How to choose
the right frame
for your
artwork? 

Selecting a frame is not just about choosing a colour and a material. It is all about your own personal style.

You need to put a lot of things into consideration before choosing what will work best for you. When you look at a piece of art, it is important to take time to assess its condition, considering how a frame can not only present a work most effectively, but also protect it from damage, degradation and all sorts of possible conditions.

It’s also important to consider where the work will be displayed, will it be staying in the same place for many years, will it be in a home or a gallery, or will it be transported a couple of times? All of these simple questions will give you perspective in choosing the right frame.  

There is a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to frames, some of which do not even need a professional, just an innovative and creative mind! The most popularly used frames are normally wood, black or white and metallic frames. These styles, when used right, intensifies the overall presentation of an artwork. This of course depends on finer details like the thickness of the frame or weather it will be shinny or matt. 

As a natural material, wood offers a warm and classic feel. It comes in a wide range of colors from light to dark depending on the finish used, wooden frames will present you with options for complementing and contrasting your images and in that way you can always choose what color shade and thickness would work best for you. 

Placing your photo in a solid-colored frame, like black or white, can bring out its features and beauty when used appropriately. Black frames offer an elegant, formal look, while white frames tend to be more casual in nature. The good thing about white and black frames is that they never go out of style, they are always a modern way of representing your photo or painting. 

Metallic frames, just like black and white frames can also bring a modern, trendy vibe. They lift a photo’s coloring, making it more alive and eye-catching. Because of its classy appearance, metallic picture frames work well for family portraits, stunning landscapes and wedding photos. If you have a candid shot on the other hand, it may look better in a black, white or wooden frame. 

It is important not to emphasize too much on matching specific colors in your photo to the frame color. It is better to instead consider the overall tone of the image when selecting a frame. You can select a lighter frame for simple or casual art and maybe choose a dark one for a more elegant or formal piece. 

Matching a frame to your existing room decor is more important than matching a color in your image to the frame itself. Choose a frame that either complements your current decor, or adds just the right spark of contrast. If you want to make your artwork stand out, make sure your frame color isn’t too similar to your wall color, they need to be different but also not conflicting. 

When you are trying to frame an oil painting, one needs to be very careful because unlike paper-based watercolor painting, an oil painting on canvas should not be framed behind glass. Water colors usually need to be placed behind glass to protect it against fading caused by sunlight. When choosing your frame, keep in mind your mount and what particular requirements your piece might have for conservation. The other factor is to let your painting breathe, oil paintings are not displayed with glass in the frame to prevent incurring further damage due to the glass touching the paint, dust particles & condensation. If you really do wish to have glass as an extra barrier you should make sure to use a spacer to prevent the painting and glass touching.  

Before investing in a frame, it’s always a good idea to make use of frame designing previews to test how the oil picture will look in the frame before buying. What is key when hanging an oil painting in a frame is to make sure that the frame you are buying is the correct size. To do this simply measure the height and width of your canvas or oil painting and determine whether the frame size needed is conventional or whether you will be needing a custom made frame. 

With modern art you may choose to hang your oil painting without a frame as long as the stretcher is solid and reasonably thick, then the oil painting can be wired to hang without a frame. The advantage of exhibiting modern oil paintings means that the viewer focuses entirely on the artwork, put into consideration that with a picture frame the art is protected and likely to last a lot longer and remain vibrant throughout its life. At the end of the day, whatever choice you make, make sure your artwork is exposed in all its glory using the frame it deserves. 

 by Sylvia A.Zajc