10 Essential Techniques for Art Framing at Home
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Choose the right frame material
  2. Select appropriate frame size
  3. Select the correct mat board
  4. Mount the artwork
  5. Install glazing
  6. Attach the artwork to the frame
  7. Add a dust cover
  8. Secure the hardware
  9. Hang the framed artwork
  10. Maintain the framed artwork

Art framing at home doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right art framing and presentation techniques, you can transform your beloved artwork into a professional-looking masterpiece. From selecting the perfect frame material to hanging the artwork on your wall—this guide will share 10 simple steps to help you showcase your art in the best possible way.

Choose the right frame material

Let's start with the first step: choosing the right frame material. This step is the foundation of your art framing journey—it sets the tone for the entire presentation. The material you choose needs to complement your artwork and enhance its look, not distract from it.

Wood frames are a popular choice—they're versatile and come in a variety of styles and colors. From sleek black to rustic barn wood, you can pick one that matches your art and your room decor. Metal frames, on the other hand, give a modern and sleek look. They're perfect for photographs or graphic prints.

Pro Tip: When choosing a frame material, consider the artwork's style, the room where it will be displayed, and your personal taste. Also, remember that the frame should protect your artwork, not just look good.

Remember, art framing and presentation techniques aren't just about making your artwork look good—it's about preserving it too. Picking the right frame material is a key part of that. So, take your time, explore different materials and choose one that enhances and protects your artwork.

Select appropriate frame size

Now that you've selected the right frame material, it's time to determine the frame size. This step is just as important as the first, if not more. If the frame size isn't right, your artwork can appear cramped or lost within the frame—neither of which does justice to your creation.

Start by measuring your artwork. The frame size should be the exact dimensions of the artwork or, if you're using a mat board, slightly larger. Remember, your artwork should fit snugly within the frame, not squeeze into it or float in a sea of space.

Pro Tip: When deciding on the frame size, consider the wall space where you plan to hang your artwork. A piece of artwork should fill about two-thirds to three-fourths of the available wall space. So, measure your wall space and do some quick math to ensure your framed artwork will look balanced once hung.

By selecting the appropriate frame size, you're applying one of the key art framing and presentation techniques. The right frame size highlights your artwork and makes it a focal point, rather than a misplaced element in your room. So, measure twice, frame once!

Select the correct mat board

After selecting the frame and determining its size, let's move to the next step in our art framing and presentation techniques journey: selecting the right mat board. It's not just a decorative element—it's a buffer between your artwork and the surrounding environment. A well-chosen mat board can really make your artwork pop!

When selecting a mat board, you should consider three things: color, thickness, and material. Let's discuss these one by one.

1. Color: The color of the mat board should complement your artwork, not compete with it. Choose a color that picks up a secondary color in your artwork. This will help draw attention to the artwork itself.

2. Thickness: The thickness of the mat board plays a crucial role in protecting your artwork. A thicker mat board creates more space between the artwork and the glazing, preventing any potential damage due to condensation.

3. Material: Mat boards come in different materials, like paper, cotton, and linen. Each material has its own pros and cons. For example, cotton mat boards are acid-free and won't harm your artwork, but they can be pricier.

Selecting the correct mat board is a pivotal step in art framing. This technique requires a bit of thought and consideration, but it's totally worth it. After all, a well-chosen mat can be the difference between a good presentation and a great one!

Mount the Artwork

Now, it's time to dive into the next technique in our art framing and presentation journey: mounting the artwork. This step is just as important as selecting the right frame or mat board. Why? Well, improper mounting can lead to damage over time, and we don't want that, do we?

There are a few methods you can use to mount your artwork, depending on the type of art and the materials you're working with. Here are the three most common methods:

1. Hinge Mounting: This is the most common method. Artists use acid-free tape to create a 'hinge' that holds the artwork in place but allows for some movement. This is especially useful for artwork on paper, as it can expand and contract with changes in humidity.

2. Dry Mounting: This method involves using a heat-activated adhesive to attach the artwork to a backing board. It's a more permanent solution, and it's great for photographs or posters where the focus is more on presentation than preservation.

3. Float Mounting: For this method, the artwork is attached to the backing board in such a way that it appears to be 'floating' within the frame. This works well for pieces with interesting edges or for artwork where the entire paper, including the edges, need to be visible.

Selecting the right mounting method is a crucial part of the art framing process. It's not just about making your art look good—it's about keeping it safe, too. So, take your time, consider your options, and choose the method that works best for your artwork.

Install Glazing

Alright, you've mounted your artwork perfectly, and now it's time to move on to the next step in art framing and presentation techniques: installing the glazing. What's glazing, you ask? Well, it's essentially the protective cover that goes over your artwork within the frame. It shields your art from dust, moisture, and—most importantly—harmful UV rays that can fade colors over time.

Generally, you have two choices for glazing: glass or acrylic. Let's take a quick peek at each:

1. Glass: Traditional and gives a clear view of the artwork. It's scratch-resistant but can be heavy and breakable. It can also cause glare, although anti-reflective glass options are available.

2. Acrylic: Lighter and shatter-resistant, making it a great choice for large artworks or for pieces that need to be shipped. However, it can scratch easily, so handle with care!

When installing the glazing, ensure it doesn't touch the artwork directly, especially for pieces like pastels or charcoals. You wouldn't want your beautiful work of art getting stuck to the glass, would you? That's where matting comes in handy —it provides a nice buffer between the art and the glazing.

So, remember, glazing is more than just a pretty face—it's the protective shield for your artwork. Choose wisely, install carefully, and your art will thank you for it!

Attach the Artwork to the Frame

Now that we've covered glazing, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty and attach the artwork to the frame. This is a key step in our art framing and presentation techniques guide, so let's get started.

You've got your artwork, you've got your frame, and you've got your glazing in place. Now, it's time to bring them all together. Depending on the type of artwork and frame you're using, the attachment method can vary. Here are a few common methods:

1. Framing points: These are little metal points that are pushed into the frame to hold your artwork in place. They're easy to use and provide a secure hold.

2. Brad nails: These are small nails that are typically used with a hammer. They're a good choice if you're working with a wooden frame.

3. Clips: These are used to attach the artwork to the back of the frame. They're adjustable and can be used with different frame sizes.

Once you've selected your method, it's just a matter of placing the artwork in the frame, securing it with your chosen fasteners, and making sure it's perfectly aligned. Remember, patience is key here. Take your time to ensure your artwork is securely attached and perfectly centered in the frame.

Okay, you're doing great! Just a few more steps to go in our art framing and presentation techniques. Let's keep going!

Add a Dust Cover

Next up in our art framing and presentation techniques, we're going to add a dust cover. Now, you might be asking yourself—why do I need a dust cover? It's a fair question. The answer is simple: it helps keep dust and other airborne particles from settling on the back of your artwork. It's like a superhero shield for your art!

Adding a dust cover is a pretty straightforward process. You can use a variety of materials, but a popular choice is acid-free Kraft paper. It's sturdy, affordable, and does a great job at keeping dust at bay.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Measure and cut: Measure the back of your frame and cut your dust cover material to size. Remember, it's always better to cut a little larger than smaller; you can always trim it down later.

2. Attach: Use double-sided tape to attach the dust cover to the back of your frame. Start at the top and work your way down to ensure a smooth fit.

3. Trim: If you have any excess dust cover material hanging over the edge of your frame, trim it off with a sharp utility knife or scissors.

And voila! You've added a dust cover to your frame, another important step in our art framing and presentation techniques. Pat yourself on the back because you're doing a fantastic job!

Secure the Hardware

Once you've added your dust cover, it's time to secure the hardware. This step is all about making sure your artwork is ready to hang on the wall. It's a bit like dressing up for a big event—you wouldn't forget to put on your shoes, would you? Well, your artwork wouldn't want to be hung without its hardware!

Choosing the right hardware for your frame largely depends on its size and weight. For smaller, lighter frames, a single sawtooth hanger will do the trick. But for larger, heavier frames, you might need to opt for a wire hanging system instead. Remember, you want to ensure your artwork stays on the wall, not crashes to the floor in the middle of the night.

Here's how you go about it:

1. Position the Hardware: If you're using a sawtooth hanger, it should be centered on the top edge of your frame. For a wire system, you'll need two D-rings attached to either side of the frame.

2. Secure the Hardware: Use small screws to attach your hardware to the frame. Be careful to not split the frame with the screws. It's a bit like threading a needle—you need to be precise and patient.

3. Test the Hardware: Before you hang your artwork, give your hardware a little tug to make sure it's secure. It's always better to be safe than sorry, right?

And there you have it! Your artwork is now ready to be displayed for all to admire. You're one step closer to mastering these art framing and presentation techniques.

Hang the Framed Artwork

Now comes the moment of truth—hanging your framed artwork. This is where all your hard work pays off and your art piece takes its rightful place on your wall. But before you start hammering away, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you'll want to choose the right spot on your wall. Not too high, not too low, but just right. The center of the artwork should be at eye level—about 57 inches from the floor. This is a standard gallery hanging technique, and it'll make sure your artwork is in the perfect viewing position.

Next, you'll need to decide how to arrange your artwork if you're hanging more than one piece. You could line them up side by side, stack them vertically, or create a gallery wall. It's like putting together a puzzle, so have fun with it and let your creativity shine!

Here are the steps to hang your artwork:

1. Mark the Spot: Use a pencil to mark where you want to hang your artwork. Remember to measure twice and hammer once!

2. Hammer in the Nail: Hold the nail at a slight upward angle and hammer it into the wall. Don't go all the way in—you'll want to leave some space for the frame.

3. Hang the Artwork: Carefully place your artwork on the nail. Make sure it's level before you step back to admire your handiwork.

And just like that, you're not just an artist, but an expert in art framing and presentation techniques as well. Your artwork is now ready to wow anyone who sees it. Who knew art framing at home could be so rewarding?

Maintain the Framed Artwork

Now that your artwork is beautifully framed and perfectly hung, the next step—maintaining it. Just like you'd take care of a prized possession, your artwork deserves the same attention.

First, keep it out of direct sunlight as it can cause colors to fade. You might love the look of that morning sunbeam hitting your art, but your art doesn't feel the same way.

Next, you'll want to keep your artwork away from extreme temperatures and humidity. These can warp the frame and damage the art. So, maybe the bathroom isn't the best place for that watercolor painting after all.

Now, the cleaning part. No need for expensive art cleaners. A simple dusting with a soft cloth or feather duster will do the trick for the frame. For the glass or acrylic cover, you can use a gentle glass cleaner.

Remember, part of art framing and presentation techniques is making sure your art stays as stunning as the day you hung it. So, stay on top of your maintenance routine and your artwork will continue to shine.

Finally, remember to enjoy your art! It's not just about preserving it, but also appreciating it. After all, what's the point of all those art framing and presentation techniques if you don't take a moment to step back and admire your work?

If you've enjoyed learning about art framing techniques and want to explore more ways to bring your artwork to life, consider attending Laurence Philomene's workshop, 'Narrative Storytelling For Photographers'. This workshop will help you enhance your photography skills and create compelling stories through your art.