Custom framing is all about enhancing, protecting and displaying your item. Your item could be a piece of artwork, a photograph or a sentimental object such as a football jumper etc.
Why Custom Framing is Essential
Your item is a reflection of you, your aesthetics, interests and style. Would you buy a pair of pants that don’t fit you? Then why would you do so when framing your art? Your frame should not be the main focus. Your art is what you want to highlight. Your bespoke frame will complement your item, as well as your home’s decor.
Custom frames are the best way to protect and preserve your item for future generations. This means your piece will always be in the best condition ever. Your item will look fantastic, professional, and without imperfections or blemishes etc. If your item has unusual dimensions, it would be impossible to frame it yourself anyway.
A cheap frame will definitely make your art look cheap. The correct frame improves the value of your art. So, good quality materials and craftsmanship are an investment. Otherwise, your item will deteriorate and go yellow over time. Acid-free and archival materials prevent this. Such materials are essential when you are custom picture framing.
A custom framer can:
- Consider your personality, as well as your home’s walls, floors and furniture etc.
- Help you select frame styles for the correct art period of your framed piece.
- Understand your installation issues and display location issues. As well as how to deal with moisture and humidity.
- Show you recommendations for oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel, or other mediums.
- Provide expertise on glass or acrylic glazing, mediums, preservation, mounting, matting, frame construction, canvases and so on.
- Explain the use of paper mats, rag mats, buffered or unbuffered rag mats and so on.
- Suggest reversible mounting or neutral materials.
- Recommend certain colours, spacers and frames for your item and explain why to use them.
How Custom Framing Works
- What object or piece is being framed?
- Where will you be displaying the item?
- Will it be the focus of the room? Consider colours and the décor of your room.
- Why are you framing this item? What is its significance? What is special about your item?
- Is the frame going to be sturdy enough to display your item? Is it deep enough? Will it protect your item?
First decide on the frame for your piece. Don’t rush this decision. This is when you select the best materials, colours, textures and styles for your item. Afterwards, you can determine if the frame suits your room’s style.
Select style, materials and mat boards. Select from thin, wide, black, white, off-white mat boards or no mat board at all. Vary the sizes as well. Thinner frames than your mat are common. The mat width standard is four inches. Wider moulding is great if you’re not using a mat.
The colours and contrasts are important considerations. From a colour chart, pairing opposite colours together can work well for you. For instance, black-and-white items work well with white mats and black frames. For warmer colours and blues, try wooden frames with orange tones paired with blue mats.
Your custom framer will measure the item, ensuring everything is a perfect fit and size. Once you have decided on all the design choices, your custom framer will handcraft the frame. They cut and join the materials, including mats and glass, and mount your item.
Top Tips for Custom Framing
- It’s important to remember that there are many different types of ‘white’. Cool or warm whites, whites that have red or green tones etc.
- Anything that comes into contact with your item must be acid-free. Otherwise, deterioration or yellowing will occur. PH-neutral mat boards prevent yellowing. The medium density fiberboard core backing also prevents dust. You can use a foam core behind your item, inside your frame.
- Do not use glass on canvas art. Allow the canvas to breathe and do not frame it with glass. (Unless it will go in a location with frequent fire or smoke.)
- There are hardwood, soft wood, Medium density fibreboard, polystyrene frames and so on.
- Consider your UV-protection and anti-glare options.
- For glazing, use acrylic not traditional glass, because glass is too heavy and can shatter.
- Never use plastic or MDF. Single mats rather than triple mats with spacers are a good choice.
- Do not use screw eyes or saw-toothed hangers. Use Tyvek or blue-grey dust covers, and neutral pH paper.
- The artwork must not continue behind the back of your frame. If it does, your rabbet (sunken area of your frame where your art sits) may be too narrow.