What to consider when choosing & buying picture frames

Written by chris pink on January 16, 2014 in Picture Framing

Thanks to the efficient service that we provide here at Picture Frame Studio, it’s very tempting for our visitors to buy the very first frame they see and love. Much as that benefits the both of us, what benefits us mutually even more is when everything goes just right.

Anyone who has bought their fair share of frames knows that to get the very best out of their picture frame, it’s important to consider a whole lot more than just the piece which is going in it. In this blog post, we’ll first examine the basics, then move onto some crucial points which are often overlooked.

1: What kind of piece is it? It may sound obvious, but oil paintings, prints, watercolours and illustrations all require slightly different presentation. For example, many people choose not to put their oil paintings behind glass (unless it is being mounted) but at the same time, almost every watercolour painting must be behind glass as a matter of course – with very few exceptions. Prints and illustrations are another thing, and a simple square frame often works best here, for example.

At the same time as considering the need for mounting…

2: Have you decided where the piece will be going yet? If you haven’t, you may want to go for something more neutral which will work equally well on different colours. If you have, you’ll want to think about what else is in the room. For example, is there a lot of dark Oak furniture, or pine? Matching the existing colour-scape is always a good idea.

What to consider when choosing and buying picture frames, illustration 1

3: Now we’ve considered these things, let’s have a think about how chunky the frame is. Why? Because you don’t want a frame which overpowers your picture, but, similarly, you don’t want a frame which is too narrow, either. Exceptions include small oil paintings where you want to make a big impression, which can benefit from a wide flat frame. Equally, if you’re looking to put a focus on your painting and already have a wide mount, you may be better-off with a thinner frame on a larger picture.

4: Has your piece got a lot of texture? If so, you may want to replicate this with the frame (especially true of palette-knife oil paintings where a large amount of paint has been used).

5: Will the piece be receiving a lot of natural light? If the answer is Yes – and particularly if the piece is expensive or treasured – then you may want to consider using non-reflective glass (or a special kind of more expensive protective glass which guards against the damaging UV rays). This kind of glass is ideally suited to this scenario. Using it means that you’ll be able to admire the piece without having sunshine bounced back into your eyes.

6: Have you thought about the rebate of the frame? Some frames have a narrow rebate which barely infringes on the piece within it at all, while others have a large rebate which will cover as much as 7mm of your piece all the way around, and may take up part of the artist’s signature.

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