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Framing Paintings - 7 Tips for Framing Your Canvas

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Framing paintings can be expensive so it?s wise to take your time in choosing your frame because having the wrong frame can prove a costly mistake. Have a look in 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 arrive at the framers, the variety of samples can be overwhelming. Be prepared 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 in to a frame you don?t want. They may have plenty of that style in stock! And there?s nothing wrong with sleeping on a decision. You can usually take a corner sample home to give you a clearer idea of the finished 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 imagine that because a painting is small that the frame also needs to be small. Frequently a small painting is enhanced by a wide frame which could actually overpower a larger painting. Generally when framing paintings, you can say the larger the painting, the narrower the frame required. Also an ornate frame with a busy painting can make the viewer feel uncomfortable.

3.The frame needs to suit the style of your home. With most old homes you can successfully have both old style and modern frames but it?s much harder to hang a painting successfully in a modern home if it has an older style frame.

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4. Gilt tells the viewer you have respect for the painting. If framing paintings in gold, a simple 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. Properly framed it may have had a chance of selling. This does not mean you can?t frame work 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 visualise a poorly framed painting in a quality frame.

6. It?s not necessary to frame art on canvas if the artist has painted the sides but you need to make sure the stretched frame is sufficiently 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 does give structural support.

7. When framing large contemporary paintings, a narrow floater frame measuring half to one centimetre is often all that is required. Some framing can be understated and simply give the impression of an unframed painting.

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

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