HOW TO: Frame Your Artwork

How you choose to frame an art piece can bring a new context and atmosphere to your work, which is why it is crucial to choose the right frame for your piece.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all pieces require a frame. For example: paintings where the canvas has been stretched to be stapled at the back, leaving a smooth continuous canvas without any visible tacks or staples (also known as gallery wrapping), does not necessitate a frame. Painters may even choose to extend their work around the side of the canvas. In these cases, framing is done at the artist's discretion and design vision.

Beyond design, framing can be done for archival purposes. For works done on paper, a frame is advisable because it can be used to preserve and protect the safety and integrity of the work. With this in mind, before framing a paper work, it is recommended the work be mounted on a support. All materials must be acid-free, as any materials containing acid risk the danger of discolouring or damaging the work.

In addition to protection, frames can also enhance the presentation and aesthetic look of a piece. For oil and acrylic works on canvas, frames can act as a finishing touch that completes the work. The right frame can concentrate the attention on the art itself by acting as a supplement. 

These considerations can make choosing the right frame seem complex, and while it's not always an easy task, it can be as fun as creating the artwork. As you become more familiar with the types of frames available to you and how they serve your work, you'll find it gets easier and gratifying when you make the right selection.


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