Framing and Restoration

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

Mat

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.

Mounting

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.

Backing

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.

Glass

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.

Frame

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.

Painting Conservation and Restoration

Conservators and framers are professionals who work hand and hand to give the best care to your art. Artwork that is properly conserved, framed and maintained, will retain its appearance and value for generations to come.

The owner of a painting will normally think about conservation only when some form of damage has occurred. The procedure is to get advice from a paintings restorer in the form of an inspection, procedures and estimate. In short, if restoration is required far better it to be minimal intervention in the form of surface cleaning, canvas alignment and full checking of paint condition, stability and adhesion, than the problems of major paint loss and structural integrity caused by bad framing practice and general lack of care.