5 Tips for Framing Artwork

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When you find or create that perfect piece of art, the last thing you want to do is diminish its perfection by hanging it in an imperfect frame. After all, the framing that you use can either diminish the art or bring forward all of its beauty.

Beyond that, it’s also important to help preserve the art and maintain the resale value.

Here, we’ll take a look at five key tips to use the next time you’re ready to hang your artwork.

Don’t start framing art until you’ve read this article.

1. Save Money on the Frame and Splurge on the Matting

Depending on exactly what the goal is that you’re trying to accomplish, there are a few different ways to properly hang your art.

If it’s important for you to preserve and protect the artwork and you want to save some money, look for inexpensive frames that still have the style you’re looking for. Then spend the majority of your budget buying new matting.

It’s important to buy a mat that’s archival, which means that it’s constructed with materials that are free from acids. This keeps the mat from causing degradation on the piece of artwork that it touches.

Inexpensive, low-quality mats typically contain acids that will degrade art over the course of time.

2. Choose the Right Hardware

Most frames you’ll buy will have D-rings, wires or both on the frame’s backing. If you’re hanging your art in a temporary or rented space, these options make it easier to hang the framed art.

However, when you’re hanging your art is a permanent location, it’s best to use cleats. These are pieces of wood that are beveled and fit perfectly flush against your wall. They are also much more secure that D-rings and wires, which is important in places that experience common earthquakes, such as California.

The last thing you want is your prized piece of art unexpectedly crashing to the ground.

3. Pick Your Faceplate

The faceplate is a piece of glass that protects your art. The faceplate you choose will depend on the kind of art you’re hanging.

For original paintings, a faceplate might distract the viewer from the intricacies of the painting. They’ll struggle to notice details such as brush strokes and texture.

If, however, you’re framing a photograph, a piece of work on paper or a print, a faceplate is absolutely necessary.

A few faceplate options include Plexiglas, regular glass, UV Plexiglas or museum glass.

Museum glass doesn’t have any reflection or glare and gives any artwork the best view. The other options listed will have at least some glare or tint to them. For example, Plexiglas has a bit of a yellow tint to it, while regular glass somethings casts a green tint.

Plexiglass is highly durable though. So when you use it, you’ll never really need to worry about breakage.

4. Think About Scale

It’s important that your framing is appropriately scaled to complement your art rather than completely overpower it.

This often comes down to personal preferences. But, generally speaking, larger pieces will require larger frames. Some artists sell their art with a frame included, that further compliments their piece. It’s good to stick with that framing in such instances.

Remember that the best frames are almost unnoticeable. They point to the art rather than take away from it.

5. Preservation

Pieces that aren’t correctly framed tend to crease or become discolored. This decreases value and lowers your opportunity to sell the piece at some point in the future.

Improperly framed pieces can also develop mat burn. This is a situation where the art gets permanently “burned” by the mat and gets a darker shade where the mat was touching it.

Framing Art the Right Way

Avoid the risk of ruining a fine piece of artwork by ensuring that it’s framed properly. When in doubt, contact a professional framer to make sure you have no worries about a framing job well done

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