6 Tips for Framing Your Canvas


Framing paintings can be pricey so it’s wise to use your time in deciding your frame because having an incorrect frame can prove an expensive mistake.

Have a look at some galleries, both commercial and public, and take particular notice of the framing so that you have an idea of what you like.

1. When you visit framers, the diversity of samples can be remarkable. Be ready to look at what they have and keep an open mind. Most framers are experienced and have a good idea as to what will suit a painting but don’t let them talk you into a frame you don’t want. They may have plenty of that style in stock! And there’s nothing wrong with napping on a decision. You can usually take a corner sample home to give you a clearer idea of the completed framed painting and whether it will suit the position in the home.

2. Make sure the frame doesn’t draw attention away from the painting. It needs to complement the painting. Don’t assume that because painting is tiny that the frame also needs to be little. Usually, a tiny painting is heightened by a wide frame that could actually overwhelm a larger painting. Generally, when framing paintings, you can say the bigger the painting, the narrower the frame required. Also, an ornate frame with a busy painting can make the viewer feel awkward.

3. The frame needs to suit the form of your home. With most old homes you can strongly have both old style and modern frames but it’s much harder to hang a painting strongly in a modern home if it has a more traditional style frame.

4. Gilt tells the viewer you have regard for the painting. If framing paintings in gold, a simplistic frame can suit any style home.

5. Cheap framing can spoil a painting. I’ve been to club exhibitions and competitions where art has been devalued because of cheap framing. Correctly framing may have had a chance of selling. This does not mean you can’t frame yourself but make sure you do a professional job.

On the other hand, if you’re shopping for a painting, you might pick up a bargain at an art show if you can visualize a poorly framed painting in a quality frame.

6. It’s not essential to frame art on canvas if the artist has painted the sides but you need to make sure the elongated frame is adequately reinforced. If you wish to have a painting without a frame, make sure that not only has the artist painted the sides but that there are no tacks or staples showing. Framing paintings do give structural support.

It’s important and compelling to experiment. I hate rules so only use the above tips as a guideline for framing. 

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