Our Frame of Mind

A collection of tips, framing techniques and artist insights.

Picture Frame Hardware - What’s Behind Wood and Metal Framing?

Some artists are masters at selecting the perfect mats and moulding to highlight the best qualities of their work only to get befuddled over the picture frame hardware needed to complete the project. The problem is more common than you may think.

Does this sound like you? Fear not! Frame hardware is far more simple than its reputation would suggest and we’re going to show you how it can be looked at in a very straightforward manner that makes complete sense. In fact, when you order your frame from us, American Frame takes out all of the guesswork in selecting the right pieces because your hardware will be included with every purchase.

The majority of wood picture frames come with their corners already assembled, so the hardware that you will receive is made up exclusively of the pieces that are necessary for holding the artwork in place within the frame for hanging it on the wall. The hardware for holding the picture in place comes in the form of spring clips that can be slipped into place by hand. The pieces used for hanging will include one of two simple sets:

  • Screws and wire hangers, or,
  • A saw tooth hanger* (which is the option often used for lighter frames)

Both of those types also include wall protectors which are self-adhesive pads that hold your frame away from the wall, protecting both your frame and surfaces, but also helping the finished piece to hang evenly on the wall.

Shipping restrictions occasionally dictate very large wood frames will arrive unassembled. Therefore, if your wood frame is larger than 90 united inches (the term that means its length plus its width), then some assembly will be required upon arrival. Here, you’ll need wood glue, a basic drill, a 1/8 inch drill bit, and a hammer. The assembly instructions are easy to follow and don’t require any experience or expertise.

On the other hand, all metal picture frames–regardless of size–will be shipped unassembled. Their assembly is extremely easy, and all you’ll need is a screwdriver to pop the “L” shaped brackets together, to make up the four corners of your metal frame. Aside from the corner brackets and the screws that hold them into place, the other types of hardware that will come with a metal frame include 4 backing plates, 8 spring clips, 2 wire hangers,* and 2 wall protectors. These can all be used with nothing more than a screwdriver and your bare hands.

Even though assembly is quite simple, you will still receive easy-to-read, step-by-step instructions with your frame. These can also be viewed online:

If you ever have any questions, we’re here for you and will be happy to help. Simply call our customer service at any time from Monday to Friday at 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (EST) at (800) 537-0944.

*Please keep in mind that saw tooth hangers for metal frames, and the wire for either metal or wood frames will need to be purchased separately under the “framing tools” section of the American Frame site.

May 1, 2014
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