When you frame a picture or a painting, it transforms into something grand. The visual appeal of the piece of art is enhanced. But there are important steps that you need to go through before you can finally mount the frame on your wall. From selecting the quality and colour of the frame, to deciding the style of framing that will best complement the picture, there are a number of decisions that you need to take.

Framing an artwork is also a great way to preserve it. It provides protection against dust, stains, moisture, excessive light, and mold. So if you have paintings or pictures that are timeless and hold a special place in your heart, you should definitely consider framing them. The cost of framing will depend on the material of the frame as well as the size of the piece.

The right kind of frame can do wonders for your painting. Whether you are framing a jpg picture or a hand-painted canvas, to do proper justice to it, you need to pick the right frame. If you are confused about how to select the best option, our tips can help you to figure it all out.

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A framed canvas can become a statement decor piece for the room. | Source: pixabay.com
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Selecting Frames for a Painting

Today, frames are available in thousands of styles. This makes choosing the correct one a daunting task. If you visit an art equipment shop to buy supplies like frames, canvas, drawing pencils, paintbrushes, paints, etc., it might get very confusing given there are thousands of varieties to choose from.  It's important to remember that artwork and its frame are always viewed together. So, you need to select a frame that neither overpowers nor fails to highlight the canvas or picture inside.

For instance, if you have a painting in primarily light colours, you can use a dark frame which will offer contrast and highlight the picture. If you want to learn painting techniques like brush strokes, mixing colours, etc. you can look up websites like SuperProf for art classes near me.

Material

Frames are available in various materials, but the most common are wood, metal, glass, or plastic. Each of these materials comes in different colours, styles, and finishes. You will find metals frames in hues of gold, bronze, copper, and silver. Plastics and glass come in many different colors and finishes. From matte to glossy finishes, lighter and deeper shades of colours, you will be spoilt for choices.

Wooden frames are available in numerous varieties. The availability of multiple variations in the type and finish of wood frames makes it one of the most popular framing materials. Wood types include bamboo, oak, pine among others. They can be polished, painted, varnished, stained, or unstained.

Colour

Frames come in a variety of colours. However, neutrals tend to be among the most popular choices. Frame colours in neutrals such as white, black, cream, or grey are widely used. Unpainted wood or gold and silver metal frames are also popular choices. Though neutrals are a safe and easy choice, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose bold colours. Provided your artwork and the room where you will install the canvas permits, you use frames in red, pink, etc.

You shouldn’t be too concerned about matching specific colours in your artwork to the frame colour. Instead, it’s more important to consider the overall tone of the image when selecting a frame.

Width

The width of a frame should also be given due consideration. You need to be careful not to choose a frame panel that is too narrow or too wide. Typically, antique frames tend to be wide, heavy, ornate, and end up drawing a lot of attention. Contemporary frames on the other hand are usually thinner and allow the artworks to be the stars without taking the limelight away from them.

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A DIY framing project can be an interesting learning exercise. | Source: pixabay.com

Mat

A mat is a thin strip of material that helps to highlight artwork by separating it from the frame. It is also known as a matte or mount. Adding a mat to a canvas frame is not compulsory. But it does help to highlight the artwork and prevents it from sticking to the glass.

A mat can fill the gap between a larger frame and a smaller picture, allowing smaller paintings to fill larger spaces. A mat also allows you to choose a brighter or more ornate frame without it overwhelming the artwork.

Framing a Canvas Painting

If you have a plein air painting or wall art that you would like to frame, you can take it up as a DIY project. Here's a step-by-step approach to help you frame a rolled canvas.

Step 1: Measure the Dimensions Correctly

To determine the size of the frame, you will need to measure the height and width of your canvas. Make sure to leave enough canvas to fold and staple to the stretcher bar which is framework support usually made of wood. If you need to cut the canvas because there is an excess that makes folding impossible or bulky, leave at least two inches of canvas to fold over and stretch.

Step 2: Place the Canvas Properly

You need to ensure that the rolled-up canvas is even before mounting the frame. Put it face down on a flat surface and measure the distance between the corners; they should be the same.

Step 3: Fold the Canvas

After placing the stretcher bar, you need to fold the extra bits of canvas over it. Start on one of the shorter sides of the canvas, fold one side of the extra canvas over the stretcher-bar.  You can use the canvas pliers to hold it in place. In the absence of canvas pliers, you can use a stapler. Staple once in the middle of the folded piece of canvas. Glue can also be used to tape the canvas to the stretcher.

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Frames to paint
Endless varieties of frames are available on online shopping platforms. | Source: unsplash.com

Step 4: Repeat the Process

Rotate the canvas to 180 degrees. Repeat the folding and stapling process until all sides have one staple in the center.

Step 5: Pull the Canvas

Once each side of the frame has a single staple, pull the canvas slightly — not too much, or your canvas won’t be able to shrink or expand — and add a staple on both sides of the middle staple, spaced evenly apart.

Step 6: Fold the Corners

Once the sides are done, move to the corners. Fold the corners by tucking one side under the other. Ensure that they are pulled tightly. Cut the tip of the corner before folding it down and then staple it to the frame.

Step 7: Place the Frame

Once the steps are complete, you can put the stretched canvas into the frame that you have selected.

Types of Frames

A framed picture on the wall can make the room vibrant and give it a new look. If you have canvas paintings that are waiting to be put up on your wall, you can either frame them yourselves or take them to a local shop that deals in framing artworks.

Frames can be purchased online from shopping portals that offer home delivery, free of cost. You can find traditional and modern frames for paintings done on canvas or made on drawing tablets or interactive whiteboards. Based on what you want, you can order them at home for your DIY project. Here are some common frame types that you can choose from for your jpg photo prints or oil paintings.

Floater Frames

Designed for artwork that is printed or painted on canvas, floater frames give art the illusion of floating inside the picture frame without touching it, which creates an interesting visual detail and a sense of three-dimensional depth in the overall display. Floater frames are commonly used for canvas paintings.

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Art Gallery
Visiting gallery exhibits can help you gather ideas on canvas framing.| Source: unsplash.com

Gallery Frames

Gallery frames use a mat to create an elevated frame-in-frame effect that you might often see in a museum photography installation. These are usually the stars of the exhibit and attract a lot of attention.

Modern Frames

These frames come with narrow panels. Their thin profile allows artworks to take center stage. If you are looking for a minimalist look that puts the emphasis on print, then modern frames are your best bet.

Whether you want to frame canvasses or pictures, you need to keep in mind the overall look that you want to achieve. The art piece, the frame, the wall colour - all these needs to be taken into consideration while selecting frames for a painting. Framing techniques can be mastered with practice. But you can take professional help to make the framed pieces to your liking.

While you can always purchase a work of art, you can also learn how to paint and create artworks of your own. You can join painting classes for beginners to learn the fundamentals of this art form. Painting can help you to express your creativity through colours. So try to acquire this new skill which you can nurture all through your life.

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.