The Frames.co.uk Guide to Framing Art (and Hanging It)
We’ve all spent a lot more time at home this year than we would normally, and so we know that many of us have pieces of art lying around our homes that we have just not hung.
This could be because the thought of putting a permanent hole in our wall seems frightening – something we need to give some serious thought to.
The other thing that might be off-putting as well is the wide range of choices out there – from a0 picture frames to the colour of matting, and the style and colour of your frames. It can all feel a little bit bewildering.
Here at Frames.co.uk we aim to make the world of picture framing an easy and less daunting one. So, here is our simple approach to framing and hanging, sprinkled with a few words of wisdom to help you to get your artwork on your walls in an easy a way as possible.
Your home doesn’t have to look like a museum. The majority of us collect things that wouldn’t be considered masterpieces in the normal world of art, but they are things that we love. This could be a photograph that we took on honeymoon, our children’s best scribblings, a picture that we loved at an art fair, a vintage poster of our favourite holiday spot, even a vintage quilt that is too precious to use. These are the pieces that we want to help you frame, without you feeling intimidated by the process or having to spend a fortune.
Make sure you keep the long-term in mind when you frame items. Matting materials need to be acid free and there should be a dust cover on the back of the mat. Traditionally, most frames come with a glass front but you can choose acrylic as an alternative now as this is lightweight and tends to be shatterproof. The downside of acrylic is that it is more easily scratched than glass.
If you want to frame an actual painting that has been done on canvas, then you need to approach this in a different way. Oil paint on canvas is quite hardwearing actually, and you can hang it in sunlight without fear of damage and also dust it lightly as well. You may want to think about avoiding covering the picture with acrylic or glass, so that you can see the build-up and textured sweeps of the paint when you look at the picture. You can still use ao poster frames to finish the piece off.
The majority of pictures, especially watercolours, and textiles should be hung in a well-shaded spot – never in direct sunlight. Watercolours work best when they are hung in a shaded bedroom or dark hallway, as this will protect the colours and not wash them out too much.
The mount, or border, is the thin piece of paper like material on which your piece of art sits – and it is mostly decorative - a sort of backdrop to allow the artwork to shine.
Some people choose not to use a mount, especially with large-format photography as the image tends to have a greater impact without. Multiple pieces, such as diptychs and triptychs, can also look better without mats as it makes them a tighter, more cohesive story. However, if you have any work that has been done on paper – such as a drawing or a watercolour – then these can look even lovelier with a mount.
The whole point of the mount is to place more focus on the art itself, so when you are thinking about what colour of mount to choose try and restrain yourself. White and off-white will pretty much look fantastic against anything, but if your artwork is predominantly white or you want to add some drama – then black or grey might be a good choice to really set it off.
You can even think about adding a different colour mat as an accent behind your main mount to create a thin line around your artwork. Pick a colour that is found in the actual piece of art itself – such as a grey undertone or a piece of red.
Exercise restraint with your frame as well, anything will look great when paired with a clean, white frame – it’s a fool proof choice. However, you should let the art take the lead. Green toned paintings, for example, can look amazing in a gold frame – it can make them look like they are glowing.
The key principles of hanging
Adding art to your living space can be the most transformative step, if you keep it in the same style as the rest of the room and its surrounding architecture.
To hang art like a pro:
Whatever size frame you are looking for, from ao size to a6 size, Frames.co.uk are here to help. You can call us, email us or write to us and even check your order status online.
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