Framing Tips

What to consider when framing your art …

Our small guide of framing terminology and tips. We hope this will help to familiarize you with some standard framing elements and how they are used to create the perfect frame design.
We hope this information is helpful. At Calusa Gallery, we are committed to providing the highest quality craftsmanship, customer service, and customer satisfaction.
Liners: A liner is a fabric wrapped wood moulding, traditionally used on the inside of a frame moulding for works on canvas. Liners are a great way to provide a soft buffer and transition that helps guide your eye to the art. Like all the other elements of custom framing there are hundreds of mouldings and fabric choices to really tailor the job to your needs. A good framer will have stock styles that are readily available, as well as custom options. 
Tip: Try using a liner in place of a mat, between the frame and the glass, for photos or works on paper to create a unique look and add depth to your framing. A fillet in the same style or color as the frame moulding can also be added to the inside of a liner to give a great effect.
Fillets: Another way to enhance your artwork is by using a fillet. Fillets are a thin wood frame that fits to the inside your mat and outline your art. They create depth and add dimension to all types of artwork. Fillets can also be applied to the inside of a frame moulding or liner to add an interesting look. 
Tip: Try fillets at different levels of matting or between mats to help create a unique look in your design.
Service & Workmanship: The key ingredients for fine custom framing is service and workmanship. Your framer must be knowledgeable, professional, and an expert craft person. A good framer is an artist and designer, and someone who will work with you on selecting the best combinations of elements to compliment and enhance your artwork according to the environment in which it will be displayed. Your framer should use the finest equipment and materials available, as well as do the work on the premises. 
Tip: Many high volume “discount” framers and chains send your artwork to wholesalers who do the work in framing factories. Their counter staff are usually inexperienced and trained to limit the time they spend with each customer. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answers to your questions, it’s ok to walk away. The reality is that discount framers charge about the same as your locally owned frame shop.
Mouldings: The single most expensive element in custom framing is the frame moulding. Cost depends on style, material, size, and manufacturing technique. It’s best to choose a framer with a large selection of quality frames to suit your needs. There are hundreds of moulding suppliers who have different manufacturers all over the world. A good frame shop has a variety of frames and styles to accommodate any decor and can make recommendations to help fit your budget if necessary. 
Tip: Watch out for frames made of plastic foam or compressed particle wood and covered with a vinyl surface. While relatively inexpensive, they are not crafted the same way as wood mouldings and do not hold up over time.
Matting: Mats are available in hundreds of colors, textures, and materials. Textures include imprinted designs, linen, silk, suede and grass cloth, all to enhance the look of your artwork. While mats are an important design element in custom framing, their main purpose is to keep the glass from touching your artwork, which is critical to preservation. Matting is traditionally used for flat prints, drawings, watercolors, photos, and basically any works on paper. 
Tip: For the best protection of your artwork, be sure your framer uses “acid free” museum quality mats. They are made from cotton rag fiber, not wood or cellulose “paper mats”. The wood fiber in paper mats is acidic and the acid in fiber will leech out into your artwork over time, yellowing it and causing serious damage.
Glass: With the great advancement in modern glass making techniques there are many options for covering or “glazing” your art(oils, acrylics, and other works on canvas should not be framed under glass).
Plain glass is usually fine for inexpensive poster prints and will filter about 45% of the ultraviolet(UV) light that can damage artwork. Conservation or UV filtering glass should be used for any quality artwork and a good framer will recommend it for every job. UV filtering glass blocks out 95 – 99% of the harmful light and will keep your artwork preserved. Both plain and conservation glass are available in a non-glare variety that eliminates the reflection.
Non-glare glass does dull the image slightly, and the dulling effect increases the farther away from the artwork the glass sits. The ultimate in glazing options is museum glass. Museum glass is crystal clear and disappears when looking directly at you artwork, it has minimum reflection and maximum UV filtration. Museum is especially effective on a shadowbox because of the depth and gives the impression that you can reach into the frame and tough the object.
Plexiglass should be considered for oversized artwork where weight becomes an issue, or artwork that has to travel frequently for exhibition. It is also a better option when framing without matting, the plexiglass can come into direct contact with your artwork while not conducting moisture. Museums use a high grade plexi when framing to protect their collections. Plexiglass is available in the same options as regular glass, including museum quality. 
Tip: The price difference between UV clear and plain clear glass is minimal, and a good value regardless of what you are framing.