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Tips on Framing Your Artwork

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.

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

Several online framing companies and big-box craft retailers can create custom sizes at reasonable prices. They have many styles, including contemporary, vintage, ornate, and modern frames, to easily coordinate with your decor. Some retailers also print photos, frame them, and install hardware to hold the weight of the artwork.

The picture framing process has intricate aspects that require several 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 various factors to achieve the perfect final design.

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

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

How to Find the Ideal Frame

With so many different styles, colors, and materials, finding a frame can be difficult. 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 decide for the customer. Depending on the artwork, your framer can recommend frame moldings and textural mats to create a unique composition.

If a homeowner wants a colorful frame, they should pick a specific color from the image to 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.

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

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

Trendy Frames

Although frames come in many different colors, matte gray or black is definitely the designer trend. However, weathered wood is quite a popular picture frame choice. Just because barn wood is unrefined, it is often used in various 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.

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.

Should You Use Glass in the Frame?

Photographs printed on canvas and oil paintings should not be covered with glass because the ink and paint need to breathe. 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.

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

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

What Is the Budget for Custom Framing?

You can always go to a custom frame shop for your artwork. Many in-stock moldings can be custom-made within several days. However, you can also purchase inexpensive premade frames that are generally available in sizes 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 surrounds 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.

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 to the size of the piece.

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

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

5. Don't allow a frame to 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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