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Choosing the right frame for your artworks

Choosing the right frame for your artworks

In the first part of this 2-part series we published last year, we discussed four (4) factors to consider when choosing the right frame for your paintings. We also took a dive into why these considerations matter.

In this second part, we will delve into the differing framing styles, how to choose what is best for your paintings, and how you can safeguard them.

Framing Styles

When choosing a frame for your artwork, the first thing to consider is the medium of the artwork. This is to ensure that the right frames are used accordingly. Frames are usually attributed to canvas works, but this does not always follow. This also serves as a protective measure for your paintings.

Gallery frames

These types of frames are dubbed gallery frames because they are often used for art displayed in the said institutions. These frames are typically white in colour because they are neutral and give room for emphasis to be centred on the artwork. A minimalist gallery wall can also be created with black frame.

Image 1: Photo of a black coloured gallery frame


Wooden frames

Wooden frames work well with canvas paintings as well as modern artwork. They are the best option for oil paintings.

Image 2: Photo of a wooden frame


Clear tempered glass

Picture framing glass, flat glass, or acrylic (sometimes known as “plexi”) are commonly referred to as clear tempered glass. These frames are perfect for use as picture frames. This style of frame is perfect for photographers and collectors of photographic art.

Image 3: A sample picture framing glass. Source: The display guys.


Read also: The secret recipe to art framing

They are also used for “conservation framing,” which is the framing of artwork and the presentation of art objects in display cases. You will often find such frame options in museums. Museums make extensive use of them to display art objects in order to restrict visitors from touching or tampering with objects displayed therein.

Image 4: example of museum style display cases of art objects. Source: Displays2go


It is important to note that glass frames should not be used in framing oil paintings so as to avoid moisture from being trapped behind it leading to damage of the artwork.

Shadow box

They are used to frame 3D objects because they are thicker than standard frames and give the illusion that objects are floating in space.

Choosing the right frame for your artworks
Image 5: Photo of Shadow box frame


Floating frames

These are usually considered as standard frames. In this type of frames, the artwork is placed directly against the frame. However, the floating frame gives the illusion that the artwork is floating inside the frame because it pushes the artwork slightly away from the edges of the frame.

Image 6: Painting in floater frame.
Title: Sade | Artist: Emmanuel Dudu | Country: Nigeria | Dimension: 12” x 12” | Year: 2022


How to protect your Frames

Frames not only enhance the aesthetics of an artwork, but also protects it from damage and degradation over time. Here are a few tips to help you protect your artworks better

  1. Do not hang art on wet walls. It should ideally be kept in a space with proper ventilation because humidity damages paintings. Mould can grow on an unprotected frame, causing the paint’s pigments to fade and the colours to lose their brilliance.
  2. When dusting artwork, avoid using a cloth since this could damage or scratch the paint’s surface. Use a soft artist brush as a superior substitute. The artwork should be taken to a professional restorer if it requires cleaning and some repair. If you are unsure of what to do or how to find one, Patrons MCAA can help with this.
  3. Avoid placing artwork too close to light sources, except for LEDs.
  4. Artworks should not be hung over a fireplace, heater, or oven. Preferably, you can frame artworks behind glass if you intend to hang them near a working fireplace. This glass-framed artwork as mentioned earlier, should not be oil paintings.

It is important to note that as a collector, you are not required to keep the frames that your painting comes with when you first purchased it. If the frame is of poor quality, it is best to get rid of it to avoid causing damage to your painting.

If you seek professional assistance, Patrons MCAA is here to take the burden off you. We can give you our professional perspective and offer our framing service to help you choose the ideal frame for your artwork. You do not have to figure this one out on your own. Send an email to [email protected] to get started.

Until next digest, poorly framed artworks cheapen their value.