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Inspiration & Resources for Picture Framing

Framing Pastel Or Charcoal Painting

Acrylic glass is lightweight, compared to regular glass, and is shatter-resistant, making acrylic glass an attractive choice for framing large, oversized works of art. However, for loose media pieces, such as charcoal and pastel, it is not recommended to use acrylic glass as the static charge lifts the particles from the picture. We recommend using a museum glass for this media. Some manufacturers treat acrylic glass with both anti-static and anti-reflective coatings. If plexiglass is needed for preference or larger pieces we can provide Optium Museum Acrylic, which comes at a higher price point.

Framing Oil Painting & Canvas Art

In some instances where the art in the frame is dispensable or durable, no protection may be necessary. Glass is common over watercolors and other artwork on paper, but rare over oil paintings and other canvas art, except very valuable ones in some museums. Canvas art needs to breath so enclosing it in glass can be detrimental to its longevity.

Framing B&W Photographs

Black and white photographs call for a sleek and simple framing design. Contemporary and genuine metal frame mouldings are suitable to complement this media. Pure white and black matte finishes are recommended for stacking and enhancing these works, which mirror Modernism and Art Deco. At ABC Fine ART we have a great selection in this realm; come into our store for a consultation to learn more.

Shadow Box/Object Framing

Shadow framing box for framing objects Vancouver - ABC Fine ART

Three dimensional objects are often overlooked in framing, however shadow box or object framing was innovated to challenge that. Shadow box or object framing is traditionally used to preserve and present artifacts of historic or personal value. More recently this style of framing has been used artistically to create dramatic visual depth inspired by urban lifestyles and transitional decor. Bring your precious object(s) in store and together we can experiment and you will discover the possibilities with this interesting technique.

Float Framing

Custom picture float framing at ABC fine ART

Our polished float frames are ideal for canvas artwork. A refined, angular moulding is perfect for accentuation. Available in many styles including silver and gold leafing, our float frames provide an elegant transitional profile for your canvas prints and canvas paintings.


The permanent process of gluing artwork to a mounting board is applying a coat of adhesive between the art and the mounting board, and then using pressure to create adhesion. This process provides a coat of adhesive to cover the back of artwork for a firm mount with no danger of the artwork getting damaged in a frame package. We provide dry-mount service for posters, photographs and some special mounting for watercolor paintings.   

How-To Protect Valuable Art or Documents

How to protect your valuable art with custom picture framing

  1. UV filtering picture framing glass does not protect against all damage factors over a prolonged period of time. It is important to display framed artwork in a well controlled environment to reduce the effects of heat, humidity, and visible light.

  2. Always consider the amount of UV light present inside a room or a building. Note that regular window glazing filters away a portion of the UV light, which originates from the sun, however exposure to direct UV light is still not recommended.

  3. Only a climate-controlled, dark space would offer the best possible protection for an artwork, which can be exhibited once in every several years. No glass provides optimal displaying option. Therefore, for artworks chosen to be displayed, as much UV light, without affecting the visible light transmission, should be blocked. In museums this is the protocol for protecting valuable art and documents.

Raising Your Framing Glass

For pieces to be framed under glass, with the exception of disposable posters or temporary displays, the glass must be raised off the surface of the paper. If the paper (or other media) were to touch the glass directly, any condensation inside the glass would absorb directly into the art, having no room to evaporate. This is harmful to any medium as it causes art to stick to the glass, mildew or mold spore growth, and other unwanted effects.

Raising the glass is also necessary when a piece is done in a loose media such as charcoal or pastel, to prevent smudging. Photographs’ surface is particularly easy to damage. It may stick to the glass if there is moisture inside.

What Goes Into A Custom Made Picture Frame

The Frame: Varied, handcrafted frame mouldings act as borders, protecting your art and enhancing it.

Glazing: The protective clear cover on your frame available in a variety of glasses and plexi-glasses.

Matboard: The component that prevents other parts of the frame from touching the original artwork. Additionally, it improves its aesthetic qualities and is available in a wide range of quality, colours and textures.

Picture: Your painting, fine art print, photo or any artwork that deserves protection and preservation from damages such as humidity, heat, dust and light exposure.

Mounting Board: The lightweight backing used to mount your artwork. It’s as important as matboard to protect your artwork.

Backboard/Foam Core: The last board used in the custom frame that holds everything together.

Dustcover: Protective backing paper added to protect the image as the final step, keeping dust and insects out. Canvas, on the other hand, needs to breathe and as a result should not have a dustcover.

Standard Picture Frame Sizes

If you are making your prints to fit in a standard frame with a pre-cut mat, the following is a list of frame sizes and mat openings that you can find at most arts and craft stores.
Frame Size Mat Opening Image Size
8″ x 10″ 4.5″ x 6.5″ 5″ x 7″
11″ x 14″ 7.5″ x 9.5″ 8″ x 10″
16″ x 20″ 10.5″ x 13.5″ 11″ x 14″
20″ x 24″ 15.5″ x 19.5″ 16″ x 20″
24″ x 36″ 19.5″ x 29.5″ 20″ x 30″
30″ x 40″ 21.5″ x 31.5″ 22″ x 32″

Custom Picture Framing Glazing

Custom Picture Framing Mats