Over 3 million pictures framed
Framing Oversize Art: An Expert Guide
Whether a painting or poster, a panoramic photograph or a wedding portrait - oversized pieces always excite and inspire. Pairing your artwork or photo with a bespoke frame enhances the overall look, so we thought we’d teach you how to frame extra-large artwork and photos.
An oversized piece typically refers to artwork or a frame that is larger than A1 size (23 3/8 x 33 1/8 in or 594 x 841 mm) or requires considerations such as wider mouldings, weight, fixing quality, and aesthetics due to its dimensions and size.
Framing larger pieces present unique challenges that framing smaller pictures do not. These challenges include:
- Structural integrity: Taking into account the structural integrity of the frame, the appropriate glazing options, and the use of mounts to create a cohesive and secure presentation for the oversized artwork.
- Fixtures, fittings and hanging: Selecting the correct fixings to securely hang the oversized piece on the wall, taking into account the weight of the frame and the type of wall it will be mounted on.
- The appearance: Ensuring that the overall presentation of the oversized piece complements the artwork can be hard when dealing with unusually large art.
When it comes to framing oversized artwork, it’s essential to pay close attention to every component of the framing process. From selecting the right frame and mount to choosing the appropriate glazing and printing a high-quality image, each element plays a crucial role in the final presentation and durability of your framed piece. We’ll start by providing an introduction to each component and offer expert tips to help you make informed decisions when framing your large art, ensuring that your masterpiece is displayed safely and beautifully.
Wooden frames are more popular but tend to be weaker than aluminium frames. Aluminium frames are lighter and can support larger artwork while maintaining a discreet, narrow look, making them ideal for contemporary or minimalist interiors.
If you’re framing a big piece of art in a wooden frame, you’ll need a chunkier and stronger frame than a smaller piece would require. Fortunately, we have many wide frames sturdy enough to support framing even the most sizeable pictures. When choosing wood, consider the following table to ensure you pick a frame strong and wide enough.
|Minimum moulding width
|Up to 14×10″ (35 x 25 cm)
|16×12″ (40 x 30 cm)
|20×16″ (50 x 40 cm)
|24×20″ (60 x 50 cm)
|30×20″ (75 x 50 cm)
|40×30″ (100 x 75 cm)
|Above 40×30″ (100 x 75 cm)
These dimensions are available online for each of our frames. Typically ornate frames are designed with a wide profile which means they are solid and ideal for large artworks. In contrast, more contemporary minimalist designs will have thinner faces. In this situation, check the depth. Deeper frames tend to be stronger than shallow frames.
While we enjoy using mounts to enhance smaller framed pieces, we generally recommend oversized frames to be mount-free. We can cut mounts up to 1200 x 815mm, but you can request oversized mounts by contacting us. If your artwork isn’t particularly large, consider using a gallery mount with extra-wide borders to increase the overall size and visual impact, a subtle and sophisticated technique that can still influence the overall appearance of your room.
It’s crucial to select an appropriate glazing option for your frame’s size. For instance, we do not permit online orders for 2mm float glass in frames larger than 600mm in either dimension. Instead, our Clarity+ perspex is used as it’s safer during transport (lighter and less breakable). Perspex is nearly half as dense as glass, resulting in a lighter frame with the same clarity and a UV filter. For bespoke projects, we use 3mm float glass and perspex, which can be used in frames up to 2000mm (2 metres) in size.
Last year, just over 20% of our customers ordered a frame that was bigger than A1 in size .
Modern smartphones can capture high-quality images that can be enlarged for printing and framing without losing quality. Our print and frame software can automatically check your picture’s quality and suggest suitable sizes for your wall. Make sure your photos are printed at a high enough resolution (between 150 and 300 dpi) on quality paper using quality inks. Our team can also provide feedback on image resolutions to determine the perfect print size.
Consider Dry Mounting
Dry mounting involves bonding your print to a rigid substrate, such as conservation-grade mountboard or foamboard, to keep the print perfectly flat and prevent wrinkling over time. We typically perform dry mounting for larger pictures (over 100cm) or push-pin maps, but it can be done on any size print. However, it’s an irreversible process, so never dry mount original or high-value artwork, as it can devalue the piece.
Presentation is Key
Split It Up
You can opt for a diptych (two-piece) or triptych (three-piece) layout by splitting a single large photo into separate images, creating a basic gallery wall. This approach is a popular, affordable way to cover large empty walls. Keep it simple by using the same frame for each print and spacing them equidistantly apart, maintaining minimal distance between prints for continuity.
Make a Statement
For a single statement piece, choose a frame with minimal proportions and straight lines, or amplify the art by framing it in a more unique moulding. Alternatively, consider creating a gallery wall by mixing and matching art with different frame styles to cover large wall spaces.
Hanging Your Oversized Artwork
No matter how special your framed piece, be it art, a movie poster, an old map or a panoramic photograph, if it’s poorly hung or positioned incorrectly, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Consider the following when deciding where to hang oversized artwork
- Scale: Ensure the art isn’t too small for the space. Hanging art that doesn’t fill the space well can look tacky.
- Orientation: Hang art in a way that complements the wall proportions and shape. For example, don’t hang a portrait picture above a bed. The space above your headboard is horizontal, so hang a landscape to maintain a visually pleasing appearance..
- Vertical position: Aim to hang your art at eye level, with the centre point of your picture roughly 150cm above the floor. Ensure framed pieces aren’t too far above your furniture or too close to the ceiling.
- Wall type: Hang heavy pictures on solid walls, using special fixings if necessary. Avoid hanging oversized, weighty frames on plasterboard walls unless you use appropriate fixings.
Fixtures and Fittings
Secure heavy frames using adequate fixings designed to handle the frame’s weight and size. Research what you’re screwing your wall fixings into and ask for help if needed. Our experts can advise on the appropriate wall fixings for your frame.
The bigger the frame, the more costly it gets, so it’s important to consider all these factors and recommendations. By doing so, you can ensure that your oversized artwork is beautifully framed and displayed to make the greatest impact in your space.