DIY Picture Framing Tips: The Proper Way to Back a Wood Frame

Framing specialist and Plant Manager Mike Cromly shows you step-by-step directions for backing a wood frame with a protective kraft paper backing that not only looks professional, but protects your art work.

Apply ATG Tape

applying atg tape

Apply a strip of ATG tape to the back lip of the frame, all the way around the perimeter.


Step 2 - Attaching to Kraft Paper

lay frame on kraft paper

Flip the frame over onto a piece of kraft paper that is slightly larger than the frame (or Tyvek if framing something that will be in a high-moisture area). Press down firmly to be sure the paper sticks. Flip the frame back over.

Trim Kraft Paper

using the dust cover trimmer

Using a dust cover trimmer or a utility blade, cut off the excess kraft paper. If using a blade, be sure to cut the paper slightly on the inside of the edge of the frame so that it won’t be seen when viewing from the side or front. The dust cover trimmer does this automatically, which is nice, especially if you want to give your DIY picture frames project the most professional look possible.


dust cover trimmer close up

Close-up of how the trimmer blade works.

view of the completed frame

When finished, it should look something like this.

Apply The Hanger

Next, apply a saw tooth hanger. For a larger or heavier piece, be sure to use wire or the Hangman Mounting System.


measure to find the center

Find and mark the center of the back of the top part of the frame.


attaching the saw tooth hanger

Align the hanger with the center mark and hammer the hanger into the wood frame.


frame with hanger attached

It should look like this when completed.

The Final Touch


adding bumpers to the frame

The final step is adding 2 foam bumpers to the bottom 2 corners of the frame. These protect the wall and also help prevent the frame from shifting or tilting once hung.

Following these DIY picture framing steps will help prevent dust and/or moisture from entering your frame and prepare your finished piece for being hung on the wall!