Frames have always been in style. After all, frames accentuate our most prized photographs and our most coveted wall art. They serve as accessories inside our home as well, and are excellent outlets for those seeking a non-intrusive way to personalize their own space. Frames preserve our age-old family portraits and protect our favorite art prints from the elements.
Believe it or not. Many people don't think about these factors when purchasing a frame for a canvas or fine art print. To be frank, most drive-by frame purchases are based on the style of the frame as opposed to the environment in which the frame will be displayed or whether the frame accents the print.
Often, people opt to forgo frames entirely for their canvas prints. Canvas prints can be equally striking without a frame when done as a gallery or museum wrap. If you have not quite got the budget for a good frame, this may be an excellent alternative. But you don't always have to spend an arm and a leg to frame your prints – a little research goes a long way when it comes to pricing frames. Call around, shop around, and find the best deal.
And so, while there are tons of elegant, tradition, modern, and even fun frames on the market, only a small handful will actually suit your needs. Today we are going to discuss some of the things to consider when shopping for a frame for your canvas or fine art prints.
Consider the Environment – I promise this isn't a paragraph full of "Go Green" advice. Nor will I force you to construct your own frames out of recycled soda cans. What I mean by "environment" is the surroundings in which your canvas print will be displayed. We just talked about all of the different types of frames out there, and how only a few of them will work for your print. But to expand on that, the frame also has to work with the room in which it will be displayed. So that adorable vintage Victorian frame you picked up? Forget about it if your decor doesn't fit the bill. But on the same token, accessorize with your frames. The idea is to create a platform for your art that will set it apart from the wall from which it hangs. Choose something that will accent or highlight the decor you already have, without over-powering the print. And avoid frames which are the same color as your walls – I hope everyone already knew that one!
Consider your print size – It is not uncommon to have a nice antique frame laying around that is just dying to be used for something (once the cobwebs are cleared off). If you already have a frame, or plan to purchase a frame before deciding on a print to display it in, try ordering your print based on the frame's measurements. This will ensure the frame will actually fit the print. This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked.
(money saving tip!) Try to avoid print sizes that will require custom measured frames. Most frame stores carry a number of ready-to-use frames in common sizes. If you are not sure which sizes are considered "common", it is best to contact the store directly. These will cost considerably less than those which have to be custom made.
Consider the depth of the frame – The worst thing you can do is dig out the cobweb-covered 20×20 antique frame and then assume that it will automatically fit your 20×20 canvas print. Depth is just as important as height and width. The four pieces that construct your frame are referred to as "rabbits" – if your mounted print's width is 1 inch, you need a rabbit depth of at least 1 inch in order for your framed art to hang flush against the wall.
Be careful – that's glass! – I probably do not even have to say this but I am going to anyway…never display your canvas prints behind glass! This is without a doubt, the biggest injustice one could ever do to a canvas print. What makes canvas so sought after is the way the texture makes the image come to life. The glass will take away from that effect and make it difficult to tell it is even canvas.
In the case of fine art prints, glass is actually recommended. It will help to preserve the print's inks as well as protect it from flying grape juice spills or whatever else goes on. Non-reflective glass is the best route, and many of these come with built in UV inhibitors which also help preserve your print's life.
To Matte or not to Matte? – This is touchy because I am going to tell you not to matte your canvas prints, yet I am going to tell you that you can find frames which actually have a linen matting built into them. Let's just leave it at that, as far as canvas prints are concerned. But fine art prints are another story. Anything that isn't mounted for that matter will look good with a matte.