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A Simple Guide to Framing Your Artwork

Framing your artwork plays a major role in bringing out its beauty. To make a smart frame selection, consider color, style and scale (width and depth). Your selected frame may blend or contrast with the artwork or mat. Blending colors will bring a subtlety to the design whereas a stronger contrast will be more dramatic.

It is common to choose a frame that matches or relates to the style of the artwork, but it isn't always necessary! When framing traditional or classical artwork it is desirable to choose a matching style. When framing contemporary  artwork it can be fun to intentionally choose an unexpected style to add interest. There should be a relationship between the art and frame but it may come from a pattern on the moulding replicating the look of something in the artwork itself.

Choosing an appropriate width and depth frame is very important. The frame needs to be substantial enough to physically support the size and weight of the artwork. A frame should also look supportive of the visual weight of the artwork. It is important not to overwhelm the artwork with the frame. The frame and mat combination is there to compliment the art, not compete with it.

The depth of a frame should be able to accommodate all the contents that will accompany the art, including glass, mats, backings, etc. Deeper frames than needed can also be used to project the art outward or recess it to add depth. Here is a general guide that should help you pick the right frame thickness for your artwork:

  • 1/2 - 2 inch width frame for artworks up to 11 X 14
  • 2 - 3 inch width frame for artworks up to 16 X 20
  • 3 - 4 inch width frame for artworks greater than 16 X 20

You do not need to match your frames to your furniture finishes or colors! If you have a lot of dark wood furniture in your room, try lightning up the art with contrasting frame colors. Pieces next to each other should have the same frame, but again this is not a rule!

Mats come in a number of colors and tones and the choice should be made depending on the color of the frame and the dominant colors in the artwork. Exactly how you match the colors is a matter of taste, but a basic rule is to choose a discreet mat that does not detract attention from the picture. If you are double or triple matting your artwork, the outside (top) mat is typically 2 inches and can be as wide as 6 inches. The inner mats are usually 1/4 of an inch. Neutral mats will work for most art. On artwork with warm colors, use off white or cream mats. On artwork with cool colors, use off white or grey mats.

Valuable artwork should always be matted using conservation-quality mat boards. All mats shown with a Conservation Icon Conservation Quality Mat. Acid and Lignin Free. Alkaline pH Buffered. Fade Resistant. Ideal for Preserving Valuable Artwork. are of conservation quality - made of pristine virgin fibers. Conservation mats are acid and lignin free, alkaline pH buffered, and are fade resistant. Conservation mats are ideal for preserving valuable artwork and meet or exceed industry standards for conservation.

Why should I have my artwork framed with rather than at my local frame shop?

When you custom-frame your artwork with, you get the convenience of one-stop shopping, 24 hours a day, as well as attractive savings up to 40% over local frame shops and art galleries. With many top-quality frame styles and eco-friendly mats to choose from, we are confident that you will find the perfect frame style to fit your living space and décor. only uses top-quality framing material and components provided exclusively by the Larson-Juhl company - the finest custom framing material in the world.

Our online frame shop allows you to custom-frame your artwork in as little as 2 minutes in three easy steps! Your framed artwork arrives ready to hang, ready to delight your eyes and provide years of viewing pleasure.

Do you offer double or triple matting options?
  Yes we do. To find multiple matting options for an artwork, simply select the artwork, click the "Frame It" or "See It Framed" button. You will then have the option to frame and mat your artwork the way you like.
What is Matting?

Matting consists of mounting an artwork to a mat board into which an opening the size of the artwork has been cut. The artwork is attached to the back of the mat with archival tape. Matting allows you to add depth to an artwork and provide a clean finished look. Matting also insures that the artwork will stay straight and not touch the glass once it is framed.

Our broad range of saturated colors and tonal neutrals meet the growing demand for matting with a style and sophistication that complements any artwork or design project. Trust our expert framing professionals to bring you the latest in style and design. Everything you need to make your art extraordinary!

All mats shown with a Green Leaf Icon Acid-free and Eco-friendly Mat. are acid-free and eco-friendly. All mats shown with a Conservation Icon Conservation Quality Mat. Acid and Lignin Free. Alkaline pH Buffered. Fade Resistant. Ideal for Preserving Valuable Artwork. are of conservation quality - made of pristine virgin fibers. Conservation mats are acid and lignin free, alkaline pH buffered, and are fade resistant. Conservation mats are ideal for preserving valuable artwork and meet or exceed industry standards for conservation.

Can you assist me with custom framing choices?
  Yes of course. If you'd like, contact or call customer service with your framing question and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to assist you.
What kind of glass do you use?

We use high quality impact-resistant acrylic glazing on our framed products. Glazing is term used for the clear material that is used to secure, protect and cover your artwork. Acrylic is a light, weather resistant type of glazing used as protection in covering an artwork. Acrylic is made of a thermoplastic polymer, which makes it very difficult to break while providing exceptional visual clarity.

Note: The glazing option in not available online with certain artwork. For your safety and the safety of your loved ones, does not use traditional glass in any of our framing products.

Can I buy just a frame, mat, or glass?
  Sorry, but we do not offer this option. We do not sell framing materials unless purchased and assembled with an artwork we offer.
Do you supply hangers with framed artworks?

If requested, you will receive an appropriate size hangers and nails with the purchase of any framed artwork. Your framed artwork will always have an appropriate size wire already attached to the back of the frame. Felt pads or cardboard flaps may also be attached to the back of the frame to protect your walls.

Please be advised that is not responsible for injury or damages that occur due to improper or poor hanging techniques. When hanging your artwork, make sure that your wall is strong enough to support the weight of the artwork including the frame, and that you are using the appropriate size hangers and nails. Also, never hang artwork in areas where it might fall onto someone, as this may cause serious injury. If you are not familiar with hanging framed artworks, please consult with a professional.

Can you frame an artwork that I already have if I send it to you?
  We do not provide framing services for pre-owned artworks. We only provide framing services to artworks in our inventory.
Can you send me samples of the frames moulding or matting you offer?

Currently, we do not offer physical samples of our framing components. Alternatively, you may view samples of our current framing components in our online frame shop!

We appreciate all suggestions, comments, and questions.
If you can't find answers to your questions in the help topics on this page, please contact us via email.
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