How to Properly Choose Frames for Your Art Paintings

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

How to Select Art FramesWhen it comes to wall décor, what do you think is the most important task after selecting an artwork?

If you answered anything other than selecting a frame, then I must tell you that you are wrong.  That’s because frame selection is as complex as art selection and is the second most important task people fail to do correctly.

Say for example, you selected a frame and the frame doesn’t add up to existing home décor. Does it make sense to hang such frame?

So, it’s critical that you are aware of the important things you need to know before you select a frame. In this post, we will talk about the 6 keys that you should remember before selecting an art frame.

Keys to Choosing a Proper Art Frame

#1 Style and Type of Art

Style and Type of Painting

Decide frames based on style and type of art.

What type of art is it?  Is it a traditional or a modern art? For traditional art, you can select wooden frames. For modern or abstract art, you could go for thin fiber frames. If it’s glass painting, you could go for metal or glass frames.

Similarly, kind of art also influences frame selection. For example, consider you have a pencil drawing. Do you need a thick frame? No, right?

That’s because, pencil drawings are drawn on paper and are usually very light. So they only need thin black frames. But, if it’s an oil painting, your choices are wide. Based on how prominent you want to show this art, you can choose from the most basic to the most ornamental frames available.

Now, what about prints and reproductions? What frames should you use?

Well, the general rule is that you should not spend too much money on frames for a budget art. If you do, then you would be spending more money on frame than art itself…so the thumb rule is that…always select basic frames for your affordable art.

There is also another school of thought when it comes to frame selection. According to this, you should go for decorative frames when you hang mythological or fantasy related art. On all other occasions, budget frames would do all the good.

#2 Surrounding Décor in Your Room

Select frames complementing surrounding décor in a room.

Select frames complementing surrounding décor in a room.

What other home décor products are already there in your room? Do you want your new frame to complement your existing décor or contrast it?

Based on your answer, you have to choose frames that complement or contrast your existing décor. For example, if your home is decorated traditionally with conventional furniture, then it’s always good to use wooden art frames, because that complements your existing home decor. Similarly, if your house has contemporary furniture, you should go for modern art frames. On the other hand, if you want to contrast your existing home décor, you have to do the opposite – selecting contrasting frames.

When you think about existing home décor, you have to consider the color of the wall as well.  I hope you remember color influences our mood.  So, it’s essential that in order to maintain the ambience, we have to select frames that complement this color.


#3 Width of Frame

Thickness of Frame

Frames with normal width.

How much thickness / width your frame need? Well, it depends on how you want to display your art work. If you want to show-off your art as something important, then you have to select thicker frames.

To give you an idea, let me tell you an example. Imagine you have a photograph of yourself with some well-known celebrity. It’s quite normal that you want to show off this in your living room. Then, what type of picture frame would you select? Would you go for an average frame or would you select an ornamental thick frame? If you’re like most of us, you would choose the second option.

Likewise, how important your art piece is, you need to decide on the width of frame. If your art is just for decorating, you don’t need to go for thicker frames. Any budget frame with average width would be enough.

#4 Your Budget

Select Frames Based on Your Budget

Select frames based on your budget

The next factor that comes to play in frame selection is budget. Just like any other thing we buy, budget here also determines the quality of frames.

In a home décor market, you have frames for almost every budget. From them, we have to choose ones that match with our budget.

So what justifies the price change?

Well there are lots of things changes when prices change. One is the material used, second is the quality of finishing. Third is type and quality of hanging hardware.

An expensive frame is usually made of teak or mahogany and comes with carvings or ornamental decorations.  Medium priced frames come with processed wood and without carvings.  The least expensive ones are made of plastic. So based on your budget, you can choose between high quality frames to average ones.

#5 Frames in Groups

Frames in Groups

Select similar frames for groups.

Do you want to hang art in groups? If yes is your answer, then you need to select similar frames for each art in the group.  Otherwise, your arrangement will look awkward.

You must also remember that when you create a group, the focus of art shifts to the group instead of individual painting. So, it’s unnecessary to use highly decorative frames in a group.

More than that, individual art frames in groups are usually closely placed. And if any frames have thicker edges, group design might not look beautiful. Therefore, in a group, it’s always better to employ thin simple frames for all your art.

#6 Glass for Frames

Glass for Frames

Glass for Frames

Do you need glass for your frame? To answer this question, first you must know whether your artwork needs any protection.

For instance, if your artwork is watercolor based, you should always add glass to your frame. Why?  Because, water based colors easily get damaged by moisture in atmosphere.

Another factor harmful to your artwork is sunlight. Even a few minutes of direct sunlight per day can seriously damage your artwork. For such art, you need glass frames with UV (Ultra-Violet) protection.

These are not the only uses of glass. If you plan to hang your artwork directly under artificial light, then you can use anti-glare glasses for your frame. This reduces glare coming from artificial light.


As you just read, selecting a frame is not easy as it sounds. You have to understand your art, learn about your existing home décor, decide on groups and protection before you can finally shortlist your selection.

Your Turn

What other things would you recommend before frame selection? Would you go for a complementing frame or a contrasting frame? Is it worth using golden frames? I would love to hear your thoughts on these. Kindly share your comments with us.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
0 Flares Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Twitter 0 Pin It Share 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- Reddit 0 0 Flares ×
You might also like:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Like this post? Why don't you join OrangeCarton on Feedburner and subscribe for more?

Enter your email address:

Or you can  subscribe the feeds.

About Shyam

Shyam is the founder of Visit our store for a wide selection of wall art, paintings, stickers and other home decor products.

One Response to “How to Properly Choose Frames for Your Art Paintings”

  1. Very informative blog.I am planning to get some of my soft pastels artwork framed and I was wondering whether to go for glass.Reading through your blog helped me decide on the kind of frames I would require for the different mediums of paintings and art and also the information on the size of the frame was very helpful.

Leave a Reply

0 Flares Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Twitter 0 Pin It Share 0 LinkedIn 0 Email -- Reddit 0 0 Flares ×