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I’ve Been Framed: Tips for Framing Art | Siouxland Homes

Joseph Pubillones Creators Syndicate Inc.

You may have already thought about the best way to create a gallery-style wall filled with different works of art, or even just select a singular piece of art to display above your couch.

Many see hanging art as a burden. Maybe they see “where to start” as the hardest part, or maybe they just don’t have the right tools. Nine times out of ten, the answer is a bit of both. Another aspect that confuses most homeowners and art collectors is the framing. Is there a correct way to frame art? Well, like most aesthetic decisions, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

But before you get carried away by a picture frame store, let’s take a moment to consider visiting a museum or art gallery. Every decision made by an artist with reference to a work of art is deliberate and therefore the framing of the art should also be thought through carefully. Frames are meant to show off, show off and protect artwork. In most cases, the frame should not compete with the art.

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Frames, in general, should remain in keeping with the period and style of the art. For example, an 18th century Dutch oil painting of flowers should be in a traditional frame, perhaps one with gilding that enhances the colors of the flowers. Similarly, a contemporary abstract painting should be in a simple frame or liner that does not detract from the work.

Another important consideration when framing art is where you will eventually hang the artwork. I always ask my clients to take a few photos of the room the piece will be placed in, measure the dimensions of the room, and bring a sample of the wall color. It is important that the finished piece does not conflict with its surroundings.

Beyond the aesthetic consideration, I also ask where the work will be hung for its protection. If the artwork is displayed in a controlled environment, that’s one thing. However, if it is in a space whose doors or windows are opened regularly, certain protective measures must be taken. This may involve adding a glass or Plexiglas covering to your frame or ensuring that framing materials, such as backing and matboard panels, are acid-free and mildew-resistant.

1. The selected frame should always be thinner than the mat.

2. No paper mat should be used on canvases. If it is necessary to expand the dimension of the art, use a cloth-wrapped liner and then a frame.

3. Select a frame that works well with the artwork rather than trying to match the frame of another piece that will be hung nearby. Your suspension location may change.

4. When grouping multiple artworks, use different frames unless you are making similar prints or a series of artworks of the same size.

5. You can use several shades or colors of frames, although they can be hung side by side.

6. Rules are made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to frame a contemporary piece or photograph with an ornate frame.

7. Some works, especially canvases, may be left unframed. The edges may be unfinished and mottled with brushstrokes and paint, but there is a certain charm and insight into how the artist works.

8. Matte black and matte white frames are very popular in galleries today. This look is perfect with photographic works.

9. Frames are expensive – sometimes as much as the work itself – so choose to outlast any trend.

10. When in doubt about a rug, keep it simple and stick to a neutral color. White, off-white, beige, or light gray are good choices.

Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is