How to frame artwork

Framing art is easy when you know which sizes and colours to work with, but if you’ve recently bought the perfect print for your home without a frame, you may need a helping hand.

It’s all too easy to purchase a fine piece of art and abandon the task of framing it, but no picture should stay unframed in your home. It should be hung up for everyone to admire instead. Simply follow these easy and helpful tips to ensure you do exactly that.

Framing artwork: What to focus on

Framing paintings and prints is almost as important as choosing the right piece for your home. Of course, there is no set rule for what border size to settle on or whether a patterned or plain frame is best. This being said, some frames can enhance the beauty of your particular piece of artwork better than others. If you’re wondering what to focus on when framing your print(s), we recommend doing the following…

Envision where you’ll be hanging your art first

The setting of your print is crucial. It’s a good idea to buy a piece of artwork with a specific location in mind, and this rule applies to the frame you are purchasing too.

A wider frame can work wonderfully against a spacious wall, but if it’s placed in a smaller or busier area of your home, such as your downstairs bathroom, it can take up too much wall space and appear cluttered. For this reason, you need to measure your wall space and purchase frames, and prints, which will fit well in the area you’re considering.

How to choose a frame for a painting or print

If you’re wondering how to frame a painting, it’s less hassle than you think. There are various ways to frame your prized pieces, but you should deliberate over a few things to begin with.

The border style is more important than you think

A frame’s border is integral to the framing process and which style you settle on. You may find frames that feature patterns or a collection of lines, but when framing a painting, it’s usually best to avoid these unless you're looking to achieve maximalist interior design.

Instead, opt for a flat border, as this will guarantee that the painting is the star of the show, not the frame it’s in. Curved frames can work well with detailed painting designs, so look out for these if you’re looking for a quirkier option.

Consider the size

When framing a painting, you should always check its size so you can discover a correctly-sized outer frame to match. We would recommend taking exact measurements and writing them down so you have them to hand when searching for the perfect frame. After all, you don’t want to order a frame that is smaller or larger than the actual design. Getting hold of the correct size is easy to do, as you can find this information in the product description and so purchase an appropriate frame with confidence.

Think about matting

You may not know what ‘matting’ means, so we’ll explain this for those of you who don’t. Matting is a paper-based border that’s included in a picture frame, and this surrounds your chosen design. Many people use this framing style to add extra interest to the piece they’re displaying, as the spacing between the frame and print accentuates the main design.

As a rule of thumb, the print’s matting should never be darker than the darkest colour used on the piece. It’s not surprising, then, that white or ivory is a popular matting colour because it nicely highlights an array of illustrations. You should therefore study the varying colours of the art you intend to hang in your home before deciding on a mat board frame.

Carefully consider your home’s interior

When you’re framing artwork, experiment with varying colours and designs that match your décor. There are plenty of different eye-catching frames out there that will appeal to you, however the sheer amount of choice can make your decision process a little harder.

Our advice would be to always choose a frame which compliments both the design and the room’s décor. If your home suits a more minimalistic style it’s best to opt for slim black or white frames, especially if you’re adding black and white posters or prints to your walls.

Whereas if you have maximalist or vintage-inspired interiors, opt for a thicker coloured frame and be mindful of the colour you are choosing in relation to the print you are framing. For example, you could choose the frame’s colour according to the minor hues of blue in the floral artwork you are framing, rather than the focal colour. You certainly don’t want a frame to take the attention away from your chosen piece, so it’s crucial to always consider both background and main colours in a piece or art.

Think about the style of your artwork 

The art you choose to introduce to your walls is a key factor in your framing process. For instance, if you’re browsing through Art Nouveau prints to add to your space, you should be searching online for the ideal Art Nouveau style frame to go alongside it. Frames and artwork go hand in hand, so this should be noted when you purchase new pieces for your home.

Some pieces will suit certain frames more than others, as contemporary artwork will suit a bold black frame over a patterned one. To frame a painting that’s a little older, like those from the romanticism period, opt for a textured, ornate gold frame to enhance its historical importance and make it a defining feature of your living room walls.

Frame your prints with ease

Now you’ve learnt how to frame art yourself, this means you can start hanging some sublime designs on your walls for your house guests to see. Your next steps will involve buying prints to suit your space, so peruse our fantastic range of art themes and find your favourite(s)We also offer framed art, which is available in two different sizes, in the shades of oak, white and black. Simply choose which suits your space and its interiors the most!

Ensure you also read through other blog posts we've created for further insights on all things artwork, including helpful tips on how to create a productive home office and much more.