Choosing a Frame

The chore of selecting the right frame for the right project is not that difficult because in most cases the artwork itself will tell you a lot about what kind of frame will look best with it.

Choosing a Frame - Athens Art and Frame

With so many choices how do decide on the right frame.

Pieces with a specific feel; i.e. art deco, oriental is usually best complemented when you stay with that “feel” when selecting a frame. A piece of artwork with an antique appearance usually requires an antique looking frame and so forth.

The manner in which a picture is framed affects the overall appearance in a variety of ways. It can make a picture appear enclosed and separate from its surroundings, or it can make the picture flow without obstruction; thus becoming part of the surroundings. A frame that projects forward from the piece will appear to enclose it more than one in which the picture sits flush with the front of the frame. A strong color will usually provide more of a sense of enclosure than a neutral color.

When choosing a frame it’s important to keep in mind the function of the frame is to protect and support the artwork; while holding all of the components flat for viewing. Framing should make viewing the piece easier by allowing one to focus his attention on the subject without being distracted by disproportionate mats or frames.

Wide frames are prominent and therefore bind the image more noticeably than a small frame. A frame that slants inward also helps to suggest enclosure more so than a frame of the same width that slopes back or away from the piece.

Structural Integrity

The corners of wood frames are joined with glue and v-nails, which are shot in from the bottom of frame. For this reason it’s important to make sure a frame is selected that is wide enough to hold the glass and the rest of the components.

  • 1in. wide frame for up to 14×18
  • 1-1/2in. wide frame for up to 20×24
  • 2in. wide frame for up to 24×35
  • 2-1/2in. wide over 24×36

Visual Weight

This has nothing to due with the actual physical weight of a frame, but rather how heavy the piece appears to be. Dark colors and strong lines will make a picture seem heavier than one with lighter colors or fine lines. You should keep this in mind when selecting a frame so as to balance the visual scale of the art and the frame.

Metal Frames

Choosing a Frame - Athens Art and Frame

Many new styles and finished of metal frames now available


The aluminum frame meets all criteria for the display of valuable prints in accordance with sound conservation practices. There are many advantages to metal mouldings;

  • A metal frame is unaffected by decay, insects, or fungal growth
  • t is chemically inert and gives off no destructive vapors
  • It is physically strong
  • The flexibility of the assembly hardware allows them to be opened easily
  • A metal frame may also be less expensive than wood

Metal frame designs have evolved greatly in the past few years from an aesthetic standpoint.

Floater Frames – Frames designed for stretched canvases that won’t cover any of the edges of the painting – the painting is just floating inside the frame.

Linen Liner – frames of variable widths that are covered with a linen material – sometimes used as a frame liner when framing an oil painting.

Stacking Frames – A technique for increasing the width of a frame or creating an interesting design element to a project.

One thought on “Choosing a Frame

  1. Luke Smith

    I think it is cool all of the different types of frames to choose from. I have some pictures where the frame’s color compliments it and makes it look better. I like getting new ideas on what frame works, and what does not.

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