What Are the Best Tips for Framing Fine Art?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2019
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When framing fine art, it is important to select something that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of the artwork. Buying fine art frames from a specialized dealer is best. Professional framing is a good option for those inexperienced at choosing fine art picture frames. In addition to the frame, the option of matting the artwork should be considered. Fine art matting gives the print more depth and dimension, and especially works well for landscape photos.

A fine art print may be acquired at an auction or estate sale without a frame. In some cases, fine art picture frames become damaged over time and need to be replaced. Framing fine art may seem complex to a novice because there are so many options available, and so many frame styles to choose from. Before deciding on a style however, it's crucial to take measurements of the print to be framed. Once the proper size has been determined, the next step is contacting a framer who can offer suggestions and guidelines for framing fine art.

It's important to remember that framing fine art is also a matter of personal preference. The decision should not be based on pleasing everyone else, but satisfying the owner of the print. Getting the input from the creator of the artwork whenever possible can help, however.


Fine artwork needs to have protection from smudges or dust, as well as humidity. For extremely humid conditions, it may be necessary to frame fine art in something made from Plexiglas®. This material is durable and less likely to crack or shatter than glass. Additionally, Plexiglas® will not be as reflective and cause a glare. Another good point to remember is that oil paintings should not require matting, although digital prints and photographs will look best with a mat.

If other materials are being used for framing fine art, they need to be free of acid. Acid-free tape or matted paper will resist fading and discoloration. This is especially important if the art is displayed in an area that receives frequent sunlight.

For modern or contemporary artwork, choosing a wood frame is generally suitable. The wooden frame should coordinate with furnishings and room decor. Oak, walnut, cherry, or maple picture frames are readily available. If the artwork to be framed is traditional, choosing an antique frame or one that is intricately styled might add a nice touch.


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