, the mat will keep it from touching the glass.

2. Check out the size and proportion. The artwork should rule the general size of the frame. Don't forget to take advantage of the frame's width in relation to the size of the piece.

3. Select the right hanging hardware. Make sure the hardware is plenty secure on the wall. The size and overall weight requires the type of hardware.

4. Consider preserving expensive art. An acid-free mat and filter glass that is light blocking will protect your work of art.

5. Don't allow a frame overtake the artwork. Coordinate a frame for your artwork. Select the frame color and style to create a visual combination.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

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