Four steps to choosing your perfect frame
So, you’ve fallen in love and chosen the dream piece of art. Now, before you can hang it in pride of place, you have to decide how you want it to be framed.
While you might think that any normal frame will suffice and that specialist framing seems pricey, remember that a frame should be chosen to be with your artwork for life. It should both display the art in all its glory and preserve it for years to come.
In this handy step-by-step guide, we reveal the processes our staff run through in the gallery to ensure every customer chooses a frame that protects and enhances their treasured artwork.
Step 1 – Considering the benefits of archival framing
The first thing that we will run through with you is the value of your art. Determining this, helps us to establish how best to frame it. If the piece is valuable, say a limited edition, or something signed by an artist, your priority should be preserving the art, because preserving the art preserves its value. When you buy a limited edition, we advise that you avoid interfering with the original artwork as much as possible, and having it framed so that it holds its value - the idea being that should you wish to sell in the future, the piece will be in the exact same state in which it was originally produced.
If your artwork is something that isn’t going to increase in value and that you don’t plan on selling in the future, for example, something sentimental, like a photograph, a poster, or a piece of art you fell in love with whilst on holiday, we can help you select a frame that will make it look fantastic. We also recommend having these types of artworks dry mounted. This is an inexpensive process which involves sealing your artwork permanently onto a backing board before framing it. Once dry mounted and framed, no matter where you hang the piece, whether in the bathroom or the kitchen, the image will never wave.
Step 2: Choosing the colour and style of your frame
Next up, we turn to frame style. At Enter Gallery, we like to err on the simple side when it comes to the style of our frames. We believe a frame should accentuate the image. We want the art to speak for itself and to get the attention it deserves, rather than being overshadowed by a distracting frame. It’s also important to choose a colour and frame that complements the artwork itself, rather than the décor of the room you plan to put it in. Your art will last forever, but the colour scheme of your home will often change.
We’ve kept the framing options on our website nice and simple but if you have a specific style of frame in mind, or you’re looking for something special, give us a call at the gallery on +44 (0)1273 724829 to discuss. You can send over images of frame styles that have caught your eye and we can find you something similar, or we can help you to select something from our vast selection of literally thousands of frame mouldings.
Step 3: Choosing your mount
The next step is to determine how best to mount your artwork, both for maximum effect and to protect it. For pieces of value, it’s essential to use archival mounting material as cheaper options contain acids which can damage the artwork. All of the materials used in our framing workshop are acid-free. It’s also important to choose a mount that separates the art from the glass to avoid any risk of damage.
When choosing a mount, we look at whether the image goes right to the edge of the paper. If it does, we recommend a float or a shadow float so that the frame doesn’t conceal any part of the artwork. This method is particularly effective for pieces with deckled edges.
If your artwork has a white border, or a straight edge, there are two options – box framing or window mounting.
At Enter Gallery, we typically opt for box framing for pieces of value. The frame is essentially a box, which keeps the print separate from the glass, and protects it from damage.
If box framing is not your thing, or you’d like to make your piece larger to fill a specific place in your home, a window mount is a great choice. In this instance, your art is overlaid by a window cut from archival mount board, again ensuring that the art doesn’t touch the glass.
Step 4: What glazing is best for your artwork?
The best glass for you will depend upon the value of your piece and the location you plan on hanging it. These are the glazing options you’ll be presented with, and the art that they work best with:
- Standard 3mm Float: This is a high quality glass specially-designed for the framing industry, which displays the artwork clearly. It is good for all general framing as long as you aren’t concerned about direct sunlight or long-term fading. However, if the artwork is of value or you plan to hang it somewhere that receives direct sunlight we recommend choosing one of the below options. This is the standard glass we use for all items listed on our website. Should you want a different type of glass, or an option that provides greater protection, contact us and we’ll be happy to talk you through our selection of glazing.
- UV Glass: Direct sunlight is one of the biggest threats to your artwork. As a rule of thumb, if you plan to hang it somewhere that receives regular direct sunlight, UV glass is the best option. We also recommend UV glass for any artwork valued at over £1,000. It provides 98% protection, and does a great job of preserving the appearance and value of your beloved piece of art.
- Clear Colour Glass: This option is best for dark prints, such as pieces from the likes of Magnus Gjoen. This type of glass ensures you can see the image and colours clearly, without any reflections. This option has no UV protection, so only works for pieces that are hung away from direct sunlight.
- Clear Colour UV: As you’ve probably guessed, Clear Colour UV offers the clarity of Clear Colour glass, teamed with UV protection. We suggest this for the most expensive prints, or for customers wanting to be especially cautious.
- 3mm Cast Acrylic: Because of its durability, we use museum-quality acrylic for particularly large artworks, and for anything that we are shipping internationally. Occasionally customers opt for acrylic if a piece is going to be hung in a commercial space or a child’s bedroom and the buyer is concerned about the possibility of smashed glass. This option looks exactly the same as Standard 3mm Float.
- 3mm Cast Acrylic UV – This option has all of the qualities of 3mm Cast Acrylic, only with UV protection.
(We would recommend clear colour glass for very dark prints such as this Pure Evil print.)
If you’ve had a good look through the Enter Gallery website, you’ll have spotted that we have a useful tool which allows you to see how different frame styles and mounts look. When scrolling through our artworks, beneath the name of most pieces you’ll spot a heading entitled ‘Framing’ followed by a selection of different black and white buttons. Click on these to see how each framing and mounting option works with your selected art, and the cost of that mount and frame.
How do I hang my piece?
Later, when you receive your framed artwork, you’ll see that the framer will have selected the best type of hanging device for your specific piece. You can learn more about how to hang your artwork in our handy video below.
What else can Enter Gallery frame?
We can also help if you wish to frame something that’s not traditionally considered ‘art’.
Over the years, we’ve helped people frame football shirts, medals, cricket bats, shoes…the list goes on. As long as it’s legal, we can frame it! Give us a call on +44 (0)1273 724 829 and we’ll do our best to help.
While our framing experts are always on hand to advise what we think works, how you frame your artwork is ultimately up to you. You can rest easy knowing that we will never try and upsell you unnecessarily. We only ever recommend more expensive glazing or framing if we know that they are the best options for preserving your piece.
To chat all things framing with one of our experts, message us and we can call you back, or call the gallery directly on +44 (0)1273 724829.