5 Tips To Custom Picture Framing That No One Will Tell You

Custom picture framing is not something that many people have experience with. When you are used to just sticking a poster in a ready-made frame, the world of custom picture framing can be a bit overwhelming. There are, however, a few tips to make it a little easier to understand. 

1. Frame the Art, Not the Room.

Although it may be tempting to use a blue mat when you are hanging a framed piece above a blue couch or using an oak frame because there is oak furniture in the room, don't. You are supposed to match your frame and matting to the picture, not the room. A well-framed piece will look good in any room, Using colors that are not in the image will only make it distracting to the eye. Plus, custom framed artwork is meant to last a lifetime and that blue couch won't make it that long. 

2. No One Weights the Matting Anymore.

When matting a narrow, vertical picture is was once customary to weight the bottom mat. In other words, the matting would be three inches wide on the top and sides of the picture and four inches wide on the bottom. This was done because it was thought a vertical picture would appear to til off the wall. The weighted mat was thought to balance it out visually. This technique ended in the late 1990s. 

3. Use Archival Materials.

If you have an original piece of art, a limited edition, or even a sentimental family photo, invest in archival framing materials. This includes acid-free matting, acid-free foam core for the backing, and UV glazing, or glass, which prevents the sun's UV rays from damaging the image over time. Using these materials protects the value of the art and prevents any damage to it. 

4. Make Sure the Frame is Wider Than the Matting.

For an average, over-the-sofa size picture, the matting should be three inches or so wide, which is pretty standard. The frame should be noticeably larger than the matting, or if you are using a metal frame, it should be much thinner than the matting. When the mat and the frame are both the same size, it can look like racing stripes around your art. The frame should be in proportion to the matting. 

5. Hang Art at Eye Level.

When you get home with your custom framed picture, make sure you hang it correctly. Use two hooks, and hang it at eye level. Art should not float high above your sofa, but rather hang so it is at the eye level of everyone sitting in the room. For an average size picture, this means the bottom of the art should be 12 inches or so above the back of your couch. 

The most important thing to remember is to chose picture framing that compliments the artwork, to keep everything in proportion, and to hang it at eye level.