The major reasons why your art should be framed include: (1) to complement and enhance your art and (2) to protect it against damage from such elements as dust and moisture, as well as against physical damage from transporting, touching, and handling art. It is not necessary to frame every work of art. Canvas paintings are often gallery wrapped instead.
This involves wrapping the canvas around thick stretcher bars and then secured on the back of the bars, so no visible attachment can be seen on its sides. Although this might be a good method for some artwork on canvas, those works of art that are on board and paper will usually have more protection and structure inside canvas frames
or art frames.
How to Select the Right Art Frame Molding
When it comes to selecting the color and style of molding to frame art, there are various schools of thought. However, most people agree that frame molding should first be selected based on the fact that it complements and enhances the artwork, and the room decor second. Then the frame and art combination can be selected as a single entity that complements a specific decor.
For example, a classical or traditional style painting might be suited to be framed with a wood tone or wide gold-leaf molding. On the other hand, an abstract or contemporary piece might be frame best in a solid color slim molding. A classic or traditional frame and work of art can also look great with modern decor while a modern frame and artwork can also do well in traditional decors.
Usually smaller artwork will look best with thinner moldings, while bigger pieces of art will usually look better with a wider molding. However, that is not always true. A big oversized frame can sometimes provide a small painting the appearance of a diamond within a setting. If you have limited wall space when trying to frame a big piece of art, then you can use a floater frame.
This type of frame has a solid back that the artwork attaches to so the actual art is not touched by the molding, which gives it the illusion that the work of art is floating inside of the frame. Regular frames can add up to 12 inches to the width and height of a piece of art, whereas floater frames might add 1 to 4 inches.
Often multiple moldings are used to provide a unique look. An inner frame is often used with oil painting. It is also called a linen liner covered with a neutral or white fabric along a fillet and a decorative molding that either fit under the mat or inside of the frame. A fillet may be used without or with a linen liner. A linen liner and frame molding should not be the same width. Usually, the frame will be wider than the liner.
Use common sense when selecting the color of your molding. The color should be selected that enhances and complements the colors in the work of art and not anything that will clash. Also, a busy image should not be paired with a busy-looking frame.
How To Frame Artwork on Paper
These are special considerations that need to be factored in when framing artwork on paper due to its restriction of movement and sensitivity to temperature, moisture, and light. Conservation Mounting is a practice that is used for protecting art from the elements and also to avoid the work being damaged by the molding method. You need to be able to remove the art from the framing without leaving any visible signs that the piece of art was ever framed.
The work of art needs to be mounted on a mount board of some kind of support before it is framed. The artwork and the mount board will be in direct contact with one another, so that is why it is critical to choose the right type of mount board. It needs to be made out of acid-free material. One excellent choice is Archival Foam Board since it will help to prevent moisture from getting into the back part of the frame.
All of the materials that are used to mount the work of art need to be acid-free. Aso, acid-free corner pockets and acid-free adhesives should be employed to secure the work of art to the mount. Any adhesives that are used should be easy to remove, and they should not darken or stain as they age. A good adhesive to use is freshly made rice or wheat starch paste. Never use pressure-sensitive masking tape or tape since the picture can be permanently damaged and it can be impossible or very difficult to remove.
Framing a work of art that is on paper will normally require framing it under glass to keep it protected. The glazing or glass will protect the artwork against damaging ultra-violet rays, pollutants, moisture, and physical damage. There are several kinds of glazing that are used including acrylic (Plexiglass), museum, non-glare, and regular glass. Conservation glazing can be applied to glass. It provides as much as 97% UV protection.
The artwork is separated from the glass by a matboard (also referred to as matting, matte, or a mat). It is a paper sheet or board that has a cutout window separating the work of art from the glass and provides a board around the art as well. Matting also helps with the presentation of the work of art. Instead of a mat, a spacer might be used. The spacer is put inside the rabbet in order to prevent the work of art from coming into contact with the glass or frame.
Fitting the Frame
When you are measuring a work of art for the frame, you need to consider more than simply the width and height of the piece of the art. Everything must fit into the rabbet or rebate. The frame molding should be slightly bigger than the work of art to provide for some play and room for expansion.
The depth of the rabbet needs to be deep enough for the work of art, along with the glass, spacers, matting, mount board, etc. The exception is when you would like the frame to look as it is floating on the wall, where the canvas stretcher bars or mount board will be slightly held off of the wall.