Ten things to know before framing your picture:

What and why to custom frame. – Whether you are framing a poster, your child’s handprints, or a fine work of art, custom framing will reflect your personal taste and protect your piece for years to come.  In most cases you will keep a well framed piece of art longer than much of your furniture.

Consider the surroundings. – While you should certainly consider the room’s decor, you shouldn’t match the frame to the room at the expense of what looks good with the picture. Keep in mind that the room decor may change in the future.

Choose matting to enhance your artwork. – Matting is the term used to describe the “window-cut” material placed around an image within a frame. Mats can be made of a variety of materials such as paper, cotton and fabric in a wide range of colors. Mats serve as a spacer from the glazing and possible condensation as well as allowing the artwork to expand and contract with changes in humidity. Matting makes the overall size of the finished piece larger and provides a space for the eyes to rest between the art and the frame.   This visual breathing space enables the artwork to have presence within it’s surroundings.

An ounce of prevention. – Many times cherished art is damaged prior to arriving at the frame shop because it is improperly stored or transported. If it’s a rolled piece such as a poster, serious damage can be caused by rubber bands, tape, paperclips and even a gentle squeeze. Make sure that the artwork is placed in a folder, protective covering , or a tube.  When lifting a piece of paper art, including photographs, always use two hands.  Lifting paper with one hand can cause “half moon” shaped creases in the paper.  Try to lift the paper by opposite corners.

It’s all in the details. – When framing, consider adding another detail. Fillets, creative window openings, or fabric mats can add a distinctive flair to your artwork. We are familiar with these options, and can help you decide what works best with your item. Sometimes it’s the smallest element in framing your artwork that makes it stand out.

Choose the best frame to enhance your art. – There are thousands of different frame styles and sizes that come in a variety of stains, glazes, and finishes. Let us help you select the frame that best suits your artwork and have it made to your exact specifications.

Archival materials protect your art. – Some common framing materials such as paper mats and cardboard contain acid that will gradually destroy your art.  These materials are NOT used by Framed In Tatnuck. Using archival mats and backing boards will help protect art from the damaging effects of time and from common pollutants that cause yellowing and deterioration.

Mounting your artwork properly. –  Drymount and Wetmount processes bond artwork to a board to prevent artwork from bubbling or cockling and are most appropriate for posters and photographs. Pieces of any value generally should not be dry or wet mounted since these processes are irreversible and can greatly affect any resale value. Museum mounting, commonly known as hinging, attaches the art with Japanese paper hinges to the board. The art hangs freely, allowing it to expand or contract with changes in humidity. Hinging or archival photo corners are recommended for original artwork, delicate photographs and other irreplaceable items.

Choose glazing to protect your artwork. – Glazing refers to the glass or acrylic material covering the artwork as a means of protection. There are many types of glass including regular clear glass, anti-reflective (chemically coated), non-glare (acid etched) and conservation glass (specially formulated to help filter UV light). There are also acrylic glazing products that come in the non-glare and UV filtering varieties. Acrylic is lighter in weight and is safer than glass but may require a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleanser. It is ideal for oversized pieces, frames hanging in children’s rooms, or items to be shipped.

What is conservation glass and when do I need it?

First, let’s discuss the need. All sunlight and artificial light contain an invisible electromagnetic component called ultraviolet (UV) light. These light waves are much shorter than visible light and contain more energy (the same energy that causes you to sunburn). This higher energy creates a greater degree of heat and causes more rapid deterioration of the molecular structure of the pigments used in artwork. Conservation glass should be used whenever you are framing sentimental, valuable, limited edition and one-of-a-kind artwork. Conservation glass is clear glass to which an ultraviolet (UV) inhibiting film has been applied. Conservation glass blocks up to 99 percent of the UV rays, compared to 46 to 50 percent blocked by regular glass.

What should I use to clean my picture framing glass?

Most commercial window cleaners, without Ammonia, are good for cleaning framing glass. Avoid all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, or any cleaner that contains pumice, waxes, or harsh detergents. You should avoid using anything with ammonia (Note that some commercial glass cleaners do contain ammonia). Window cleaners with vinegar or vinegar-D work great, and tests indicate that they are safe for any glass. There are several new types of glass coatings coming on the market which may require special care. We will provide specific instructions for these special cases. You should ALWAYS spray the cleaner on the cloth, then wipe the glass. Otherwise, if you spray directly on the glass, the liquid is likely to run down between the frame and glass, and could eventually wick up the framing package to the artwork.

Find the right framer – A good framer will help you with all the decisions that go into properly framing your picture. Quality framers have years of experience with preservation framing and design using a variety of materials and methods. A quality framer will usually hold the designation of Certified Picture Framer, CPF®, or Master Certified Picture Framer, MCPF®. The CPF® exam is administered by the Professional Picture Framers Association, PPFA. This extensive exam covers all aspects of conservation framing techniques and methods. For outstanding customer service and the latest products, design theories, and techniques, you can rely on framers with the CPF® or MCPF® mark of excellence.