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Framing your art work

Framing art is, well an art in its self! Get it wrong and you could ruin your picture, get it right and it comes alive on your wall!

It can be a confusing & daunting process framing artwork, but we have teamed up with master framer Thomas Rainsford to bring you a guide to framing your artwork. From custom made frames to off the shelf here are some tips on what to look for and some help with the jargon that comes with it!

We are always here to help and advise you so if you have any more questions please do email us on hello@boxbird.co.uk!


Going To a Framers

Wherever you live there will be a framer nearby, don’t be worried about going in and knowing nothing about framing! A good framer will be happy to guide you through all the options.

Framing does cost a bit of cash, but it is truly worth it. Your artwork will come alive in a handmade frame – I promise! Framers will advise of the costs of different mouldings available to fit your budget.

We work very closely with master framer Thomas Rainsford who is based in Brighton. He has some top tips for you when choosing your frames!

  • Always use a complimentary colour for your frame ensuring the frame doesn’t detract the eye from the artwork.
  • The mounting (border around the edge of the artwork) if you decide to use one, should usually always be a neutral colour which will allow the artwork to be seen more than the borders.
  • Make sure the framer you use only uses archival materials as non-archival products may lead to damage to your artwork over time
  • Ask about the different glazing options available, as some do cost a bit more but the appearance of the artwork through the glass will be affected with a cheaper glazing option.
  • Remember you are showing off the artwork when framing not the frame. A good frame will enhance the artwork and not take the eye away from it. Don’t frame all your artwork the same, it may ruin your enjoyment of it!

You can visit Thomas at his studio in Kemptown, Brighton. Or contact him on 01273 689699

Framing Jargon Buster!

Mount - this is the ridged card which goes around a picture with a big hole in the middle so you can see your work! Some prints really need a mount some don’t! Your framer will help you decide if your does.

Moulding – this is the term used to describe the wood or metal frame you choose!

Float Mounted – this is when your picture is secured to the backing of the frame and looks as if it floats in the frame!

Box Frame – These are a lovely way to frame artwork, but generally only works without a mount. The picture is set away from the glass leaving a space between the two.


Buying ‘off the shelf’

Habitat, Ikea, B&Q and many other homeware stores sell off the shelf frames. This is a brilliant and affordable way to frame artwork.

Take your time choosing the correct frame type to compliment your work. It is rare that you can buy artwork which fits custom off the shelf frame sizes, so you may need to go to a framers and have a mount cut. Take the frame you have bought and the artwork with you so they can help you measure up the mount you need.

Before you put your artwork into the frame clean the inside of the glass. Be sure that it is completely dry before putting your artwork in.

Hanging & Cleaning your framed artwork

Whether you have had a frame handmade or bought from Ikea the same rules apply for caring for your framed artwork.

Try and hang your artwork away from direct sunlight and radiators too. Use a secure screw or well banged in nail! If your artwork is heavy then definitely go with a screw and raw plug to be sure it doesn’t fall!

When cleaning the glass NEVER spray glass cleaner directly onto the glass – it may dribble down under the glass and damage your print (yes I have learnt this first hand!). Spray the glass cleaner onto the cloth first then rub on. You should also use a lint free cloth to avoid any smears and marks on the glass ensuring to buff the glass afterwards with the dry side of the cloth.

If you don’t feel confident about hanging a piece yourself then The Brighton Picture Hanger offers a full picture hanging service in the Brighton area. Owner, Patrick Donohoe, has been hanging artwork most of his life and can recommend the best solutions to displaying your framed artwork safely!


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