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10 Simple Guidelines for Framing Art

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Most of the paintings we bring to the US are unframed so, as you might well imagine, we do lots of framing. These are a few things we think about when framing.

Most importantly, you should choose what pleases you aesthetically. Having said that, consider the following 10 guidelines for your next framing project.

  1. Avoid framing art to match a room in your house. Instead, choose a frame and mat that enhances the artwork. (A mat is a thin, flat piece of paper-based material included within a picture frame which serves as decoration and separates the art from the glass.)
  2. Avoid frames that overwhelm the artwork. (Remember, the artwork is the star, the mat and framing are supporting players.)
  3. Choose contemporary frames (i.e. simple, plain, flat) for modern paintings.
  4. Choose the right frame color:
    • for paintings with predominantly warm colors like red, choose gold frames
    • for black and white drawings, choose black or silver frames
    • for light-colored paintings, choose a light natural wood or stained frames
    • for paintings that are predominantly blue, lilac, white and other cold colors, choose silver frames
  5. Choose a modern frame if you have a contemporary styled interior. (This is for those of you who didn’t follow guideline #1.)
  6. Paintings on canvas are framed without glass.
  7. Paintings on paper are usually put behind glass for protection, but never place the artwork directly against the glass. Protect it with a mat (aka mount). The top and sides of the mat should be of equal width, with a slightly deeper bottom (personal preference).
  8. Consider a wide (3-4 inches) acid free and archival mat.
  9. Choose a neutral color mat (we like ivory).
  10. For hanging hardware, choose a wire.

Once you have your framed painting, remember most artwork is designed to be viewed at eye-level. If you live in the greater Boston area, we do all of our framing at Framer’s Workshop. They do good quality work. Just remember to print out their coupon from their website, so that you can get 15% off. There is a lot to know about framing artwork, so please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.

  1. Contemporary Frames
    Contemporary Frames02-27-2012

    Very nice stuff presented here.

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