Photo frames are the finishing touch to any professional presentation of a photo, digital print, or even paintings, providing that you take the glazing out the frame when it’s required. That’s for paintings and art created with pastels.
All types of framing material will serve their primary purpose, which is to protect what you put inside it. That’s it. The secondary purpose is for visual aesthetics. In other words, creating the finished look you want to achieve.
Simply deciding you want to put something in a new picture frame isn’t really going to get you far. You’ll fair far better when you know what your options are, the different types of material there is available and what material is best for what purpose.
When you know what’s available, you’ll be in a better position to narrow your choices down and decide on what’s really going to be the perfect picture frame to house anything you want to protect from the elements and showcase in the most visually appealing way you can. With some types, that’ll even cover the prospect of redecorating as there are some frame mouldings that can be painted or decorated to suit the decor they’re presented in.
A Breakdown of Popular Picture Frame Mouldings
Ornate Swept Picture Frames
A decorative ornate swept photo frame is most suited to when you need your art or photos to really pop, to give it a WOW factor. Another name this frame is known for is as a closed corner picture frame, the reason being that the corners will show no mitre joints or fixings. The exterior of the frame is completely decorated with a plaster like covering that gives the look of just one piece of wood spanning the entire exterior of the frame.
Important to note about the sizes when you’re ordering online is that the sizes are in respect to the openings and not the total size of the frame. That means that the size of the frame relates to the opening size for the glazing and the backing board. Ornate frames can be thin or super thick so you’ll want to check the size is right for the print you’re framing “and” the total thickness and width of any frame profile fits your intended display space as each ornate frame can have different external sizes… although that’s the case with all types of frames too, but it is more noticeable on ornate swept frames because of the high level of detail in the carvings on the frame moulding.
Checking the thickness of any frame material is more important when you’re planning a gallery or themed wall with all your measurements and spacing considered. An increase of 10 to 20 mm to the frame mouldings thickness can drastically alter a gallery walls appearance when it’s finalised.
Wooden frames are ideal for longevity. So when you know you love a frame and it’s a perfect match for the photo you want framed, this is the longest term investment you’ll find. Real wood frames tend to work well in many styles of decor, so even after redecorating, they’ll look terrific in many cases.
One of the major advantages to real wood frames is the unique appearance they have. Provided it’s been pieced together by a pro, it can never look bad. Wood is one of the longest used materials on many production lines, including picture frames and that’s because it’s feature rich. Every piece of processed wood has a rich texture and is very sturdy, which translates into it being a great material to invest in for the long-term protection and presentation of any print.
For creative artists, you can also use this material as a starting point for adding finesse to the frames profile. Wood can easily and safely be further customised. Think wood friendly adhesive, glitters or even a golden engraved plaque screwed or affixed with adhesive into or onto the frame.
It’s also possible with a good thick wood frame moulding to engrave directly into the wood, however, this wouldn’t be advised unless you really know what you’re doing and are good at carpentry and have the right tools to do the job. For safe customising of wood frames, it’s going to be best to keep your customisations reversible by using adhesives that won’t damage the wood profile. That way, anything you stick onto the frame, can be removed with no lasting signs that there was ever anything further done to the frame.
Aluminium frames are probably going to be best suited to photos that require a clean and pure surrounding. Think ocean blues, sky hues, and family pictures from the park. To keep the emphasis on the picture inside the frame, aluminium frames essentially give your photo a shiny and clean surrounding that draws the eye into it. Moreover, it’s the easiest material to clean and maintain.
That being said, it’s also the lightest of framing materials. But don’t mistake light for reducing the sturdiness as a quality aluminium frame can be just as sturdy as a real wood frame, only much lighter so it’ll handle large frame jobs really well. It’s also going to be suitable for homes with drywall/plasterboard rather than solid structural walls. Where heavier framing materials are an issue for wherever you’re considering hanging your framed picture, aluminium frames are a lighter framing option very suitable for larger prints.