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Tips on Selecting the Proper Frame

Tips for choosing the best frames for your art.

Edward Thorpe provides these tips on how to select the correct frame for a piece of art, explaining what should be considered to make the most of the artwork:

  • No matter what style home you have, nothing dresses up the walls like a piece of beautiful artwork and with the right frame, anything can look like a masterpiece.

  • While it's always a good idea to know what colors are going to be in a room, the colors for the framing should be drawn out of the artwork itself.

  • If the artwork is valuable, consider using preservation techniques. These include acid-free paper, UV protective glass or plastic and keeping the art away from the glass, which is usually accomplished with a mat.

  • Thorpe tries to avoid putting really strong color in the matting as it draws your eye to the framing rather than the artwork. Try a few variations of mats before moving onto the frame.

  • When choosing a frame, look at color. Once again, you want it to pull from the artwork, not the room. There are lots of different styles of frames and types of finishes available so select samples to test them out.

  • The size of the frame is best left to a professional's eye as proportion is difficult to teach. Generally, the wider the mat, the narrower the frame should be.

  • The last thing to consider is glass and Thorpe shares three choices. Lightly etched glass has no glare, but you can't see the artwork very well. The second is regular glass with UV protection, but there is a lot of glare with it. The last (and most expensive) is non-reflective museum glass, which has no glare and is clear.

  • Finally, once the art is beautifully framed and ready to hang, make sure to use the appropriate picture hooks for the weight of the piece or it will pull away from the wall. Weight indications are listed on the picture hook packaging.

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