Frame Choices

Choosing the Frame – Home Arts & Picture Framing carry hundreds of frames in different woods, styles, colours, and finishes (click here to view a few from our selection). The decision can be a little overwhelming, so keep the following in mind:

Size – the trick to making any size frame “work” with a piece is to control the proportions with matting. A wide frame requires more matting than a narrow frame.

Style – the colour, subject matter, and tone of your art will all point you toward an appropriate selection of frames. The frame should continue to carry the “message” of the art. If you feel what you are framing really does not have a message, use the decor of the room in which the piece will hang as your guide.

Type – wood frames will look good on almost any piece of art. We use walnut, cherry, oak, ash, basswood, poplar, and pine – all domestic woods – in our frames. Stained wood can be plain, carved, simple or ornate. And, many wood frames are available in lacquer finishes, faux finishes, and gold or silver leaf. And, we also carry metal frames, which work well with certain decor, or with modern pieces and posters.

Choosing the Mats – mats are more than decoration, they protect the surface of the art and keep it from laying directly on the glass. To decide which mats to use, look to the colours in your art for inspiration. Using multiple mats will add to the beauty of the finished piece. Here are a few basic rules:

  • Dark colours tend to contain the art, while light colours tend to expand it.
  • Mats should be at least twice as wide as the frame width. In a multiple mat combination, that means the top mat.
  • The top mat can be whatever colour is predominant in the art. You can also use a neutral top mat with lower mats as accent colours.

Choosing Your Glass – if you thought your frame and mat options were confusing, your glass choice should be “clear cut!” Each type of glass has specific benefits:

Conservation Clear Glass – this is a laminated optical glass that should be used on artwork that is of great value or is very detailed. This glass effectively blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Reflection control is also available on conservation glass.

Reflection Control Glass – this is the best choice for artwork hung opposite a window or lamp. Because it is only etched on one side, it does not glare or produce distracting reflections on your art. It actually enhances some images such as portrait photography and impressionistic landscapes. Also available with ultraviolet coating.

Premium Clear Glass – use this for artwork that demands crisp, clear treatment, especially when clarity and detail are important.

Plexiglas – generally used with artwork that is very large or heavy, as it reduces the total weight of the finished piece. It can also be used for art that will be hung in high traffic areas or areas where broken glass would be a hazard, such as a child’s room. You may also consider Plexiglas if your art is extremely valuable or irreplaceable, since it will not damage your art if it is broken. Plexiglas is available with conservation properties.