Expert Tips on How to Properly Frame Your Art

Introduction to Framing Your Art

Framing your art is essential to showcasing your masterpiece, whether it’s a painting, photograph, or print. The right frame not only enhances the visual appeal of the artwork but also protects it from damage. This article will discuss expert tips on properly framing your art, covering everything from selecting the right frame to hanging it on the wall.

Expert Tips on How to Properly Frame Your Art
Male artists framing artwork

Choosing the Right Frame

Frame Styles

Countless frame styles are available, ranging from traditional to modern and everything in between. Consider the artwork’s subject matter, colours, and taste when choosing a frame style. A good rule of thumb is to select a frame that complements the art without overpowering it.

Frame Materials

Frames can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. Each material has its unique characteristics and benefits. For example, wood frames offer a classic and warm look, while metal frames provide a sleek and contemporary appearance. Choose a frame material that best suits your artwork and the overall aesthetic of the space where it will be displayed.

Frame Sizes

The size of the frame is critical to the overall presentation of your artwork. A frame that is too large or too small can detract from the visual impact of the piece. Ensure the frame is proportional to the artwork, allowing enough space to include matting and glazing if desired.

Protecting Your Art

Glazing Options

Glazing is the protective layer that covers the artwork in the frame. There are two main types of glazing: glass and acrylic. Glass is the traditional option and offers excellent clarity, but it can be heavy and breakable. Acrylic is lighter and shatter-resistant but may be more prone to scratching. Consider factors such as weight, UV protection, and glare reduction when selecting a glazing option for your art.

Matting Your Art

A mat is a border of acid-free material surrounding the artwork, providing visual separation from the frame and added protection. Matting can enhance the appearance of your piece by drawing attention to the artwork and providing a layer of insulation against temperature and humidity fluctuations. Choose a mat colour and width that complements your artwork and frame.

The Framing Process

Measuring Your Art

Properly measuring your artwork is crucial for selecting the correct frame size and matting. Measure the height and width of your piece, accounting for any additional space needed for matting or other framing components. Keep these measurements handy when shopping for a frame.

Assembling Your Frame

Once you have your frame, mat, and glazing, it’s time to assemble the components. Lay the frame face down on a clean, flat surface. Remove the backing and insert the glazing, ensuring it sits flush against the frame. Next, place the mat (if using) and your artwork in the frame. Finally, secure the backing, ensuring it fits snugly and holds everything in place.

Mounting Your Art

There are various methods for mounting your artwork within the frame, such as hinge, float, and dry mounting. The choice depends on the type of art and your personal preferences. Hinge mounting uses acid-free tape or paper to attach the artwork to the mat or backing, making it suitable for delicate paperwork. Float mounting showcases the entire artwork, including the edges, by suspending it on a backing board. Dry mounting involves adhering the art to a rigid board, ideal for photographs or posters.

Hanging Your Art

After your art is framed and mounted, it’s time to hang it on the wall. Use appropriate hanging hardware for the weight and size of your frame, such as picture hooks, D-rings, or wire. Ensure the hardware is securely attached to the wall, and use a level to hang the artwork straight. Consider the height at which the piece will be viewed and the surrounding décor when determining the optimal placement.

Tips from the Experts

  1. When framing your art, use acid-free materials to prevent yellowing and deterioration over time.
  2. Consider conservation framing techniques to protect valuable or irreplaceable artwork from damage.
  3. When hanging multiple pieces, plan the layout on the floor or use templates to visualise the arrangement before putting holes in the wall.
  4. Clean the glazing and frame regularly to remove dust and fingerprints, but avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the materials.
  5. Periodically inspect your framed art for signs of damage or wear, such as fading, discolouration, or warping, and address any issues promptly.


Properly framing your art enhances its visual appeal and protects it for years to come. You can showcase your artwork in the best possible way by choosing the right frame, materials, and techniques. Investing time and effort into framing your art will pay off in the long run, ensuring your masterpiece remains a cherished centrepiece in your home or gallery.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best way to clean the glass or acrylic glazing on my framed art?

Use a soft, lint-free cloth, a gentle cleaning solution, or a cleaner specifically designed for glass or acrylic. Avoid using ammonia-based products or abrasive materials, as they may damage the glazing.

2. How often should I reframe my artwork?

There is no set timeframe for reframing artwork, as it depends on the quality of the materials used and the conditions in which the piece is displayed. However, if you notice any signs of wear, discolouration, or damage, it may be time to consider reframing.

3. Can I frame my artwork or hire a professional?

Framing your art yourself is possible but requires patience, precision, and proper tools. If you’re unsure about the process or have a valuable or delicate piece, it’s best to consult a professional framer.

4. How do I choose the right mat width for my artwork?

The width of the mat should be proportional to the size of the artwork and the frame. A wider mat can add visual weight and importance to a piece, while a narrower mat may be more suitable for smaller works. Experiment with different widths to find the best balance for your specific artwork and framing needs.

5. How can I ensure my framed artwork is safe from UV damage?

Choose a glazing option with UV protection, such as UV-filtering glass or acrylic. This will help to prevent fading and deterioration caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. Additionally, avoid hanging your artwork in direct sunlight or areas with high UV exposure, such as near windows or skylights.