What happens when your artwork goes to the framers?

At Enter Gallery, we don’t just take great pride in the art that we sell, we also care about how that art is displayed.

Frames are important – not only do they enhance the appearance of the artwork, but they also protect the piece from damaging elements, ensuring its value is preserved. That’s why all of our archive frames are bespoke, and hand-crafted locally by British businesses who’ve been in the framing game for years.

In today’s blog, we provide a glimpse behind the scenes of our bespoke archival framers, so that when you get your art framed with Enter Gallery, you know it’s in the best, most talented hands…


Step 1: Prepare each element

When your artwork arrives ready to be framed, the first thing the framer will do is assess the piece to establish the steps they need to take to frame it best.

Then, they will examine the sizes of the artwork so that each element of the frame can be cut. These elements include the frame itself, the glass, and the backing that the artwork is mounted on.  


Step 2: Mounting the piece

When your artwork is in its frame, you want the piece to lie flat. You certainly don’t want any creases, bubbles or curled corners. To ensure your artwork looks its best, it must be secured to archival backing. All of the backing used by our framers is acid-free.

When you buy art from Enter Gallery, our Art Advisors will factor in both the value of the piece, and the best style option to accentuate your piece. A couple of those framing style options include:


Box framing

This option creates a distance between the glass and your artwork, preserving the piece. It is an excellent choice for limited edition prints or original artworks.


Float mounting

Float mounting is an excellent choice if your artwork has beautiful deckled edges that you want to show off.



Shadow floating is a popular way to frame artworks, as it gives a lovely effect that makes the artwork appear as though it is floating in the frame.


Window mounting

Window mounting is another option that involves protecting the artwork from the glass with high-quality archival card. The result gives the effect that you are looking through a window at the image. Our framer recommends a window mount for anything of high value.


Dry mounting

The final option is dry mounting. While shadow floating and window mounting are reversible, with dry mount, when your artwork is secured, it is on for good.

Step 3: Cutting and joining the frame

Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

Next, it’s time to cut and join the frame. The frame will be cut to size using a double mitre saw using two large blades set at 45 degrees. The framer always factors 2mm leeway into the frame length to ensure the image doesn’t get pinched inside the frame.


Next, the sides of the frame are joined together using a machine called an ‘underpinner’. This machine fires v-shaped metal clips into the underside of the frame, pulling the corners together to form a neat and tight join that holds the frame together.

 Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

Step 4: Cutting the glass


Now, the time has come to cut the glass for the frame. There are several options for glass. Our Art Advisors factor in where the piece is going to be displayed, and whether it needs to be delivered overseas to determine the optimum option for each customer.

Our framers offer UV Clear Colour glass, UV 92 (a stronger UV filtering glass) and UV Cast Acrylic. It’s worth noting that while UV glass will significantly slow down the fading of an artwork, it is not completely infallible. It’s best to avoid putting your beloved pieces in direct sunlight, because – even with powerful UV glass – the sun’s rays are more powerful and it will eventually fade.   

If you live overseas, or you plan to place the artwork in a place where it might get knocked, such as a public place, or a child’s bedroom – UV cast acrylic is a great alternative. Not only is it lighter, but it doesn’t shatter like glass can. 


Step 5: Assembling the frame

Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

Now that all the elements are cut, the frame must be assembled. First, our framer will apply wax to the gaps left at the joints of the frame. The wax is rubbed on and when it hardens, it fills the small gaps permanently.

The glass will be cleaned to ensure no flecks of dirt or dust are framed alongside your artwork. Then, the slip will be secured with the frame – its job being to separate the artwork and the glass. It’s important to keep the artwork away from any surfaces or elements of the frame to avoid deterioration. 

Our framers then whip out their secret weapon - a feather which helps them to remove any remaining specks of dust or dirt, “either turkey or pheasant work wonders”, apparently!

Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

The image will be placed in the frame, then the backing will be secured with a staple gun, and the edges will be sealed with tape to prevent any dust creeping into the frame.

Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

Finally, D-rings will be added, through which the cord is threaded. And then the piece will be wrapped in protective materials ready to wing its way to you!

Limited edition art prints | Enter Gallery

You can read more about our framing options here, or contact an Art Advisor on +44 (0)1273 724829 at the gallery to discuss the best choice for you.