How to Get a Picture Framed

No matter how you have acquired it, your artwork is of value; sentimental, historical, or monetary, and deserves a customized frame to show off its beauty and prevent deterioration over time. A skilled framer is your partner in this process. Quality framers have years of experience with preservation framing using a variety of materials and methods, and should be able to work within any budget.

Terms and Descriptions


Provides a spacer to protect paper art or photographs from direct contact with the glass. This is necessary, particularly in humid climates, to prevent the art from coming in contact with condensation or sticking to the glass and permanently damaging it. It also provides structural support for the artwork. Ask the framer if the picture warrants double or triple matting with a straight or bevel cut. Also ask about archival quality matting for pieces you really care about.


Artwork can be hinged or adhered. Hinging is the process of using acid free linen tape at the top of the mat and letting it hang. A more permanent method is to mount the entire artwork to the backing board, achieving a smooth, flat finish using various methods to adhere the artwork, not recommended for artwork of any value.


As with mats the wrong backing can damage your work. Insist that your framer use a lightweight neural-pH backing. Barrier paper can be added to this as an extra precaution for works of higher value. Your artwork should then be sealed to protect it from dust, air, moisture and insects.


Conservation quality picture framing glass is specially formulated to protect framed works of art from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. If you think reflection may be a problem choose museum glass that has very little reflection and still offers the protection from ultraviolet light.


The frame you choose should be strong enough to support the final weight of the glass, mounting and artwork. Your custom framer has the knowledge and ability to select the proper frame style for your particular project.