5 Tips When Framing Your Giclee Prints

There are 5 tips I would like to share to help you with your framing: Enhance & Accent, Limit Framing Styles, Use Matting & Glazing, Add Borders to Your Print and Choose the Right Frame Size. Any framing expert would likely be able to point to dozens of additional things to do but these should go a long way in helping you if you are framing your giclee prints online.

1. Enhance & Accent

Should you frame the giclee prints to match its environment? Yes, if you can. Definitely use a frame style that will accent the appearance. I have seen some recommendations that your focus should be to just enhance your work. This is fairly sound advice however I would go one step further if you have an idea of the venue it will be displayed. For instance, if you favor a Western motif in your home, you probably want to look for a framing option that will both enhance the work but match (not clash) with the general decor theme of the room.

2. Limit Framing Styles

If I am selling my art prints should I offer multiple framing options, and if so won’t that be expensive? It is not a bad idea to offer potential buyers of your prints more than one frame style since it allows for a better chance the frame will work within the environment they plan to display the work. However, do not overdo it by having too many options. At most offer two or three additional framing display styles for the same print. Overall you want to make the selection process as stress-free as you can for your buyers. If you have too many choices it is easy for them to feel overwhelmed with choices.

And, whether it will be expensive will depend on how you are selling your framed prints. If you are selling your prints offline in a place like an art show or other in-person venue, you may not have much choice if you want to make it available with other framing styles, but if you are presenting them merely online you actually won’t have to pay a dime for them. You could generate through a program like Photoshop a simulated version but easier would be to use our print setup tool to setup and allow it to generate a preview that you can always save to your computer or post to a website

3. Use Matting & Glass

Do you recommend including matting and placing your giclee prints behind glass? What if I don’t want a mat but just the glass? While Matting serves the purpose of further accenting the artwork, you will want the glass to protect the print and not damage the print. In the framing world, we call this glass “glazing”.  And if you are ordering this to be shipped then you will want to stick with acrylic glass versus actual glass since actual glass has a poor track record in surviving shipping.  Regardless of the type, you should have a buffer zone between the glazing and the actual giclee print. Having the glazing come in direct contact with the print can potentially be unhealthy for the print over time. The following illustration helps to show this:

You can choose simple basic glass which provides some protection but may not be suitable if you do not want the glare. Some may even feel it cheapens the presentation. As an alternative, you can choose a non-glare glazing which looks more professional. Be aware that non-glare glazing can slightly dampen the contrast of the artwork behind it but usually this is so minimal that it is not much of an issue. You can opt for glazing with UV inhibitors are well. This will further protect your artwork from discoloration or fading that comes with age over time.

4. Add Borders to Your Print

Should I frame a borderless print? You can but you should not. Borderless prints are always going to be full bleed prints so you will lose a little of the image around the edges when it is cut to size. A framed print or even a print behind matting further hides some of the images due to the frame’s inner lip (the part of the frame that holds the print in place) or the fact that matting needs to be cut approximately 1/8” smaller to keep the print from falling through the opening (see the above illustration). So, if you were to frame a borderless print there is a greater potential that the subject matter is too close to the edge and might not be visible in the display. We cannot avoid what a frame’s lip or matting might hide but order even a print with only a half-inch border will help maximize what is displayed since you avoid that annoying bleed factor.

5. Choose the Right Frame Size

Do I need to pick a frame with specific dimensions? One of the things we are proud of with the new online framing service we now offer is the ability to provide our users the option to order the frame size they need and not be limited to only a handful of frame sizes like many color labs do. If you are not going to add a mat to the artwork, then select the width and height of the frame size that matches your printer. If you are going to mat your frame, you can always order some frame size that doesn’t quite sync with the print dimensions (this will mean we cut the mat opening the match the print but the outer mat dimensions will be whatever you order). As a rule of thumb for most people, it will be better and more uniform if the frame aspect with matting matches the artwork.

Okay but not composed well

Better – Composed well


In summary, framing artwork is important not only for protection and preservation but also for enhancing its visual appeal and displaying it in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

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8 Replies to “5 Tips When Framing Your Giclee Prints”

  1. A recently framed giclee print (no mat not dry mounted) is warping. My home’s walls are filled with exceptional original frames artworks and no other has this problem. It’s printed on Arches archival paper. Help!

    1. Arches makes some good paper even though we do not carry any of their brand as of yet. I am guessing when the framer framed it, they probably should have dry mounted the print. We have found that in many cases the print will expand or contract in a frame with temperature and humidity changes. Matting can help some but reglardless, on thinner papers after you reach a certain size this is more noticable and you can get those sort of ripples. For that very reason we typically mount prints to foam-core if a paper has a propensity to do this.

  2. It’s great that you elaborated that you should be aware of the size of the printing because of the border. Yesterday, my spouse informed me that she was hoping to find a custom picture frame service as she wants the arts of our daughter to be framed, and she asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. I appreciate this helpful article, I’ll tell her that she can consult a trusted custom picture framing service as they can provide her desired design.

  3. What about framing a giclee photo print using a matt & plexiglass

    Can plexiglass go above a fireplace that gets used

      1. Watch out for smoke – even a little – coming out of your fireplace and building up on your artwork over time!

        You might want the fireplace enclosed behind a glass barrier, though if the heat builds up, the glass might shatter.

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