Six Things to Keep in Mind When Framing Art
Updated: May 6, 2021
Now when you selected the art the question is how to frame it. Framing might seem a small task until you face hundreds of options in framing shop or online. Let´s start by narrowing these down and answering some of the questions.
Do You Have to Frame Art?
No. View framing as a protection for the art and a tool to make it displayable. There are plenty situations when frame is not needed at all - contemporary works on canvas or 3D pieces can go straight on the wall. However, you need framing and protection for photographs and works made on paper - you will need a frame, a glass/acrylic, and often a mat to go in between the art and the frame.
Focus on Art
Art should be a center of the visual experience. Therefore, the main idea behind framing is to minimize it's effect on art - whatever competes or ads with the image can diminish or alter the impact of the art. Avoid choosing colors that duplicate the colors on the artwork, it may completely "kill" the art. For the works on paper, adding a mat that would visually expand the space around the artwork helps focusing our eye on the art. General advise would be to keep the frame as "quiet" and as natural as possible. Using a thin natural wooden frame would work in many situation whether you are framing a canvas or a work on paper. Finally, try keeping visible the artist's signature for future generations.
Museum Quality Framing
If you would like to emphasize the uniqueness and rarity of the art, choose more visible high quality frame that underlines the value of the art. UV-light can be damage works on paper and make paints fade quickly. Therefore, if you are framing a photograph or a work on paper you may want to consider museum quality glass/acrylic with UV protection and anti-reflective properties to minimize the glare you get with a regular glass. Also, to protect your art over time make sure your framing provider is using acid-free materials.
Glass Vs. Acrylic
The choice between glass and acrylic depends on the size of your art and where you plan to place it. Glass is heavier than acrylic and can shatter, however, it is scratch-resistant and less expensive. On the contrary, acrylic will not shatter but can get scratched and build up static. Non-glare acrylic and glass can make the image look less sharp.
Classics Vs. Minimalism
The choice of the frame may or may not depend on the style of the space. There are no set rules telling you that you have to use minimalistic frame in contemporary designed home and a golden one for a classic interior. Moreover, the eclectic approach is more fun and flexible. You can successfully mix the styles and have a contemporary artwork in a classic frame looking intriguing in your space. Experiment and make it look organic.
Get It Done
When you've put your energy and emotions in selecting art, you want the new piece in your home as soon as possible. Depending on the supplier and the materials it can take about a week to frame art and cost anything from $100 to $500 and sometimes more. While this may come as a surprise, it's your investment in protecting and enjoying your art for years to come. Get it done and release your new art from siting in the drawer or helplessly leaning against the wall.