Custom Framing

Published July 20, 2012

If you are planning on having a special painting or print professionally framed there are quite a few factors you should know before you visit your framer. Not all framers are the same. There are good ones and not-so-good ones.

In the end, it’s definitely not cheap to have a painting framed professionally.  However, it is a worthwhile investment.

A good frame will significantly enhance the look of a painting or print. The quality lies in the materials chosen and the framer that is used.

So, what do you look for when it’s time to frame your artwork?

Affordability, quality of work and guarantee are just three very important factors to consider. Make sure to get a quote and spend some time going over the various options presented to you.

The composition of the artwork is the first place to start. Usually the composition is predetermined when the artwork is purchased. However, sometimes the artwork has rough edges that need to be trimmed or cropped. A good framer will have a keen eye on where the edges should be trimmed or the painting cropped.

The matting is usually the next step. Mattings are colored cards that are placed around the artwork. . It is your choice if you would like matting or not.  In many cases, the mat surrounding the artwork tends to give a new life to the painting and can really set off a painting beautifully. Play around with different colors and textures to get the look you really want.

When it comes time to choose the frame, many sample corners will be presented to you. This process is important and can significantly change the look of your artwork. Be sure to view the artwork from many different angles and distances to get a very good feel for the look.

Finally, the last decision is whether to use glass or not. For most watercolors and drawings, glass is essential. The decision is ultimately yours. Choices range from glare vs. non-glare, UV resistant and other choices. Ask you framer for his opinion on what is best for your artwork.

Most professional framers would agree that Conservation Framing is the best way to go. Conservation or preservation framing is a method of framing that protects your artwork from dust, light, humidity and acid in the framing materials. If you choose the conservation framing method, your framer is trained in using specific techniques during the framing process to ensure your artwork is properly preserved over time. Mat boards that are 100% acid free are used to protect the artwork from harmful pollutant gases that could enter through the edges.  They also protect the art from acids released by wood mouldings. Mounting boards are also used to protect the artwork from any potential harmful pollutants that may enter through the back of the framed piece. And UV glass and acrylics may be necessary to prevent any ultraviolet light from fading the artwork over time. Experts agree that UV glass filters approximately 95% of the harmful light as opposed to regular glass that usually falls in the range of 40-50% filter rate.

Of course, conservation framing methods tend to be more costly to the buyer but tend to be a very worthwhile choice in the end.

Before you pay for your framed artwork, be sure to check it over carefully. You should be absolutely satisfied with the work or request changes be made.

Some framing shops offer a guarantee on the framing job. Enquire as to what their guarantees offer and in the end you will be satisfied.