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Framing Art: A Step by Step Guide

Created by Kayla Cole Step by Step

The fun part about decorating your home is finding the perfect piece of art. The part that doesn’t really get attention in the magazines and museums is the framing of the art you found. Framing is important but can be overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. 

Usually we hear the same questions when it comes to framing:

  1. What size frame should I use?
  2. Should I frame with wood or metal, black or white?
  3. What is a mat? Do I need a mat?
  4. Is there anyone who can do this for me?

All of those questions are EXACTLY why we want to share this blog post… because framing should not be a scary process. Here are a few easy steps to consider when framing the perfect painting or portrait you bought but haven’t hung yet.

STEP 1: Size

What size frame do you need?

When you buy art that hasn’t been custom made, typically, it will come in a standard frame size. Standard frames are easy and affordable to purchase. You can find charming frames for standard sizes at most home décor shops. When shopping for frames, we suggest you frame for the long hall. Framing art will protect the piece and if you change the frame often, this could damage the art and eventually ruin the look of the piece. Here are the average standard sizes that frames come in:

  •  8 X 10
  • 11 X 14
  • 16 X 20
  • 20 X 24

For example:

Frances The Flamingo by Jane Marie Edwards is a standard 8 X 10 piece of art. 

And Water Lily by Barbara Hayden is 16 X 20


 STEP 2: Mat

What is a Mat and do I need one?

 A Mat is a cardboard piece that has a cutout for the art to sit in. Jane Marie Edwards shows us how a Mat gives art the space to inspire inside of the frame. A Mat is great for a few reasons.

First, if you have purchased a piece of art that isn’t in the standard size, a Mat is a great filler into a frame that is of standard size. Second, Mats give art space in the frame. Solid color space inside of a frame will allow observers eyes to rest only on the art. Finally, a Mat creates an exclusive and unique impression to art.

 Basic colors are the best bet when choosing a Mat. White, off white, tan, colors in this family usually do not take away from the piece you are framing. The artwork is beautiful by itself, but the Mat allows the piece to truly be one-of-a-kind in your home.

You can see the Mat look in Jane Marie Edwards Color Wheel VIII below:

Color Wheel VIII by Jane Marie Edwards

 STEP 3: Type of Frame

Should I frame with wood or metal, black or white?

Choosing the right frame can be overwhelming while you are standing in line at HomeGoods, but it doesn’t have to be. Framing art is an art in itself and can be a place for the owner to express creativity. For a room that has multiple pieces of art in it, mixing up the style of frame will give diversity to the observer. Statement frames can also draw attention to a space you hope to host in. When in doubt, basic solid color frames are the way to go.

Amy Dixon found a great way to frame her Beach Soul to preserve the feel:

 STEP 4: Custom

 Is there anyone who can do this for me?

Custom framing is a great way to make sure the visuals of the art stay in tact. You bought the piece and you want to make sure it is as appealing to your guests as it is to you. Having a professional frame your art is always an option. We love to help art enthusiasts find the perfect frame for their art.

Check out our framing work: 

A gold floating frame works perfectly with these colors:

Gold Frame Art

Gold Floating Frame

Amy Dixon found her art in this stunning grey barnwood float frame (Available for purchase):

Amy Dixon Artist

Ashley Williams found the perfect match with gold bamboo frames:

Gold Bamboo Frame Art

 Do you have a favorite framing trick? We'd love to hear from you @christenberrycollection on Instagram.


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