Framing Your Art Pieces – How to Choose the Right Frame


When it comes to paintings and artwork, the frame gives it a finishing touch. When you frame art, you elevate and complete it before you present it to the viewer. Framing in itself is a form of art. Choosing the best frame for your art can enhance a piece’s appearance while a poorly chosen frame can diminish the value of the work.

Should you or should you not frame

One secret most people do not know is the fact that not all artwork requires to be framed. Framing is optional for gallery-wrapped paintings. This refers to canvas paintings wrapped around stretcher bars that are thick and are secured to the back as opposed to the sides of these bars. This type of mounting leaves the canvas sides smooth and thus lacking the need for framing.

On the other hand, when a painting or art piece is not gallery-wrapped, it has thinner stretchers and staples are visible on the sides. When an artist goes for this mounting style, they imagine that the piece owner will frame the piece.

Frame selection

As a rule of thumb, the type of art you go for should dictate the type of frame you choose for it.

The style of a painting

The style of a painting should determine the style of the frame used. For instance, a classical piece or a period painting is best suited for a traditional, timeless, gold-leafed elegant frame. Alternatively, a mahogany or walnut frame would also be ideal.

For ethereal or abstract paintings, a sleek and simple frame would be most ideal. Other frame options include transitional frames with the ability to blend contemporary and traditional elements.

Size of the painting

If you are a collector of large paintings, it is ideal to go for larger frames. If you do not have space for a larger frame, you can consider going for a floating frame. These types of frames add between 1 and 4 inches of height and width in your large paintings while a larger frame would add 7 to 12 inches of dimension to the art.

Frame finish

Ensure you go for a frame finish that compliments the colors and texture of the art not compete with it. Avoid choosing an elaborate frame for busy art pieces.

Tips for paper works

If you are a lover of paper collections such as the Loulou Avenue collection, here are some pointers for choosing frames.

Artwork done on paper, including pastels, watercolors and charcoal drawings, come with a different set of rules before framing. This is mainly due to their surface’s perishable quality.

Before you frame artwork done on paper, you need to mount the piece for support. The most recommended method of mounting is conservation mounting. This ensures that you can remove the art piece from the frame without causing damage to it. Also, prior mounting ensures that it is impossible to tell whether the work has ever been framed should there be a need to remove it from the frame.

You can secure the artwork in its support using acid-free adhesives or acid-free corner pockets. Consider using traditional form boards for support to create a stable structure. This protects the art piece from any pollutants that may access the frame from the back of the art piece.

Additionally, you have to consider matting and framing the piece under glass as a further protective measure. A cut-out mat board can be laid over the painting to prevent the glass from coming into contact with the surface of the artwork. You can also use a spacer in the place of the mat.

Ensure that all materials used in the framing process of paper pieces are acid-free. Using materials with acid will cause discoloration of the piece over time. This can devalue even the finest of works.


Artists and collectors have an eye for perfect frames for their pieces. Good quality framing of art pieces can be an expensive activity for most people. With this guide, you will be a step closer to making the perfect framing decision for your art.

Leave A Reply