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Framing your Artwork:

We all know the feeling; you’ve seen a piece of art – you love and have to have it. Then you realize that it’ll arrive unframed meaning you’ll have to get it framed yourself.

I’m here to tell you to RELAX. Framing your artwork doesn’t have to be a hassle or too expensive and is definitely worth it when the job is done well. 

A well framed piece of art not only looks awesome but it also protects it from people, dust, humidity and other natural elements. Framing can add years to an artwork and increase its value significantly if chosen correctly. Here’s a few things for you to consider when buying art.

Before You Buy

These days it’s so easy to buy art online but make sure you check out the description to see exactly what you’re buying. For example, if it says ‘ready to hang’ that should mean the artwork is already stretched (if on a canvas) or framed and has all the hooks and wires necessary so when you receive it you only need to find a place on your wall. All you need to provide is the nail to go in the wall.

However, Art on paper, i.e. watercolour, is rarely framed unless purchased from a physical art gallery. This is mostly due to the difficulty of shipping without breaking the glass in the frame. For my own work, I ship the art either mounted or rolled in a tube, depending on the size purchased, for this very reason.

Framing your Artwork

There are 2 options here and this depends on the size of the artwork. If it is a standard size, decent frames can be purchased off the shelf at numerous stores. If the artwork is an unusual size then I would look for local framers. Ask people for recommendations then shop around until you find someone you feel comfortable with. If you’re anything like me you’ll find someone who you enjoy working with and you’ll take everything to them to be framed regardless of the size of the artwork!

(I use Kate at Well Hung Framing just outside Swindon – she’s brilliant! More on her in another post.)

Choosing the Materials for Your Frame

A selection of frames

The frame should enhance and compliment an artwork. Consider how it will look around the artwork and how it will work with the colours, textures and subject matter. For example, if an artwork is heavily textured a simple frame will often look best. 

Think about the décor of the room the artwork will be in. What colour is the wall it will be hung on? Do you have a contemporary or modern décor? Is your room brightly coloured or industrial?


The Other Considerations

An artwork framed with glass over the top should always have a mat mount board or spacer so the art doesn’t stick to the glass over time. Try to ensure the backing, mount and mat (or spacing) are made of acid-free materials so the artwork doesn’t deteriorate over time.

Why use a mat mount boards? It provides a distinct border between the art and the frame to draw the viewer’s eye to the piece.

Glass is another thing to consider. There are numerous options including anti-glare, scratch resistant and UV filtered glass. The cheapest option is acrylic, which doesn’t have the same quality finish. The most commonly used glass is regular glass, as it protects the artwork well.

Which ever options you go for, the most important thing is that you like your artwork in the frame you choose!

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned framing canvas, that’s simply because I have no experience of it and wouldn’t like to give incorrect information.



Now you’ve got it framed it’s time to hang your Artwork.

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