This week: what to look for when buying a ready-made picture frame and mount

Written by chris pink on March 27, 2015 in Picture Framing

Here at Picture Frame Studio, our business is in making custom size frames fit for any purpose. That said, we understand that sometimes people come across picture frames in high-street shops and find that these work well for images and photos that are standard, basic sizes.

So, with standard in mind, here’s our check-list of what to look out for to make sure that your new frame is a decent buy.

Is the frame too narrow?

Narrow frames can work very well, but if a frame is too narrow – for example, less than 2cm wide – you may struggle to put screws in the back without them bursting out of the sides. You can use very small screws of course, but even these can be a problem, so this is a factor to keep in mind.

Do the frame and mount really go together?

Ready-made mounts and frames often work well. But beware strange or obscure colour combinations, and remember that even if your art-work matches these colours, the whole thing needs to work when it’s up on your wall at home!

Construction wise

That cheap picture frame you picked up for very little money may seem like a great deal, but if the frame hasn’t been properly put together, it won’t last very long. Turn the frame over and have a look at the corners. Can you see at least two V shaped staples holding each one together?

If the frame flexes a lot, or you can’t see evidence of both staples and glue, then that good deal may be one you might live to regret.

Acrylic or glass

There’s a place for both materials in picture frames, but beware the wrong material in the wrong frame! If your picture frame is going to stay in one place then we’d always recommend glass. But if you think you might move the frame around, or you’re at all concerned about it being dropped, then acrylic is the superior choice.

Now for the mount…

The last thing on this check-list is the mount (or matting). As mentioned in previous blog posts, you’ll want to have a look and see if the corners have been cut well. Over time, badly over-cut corners can attract dirt and dust and look anything but attractive, so always opt for a mount which has been cut well (…or mention this to the person at the checkout and see if a discount is forthcoming!).

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