How to Frame

How to Frame

Effectively framing your artwork makes a major difference in home it looks in our space, and can ultimately protect the condition have lasting impacts on the work. 

The basics

Every good frame is made up of the backing, the frame itself, the display, and the glaze. You can play with all these elements to get this work on your wall safely + make it truly unique for you. A good place to start is with a connection to a local framer. Feel free to get in touch with us if you are looking for one in your city! 

Looking for some more budget-friendly ways to frame your work? Source frames from a thrift store or a shop with standard options (we like IKEA!) and replace or customise missing pieces with a local framer! The physical frame is often the most expensive part, and everything else like glass or hanging mechanisms can be sourced somewhere else. Playing around with mats cut to specific dimensions, in different colours, or layered can make it look like a very custom job with little investment. 


Back up…

The backing is what will hold your work together and on the wall. It is essential that it is sturdy! Think about what kind of hanging method you are comfortable with, are you confident you can get this up on your wall? If you wan to use adhesive strips, make sure this fits together very securely. If the frame does not have a hanging mechanism, wiring kits are available at every art supply or general store! 

Using a centerage board, a thick piece of paper behind the artwork, can help create some more tension to keep everything secure. This can help keep your painting where it is and can tighten up an insecure backing if it needs some extra help. If your frame doesn’t have one, we recommend buying some thick, sketchbook paper or poster board. 

The Display

This is what we came for! The meat and potatoes of any good frame is the artwork, so you want it to look good. Before you frame, try to flatten the artwork as much as possible with weights on the corners and keep it safe from any folds. 

The biggest creative choice you have is how the work is displayed in the frame. Don’t want any space between your artwork and the frame? That is called “full-bleed”! You have two options if you would like some space between the art and the frame, which we will lay out here:

Mat vs. Float

Matting an artwork adds a border to within the frame Standard mats are typically three inches wide, white in colour, and have a bevel cut opening. Matting provides extra security by giving another layer between the glass and the work, can bulk up the proportions of the piece, and can clean up the edges of the work. The hole in the mat is called a “window” and you want to make sure that your artwork is bigger than this space.Signed works are typically matted so you can see the signature, but there are no rules! 

Floating a piece allows for a full view of the front and sides of the artwork. It provides a white background that is smaller than that of a mat, giving room between the glass and the work using a spacer. Textiles or works with a textured edge like ripped watercolour paper are typically framed floating. This can be hard to do at home, so we recommend going to a professional.  

Keep it safe

On the outside, we recommend using an acrylic sheet instead of glass. This option can protect from UV rays, way less likely to break, and typically more affordable than glass. You want to make sure this protective layer is at least water-repellent and scratch resistant! 

When you go to put the frame together, make sure to clean both sides of the glaze with a microfiber to cloth to make sure nothing else gets stuck but your art!

The frame

This is the big choice! Our biggest piece of advice is to go with something that will not take away or compete with the art itself. Some of the most versatile options are natural wood, black, white or metal frames. If you want to get creative, choose one of the neutral accent colours used in the piece. It is a good rule of thumb to use the same frame colour on one wall! 

Now good luck your framing journey! Get in touch with us if you have any questions!