How to Frame Artwork

Framing Paintings and Works of Art

Once you have the perfect painting or artwork for your wall, you'll want to choose the perfect frame. Choosing the right picture frame can make all the difference when you want to display your artwork - at home or in your office. Wall art is one of most creative ways to decorate your living spaces and many paintings and wall hangings tell a unique story. The goal of framing artwork is to enhance or compliment this story.

Artwork Framing Considerations

There are many factors to consider when selecting a frame for your paintings, photographs, or other forms of wall art. Here are some of the many considerations that go into the art of framing artwork:

Artwork Size

Avoid small frames for large paintings and large frames for small painting, which either draw attention away from artwork or make artwork appear less significant.

Artwork Style

The rule of thumb in framing paintings/pictures is that selecting a frame which compliments the work of art takes priority over selecting a frame which complements the décor of the room. In fact, you should think of your picture and its frame as a single entity. Here are some general but in no way binding guidelines about how to match painting styles with frame styles (after all, the essence of artwork is creativity, and the creative process applies no less to the selection of a picture frame):

For classic-styled or traditional paintings, consider a wood, etched, or wide gold leaf picture frame; for an abstract piece of art or a contemporary painting, consider a slim, solid-color, or metallic frame; professional portraits are complemented by an elegant or somber frame; add a splash of personality to lighthearted paintings or family portraits with a colorful or whimsical picture frame, or a frame which gives the picture special meaning.

Artwork Location

In addition to selecting a frame that matches the style of your wall art, consider also how the frame compliments the style of your room. Natural wood frames are a popular choice since it blends well with most decorating schemes and can be stained or painted if the room is given a makeover. In addition to paying attention to a room's color, consider the theme of the room where you are proudly displaying your handiwork. A picture frame for the living room or dining room and a picture frame for a baby's nursery or children's bedroom are going to look very different. On the other hand, you might decide to make your framed artwork the focal point of the room and select room furnishings which match your masterpiece.

The Wall Behind the Art

Another key consideration when selecting a frame is whether the wall behind your artwork is white and plain or colored and 'busy.' Busy walls include walls with textures, colors, patterns, and other frills. The rule of thumb in this case is to separate artwork from the wall such that the wall doesn't run into the picture and the picture doesn't run into the wall. (In essence, frames and walls should contrast one another.)

Benefits of Framing Artwork

Here are some the functions a frame performs:

•- Protects artwork from damage

•- Ensures a long life for your painting

•- Preserves oil and watercolor paints

•- Enhances artwork beauty

•- Necessary for selling artwork at exhibitions

Types of Artwork Frames

Fortunately, there are literally thousands of picture frames on the market today, in every size, shape, style, and color imaginable. Whether you are looking for a frame that is big, small, rectangular, square, round, angular, antique, traditional, elegant, contemporary, funky, whimsical, metallic, wood, plastic, colorful, humorous, or one-of-a-kind, there is a frame for every picture and a framework for every art form.

Floater Frame

Using a floater frame is a special type of framing which goes against the general principle that large works of art look better in wide frames while smaller works of art are complemented by thin frames. In floater framing, you use an oversized, large frame to showcase a small-sized painting or work of art. Here is how it works: A floater frame has a back to which your artwork is attached, however your artwork never touches the actual frame itself, giving the illusion the artwork is 'floating' or suspended in the frame. Floater frames not only add dimension to your works of art with their ability to add up to four inches in height and width to an art piece, but they add a flare of the dramatic and are sure to turn many an admiring eye in the direction of your masterworks.