Our Frame of Mind

A collection of tips, framing techniques and artist insights.

How to Frame a Picture: Step-by-Step Guide on Framing

Once you’ve designed then ordered your custom frame materials and supplies, within a matter of days you’ll be ready to start framing! Here we outline the basic steps that show the best way to frame a picture.

  1. Choose your workspace. A flat, clean surface like a kitchen counter or large table works best. Then protect it with Kraft paper, a table pad or corrugated board.
  2. Open up your package(s) and organize your materials. Check the contents against your original order and please, don’t throw away packaging materials until the frame is assembled and hung to your satisfaction. Detailed assembly instructions for the type of frame you ordered will also be found in the packaging.
  3. Gather the necessary framing tools. The essentials include a screw driver, linen tape, wire, and acrylic cleaner. Other tools and accessories available online certainly make the job easier, but aren’t required.
  4. Start by mounting the art work to the foam core backing then hinge or tape the mat board to the foam core or mat board (whichever is your preference). Set aside.
  5. Prepare your acrylic. Peel one side of the protective liner off the side that will be touching the art. Place that side face down on the art assembly (boards and picture), then peel off the other side. If you’ve ordered acrylic with UV or Non-glare properties, the side that should be face up will be indicated on the packaging.
  6. Now it’s time to frame. If you’re assembling a metal frame, choose the bottom and side rails and place them face down on your work surface. Insert the corner brackets that are included with your order, and tighten. Then slide the art assembly into the partially assembled frame. Place the frame treatment face down and insert the top rail, tightening all the corners. Then insert the spring clips underneath the metal frame channel to provide a nice, tight fit. Attach bumpers & hanging hardware.
  7. If you’re using a wood frame, it will arrive assembled if the matted dimensions length plus width equals 54 inches or less. Place this assembled frame face down on your work surface. Place the art assembly face down within the frame. Secure the art within the frame with clips included with your order. Screw in hanging hardware and wire. Frequent framers may want to invest in a point driver, which secures art within the frame with framer’s points and operates like a staple gun. For a finished look on the back, run double sticky framer’s tape along the edges of the wood frame, attach Kraft paper, trim off the excess. Attach bumpers and hanging hardware.
  8. Before hanging, we always recommend polishing off your finished work with a few squirts of Novus acrylic cleaner.

For complete detailed instruction on how to frame a picture, visit our How-To page. Or, order our full color, 70 page DIY Guide to Framing Fundamentals, a colorful, visual tutorial on custom picture framing. As always, if you have any questions contact us anytime! We’re here to help.

May 1, 2014
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