Buying Guide
Picture Frames

You need something framing, but don't know where to start? We've got you. This guide will explain the process as well as help you to choose, hang and care for your frames.

Deciding

Things to Consider

Every frame we make is made to fit your picture, so you can order a frame in just about any size… big or small. This means there’s no need to shoehorn your artwork into an off-the-shelf-frame that’s not the right size or (worse) trim your picture unnecessarily.

Your Picture / Art

  • Value - Your choice of frame materials can vary depending on both the monetary and sentimental value of your piece
  • Size - Framing something big? It's good to consider certain things like the strength of the moulding and the weight of the finished frame on your wall
  • Medium & Substrate - Depending on the artwork type, digital photo, oil painting etc... your choice of frame and its component parts may change

The Frame

  • Style - Within reason, there’s no need to match the frame with with other elements of your room. Just make sure it looks good with the picture you're framing. This way. if you redecorate or move home your framed picture will still look good.
  • Purpose & Function - What do you want your frame to do? Is it purely decorative or does it need to protect your picture?
  • Mount - Mounts can really set your art apart from an aesthetic point of view, but they're also used to protect valuable art

Other Considerations

  • Safety - You may be hanging frames in a school or a child’s bedroom
  • Budget - Frames can vary drastically in price - usually the moulding and size have the biggest impact on price
  • Delivery Time - Express delivery is available. If you're ordering more than 100 custom frames we may need more than 2 days to make them.
  • Returns - Made to measure frames with fit protection can be returned for a replacement frame in the correct size. All ready made frames can be returned.

Custom or Ready Made?

If you...

  • Want to be sure we can make a frame that fits any item perfectly, big or small
  • Will enjoy the widest choice of frame styles available, including mounts
  • Require most flexibility of materials used for conservation and safety purposes

Then consider custom frames because...

  • Custom frames can be manufactured by us to suit your artwork perfectly
  • We have over 1,000 frame designs, and dozens of mount colours to choose from
  • Custom frames come in dozens of high-quality materials, suited for all sorts of framing projects

If you...

  • Want a no thrills method of displaying standard size artwork and literature
  • Don't mind selecting from a limited selection of frame designs and colours
  • Need a frame with a particular feature, such as being suitable for regular artwork changes

Then consider ready made frames because...

  • You can only frame standard size items
  • These frames are available in only the most popular designs and colours
  • Some are designed for specific purposes, like displaying tabletop photos

Buying

Size & Orientation

An important step when ordering a custom frame is to provide us with the size of your picture. Our framers will make sure it fits inside the frame perfectly. Correct measurements are vital, so it's important that you enter your dimensions accurately.

Custom Sizes

Every frame we make is made to fit your picture, so you can order a frame in just about any size… big or small. This means there’s no need to shoehorn your artwork into an off-the-shelf-frame that’s not the right size or (worse) trim your picture unnecessarily.

We don’t charge a premium for custom sizes vs. standard sizes – they’re all manufactured in the same way.

Standard Sizes

We’ve assembled a comprehensive list of standard frame sizes. These cover almost everything from little postcards, to certificates, to oversize posters.

A Sizes Metric Sizes Imperial Sizes
A6 10x15cm 3.5x5"
A5 13x18cm 4x5"
A4 15x20cm 4x6"
A3 18x24cm 4.5x6"
A3Plus 20x25cm 5x7"
A2 21x28cm 4x10"
A1 20x30cm 6x8"
A0 24x30cm 7x9"
28x35cm 8x8"
30x40cm 8x10"
40x40cm 8x12"
40x50cm 10x10"
50x50cm 9x12"
45x60cm 10x12"
50x60cm 10x15"
50x70cm 11x14"
60x80cm 11x17"
12x16"
12x18"
14x18"
15x20"
16x20"
16x24"
18x24"
20x24"
20x30"
24x30"
24x36"
30x30"
27x40"
27x41"
30x40"
30x48"
36x48"
Standard frame sizes

Measuring Conversions

When you enter your picture size into our Frame Studio™, product detail page or product listing page you'll need to provide the exact dimensions of your artwork in millimetres.

If you need to convert your size from inches to mm or from cm to mm, please follow the below instructions:

Converting cm to mm
1cm = 10mm
Example: convert 15cm to mm:
15 x 10 = 150mm
Converting inches to mm
1 in = 25.4mm
Example: convert 15 in to mm:
15 × 25.4 = 381mm

Internal Sizes & Visible Area

It’s important to note that we make frames to fit your picture. The sizes you enter do not represent the total width and height of the frame on the wall (a.k.a. the external frame dimensions). If you need a frame made to fit an area on the wall, please state this in the comments box at checkout.

Size Limitations

Whilst we can manufacture frames up to 2.8m in length, our couriers can't accept parcels this large. As such we've been forced to limit the size of frame you can order online.

Frame Only Frame & Mount
Max Size 120cm x 100cm (48” x 35” approx.) 110cm x 72.5cm (44” x 28” approx.)
Min. Size 8.9cm x 8.9 (3.5” x 3.5” approx.) 2cm x 2cm (1” x 1” approx.)
Max and min. frame dimensions

The Item You're Framing

Paper & Canvas

Any artwork on paper such as prints, paintings, photos and drawings are particularly sensitive to their surroundings. Changes in temperature and humidity, exposure to light and restriction of movement can all cause lasting damage. Normally this can be seen through wrinkling and fading.

Paintings

Generally speaking, we recommend framing a painting with a mount and glazing. Mounts help to prevent the painting from touching the glass, so if your painting has thick paint, make sure you order a luxury deep bevel mount. Mounts also allow air to circulate, preventing condensation from building, which can lead to mildew and wrinkling over time. Also note that if your painting is on paper or thin card, adding glass and barrier board will help to support the paper.

Acrylic and Oil Paintings

If you’ve got an oil or acrylic piece that’s been painted onto a rigid surface, like a stretched canvas or board, you don’t need to frame your painting with glass. Whilst oil and acrylic paints are fairly robust (when dry), they should still be varnished in a way that protects the art from UV rays, rendering the glass unnecessary.

You may have noticed that museums and galleries frame their oil paintings behind glass. This is done to protect the paintings from vandalism and inquisitive fingers and isn’t necessary for paintings hung around your home.

Drawings

Most drawings are completed on delicate paper or thin card; as such we’d recommend ordering glazing and barrier board to help support the drawing itself.

Pastels and Other Powered Drawings

Drawings with a sensitive surface have special requirements:

  1. It’s essential that powdered drawings are framed with a mount; it stops the image touching the glass by adding a space between the two, preventing smudging.
  2. Clarity+ glazing is not suitable for framing art with a powdery pigment surface. This is due to the way it can build and hold a static charge. Instead, we’d recommend ordering 2mm float glass.

Digital Prints & Photos

Glossy and semi-gloss Giclee and inkjet prints can release gas (a process called outgassing) for some time after printing, causing deposits to build up on the back of the glazing. To limit these effects we recommend leaving newly printed images for a week before framing.

Limited Editions

Limited edition prints can be expensive to buy. They often represent a good investment, rising in price over time. As such, it’s important to frame them using conservation grade materials like barrier board and acid-free mounts.

Artists signature on print - don't cover important parts of your art with the frame lip or mount overlap
Also, remember that the editioning and artists signature should still be visible when framed.

Frame Choice

Colour

When it comes to frame colour you have to take into account lots of different variables:

  • Which colour will complement your existing décor? Choosing a frame that blends with your existing furniture and wall colour is a safe bet.
  • Which colours will bring out the best in your print? Striking effects can be achieved by matching colours in your print to the design of your frame and mount.
  • Do you want to make a feature of your artwork or do you want the finished effect to be more subdued?
  • What’s on trend?
Using Mount Colours

Looking for a more reserved look, but still want to use bold colours? Try experimenting with mount colours. By default, we select iced white. It’s an unobtrusive colour that allows your eyes to settle on the picture without distraction.

Using a bottom mount colour to bring out colours in your picture
Don’t underestimate the effect a double mount can have on the end result. Introducing multiple layers can produce a breath-taking design.

Style & Finish

You will be surprised by how many finishes frames are available in. Frames that are ornate, painted, stained, natural lacquered, distressed, brushed, foiled. For some art the choice is obvious… Typically, if you are framing classical or reproduction art, go ornate. Got an Art Deco piece? Go with a lacquered frame as it will complement the art.

You can also match the moulding finish to the room you plan to hang your art in; a distressed driftwood moulding might look great in your bathroom but be aware this might limit you if you decide to move your art around!

Style Description
Art Deco Glamour and opulence are at the heart of these Art Deco frames. Angular patterns, lacquer materials and monochrome detailing embody the Art Deco style.
Baroque Dramatic and excessive. These designer frames are adorned with carved flowers and sculptural figures to create a sense of true opulence.
Boutique Hotel The Boutique Hotel trend is inspired by 1980s hotels found in major cities like New York, London and Paris. These frames help create a comfortable, intimate, and welcoming setting.
City Loft City Loft interiors draw their inspiration from apartments found in the most stylish districts of New York and London.
Coastal These frames often mimic discovered objects and offer a distressed appearance for a contemporary take on traditional coastal living.
Contemporary These frames place a strong emphasis on line and form help to provide contemporary interiors with minimalist energy. Try mixing materials for contrast and depth.
Country Farmhouse Soft colours and warm wood frames are the order of the day. Of course, not all of us were to the manor born, but by extracting elements carefully, that classic country style is achievable for all of us.
Fusion This eclectic range of frames helps to rewrite the rule book by allowing you to mix and match the old with the new, luxury and modesty, brash and reserved. With fusion you can fill a wall with the unique frames and art you love without feeling guilty.
Industrial Frames featuring heavily worn woods or other traditional building material effects like steel and concrete help to create a moody and dramatic look.
Luxe Revive that Hollywood style with our most glamorous frame finishes and add a little sparkle to create a truly star-studded feel throughout.
Scandi Simple, contemporary and calm, these frames draw inspiration from Scandinavian lakes, pine trees and watercolour skies. Natural materials and tactile textures connect with grey, fresh blue and dusky pastel tones.
Shabby Chic Complete your shabby sanctuary with our soft and dreamy frames that have been incredibly popular this year. Soft faded woods lend a peaceful, quiet air to your artwork and rooms.
Traditional Finish off your dream traditional look with our top pick dark wood frames. These frames take their inspiration from decades past, but that brings with it a comfortable familiarity.
Vintage These mid-century modern frames compliment rich wood interiors so perfectly. We love the grainy textures and aged finishes that help to reproduce an authentic vintage feel.
Frame styles

If you are framing a poster or piece of word art, we recommend using a simple painted or stained wood frame in black, white or bare oak. These simple but classy frames with a simple mount tend to be very popular.

Samples

Whether you're looking for a frame or mount, you can be sure to make the right design decision thanks to our free samples. We dispatch them within one day and you can order up to eight samples at a time. You can request your free frame and mount samples by contacting us.

Mounts

Our white core, black core, conservation and luxury deep bevel mounts both protect your picture and enhance your photos & art with their stylish, professional look. Our mounts wont discolour over time and can be ordered in any size to fit your picture and frame.

Reasons to Mount

Presentation

Mounts can really help an image pop and lends that extra wow factor to your piece by introducing ‘breathing space’ for your image.

Protection
In a Frame

When used in a frame, the mount keeps the picture from touching the glazing. This allows the picture to breathe and move freely within the frame preventing wrinkling and moisture build up.

Outside a Frame

If your picture is handled outside of the frame you can hold the mount rather than the picture. This helps to reduce the risk of damage.

Try using extra wide mount borders or a double mount to draw eyes into the picture at the heart of the frame.

Glass & Clarity+ Acrylic

Glazing is used to protect the artwork from damage by creating a barrier. It helps to prevent the artwork from touching, UV light, bugs, liquids as well as dust and general air pollution.

Don't assume that glass is the better product. Advancements in the way plastics are manufactured have meant that generally speaking, our Clarity+ Acrylic is now a much better choice for the purposes of framing.

Clarity+ Acrylic

Also known as Perspex™, Plexiglass© or Acrylite© our Clarity+ Acrylic glazing is often preferred by major Galleries like the Tate due to its ultraviolet protection, ease of handling and purity. It's also found in high-end OLED tvs and commercial aquariums. Find out below why this form of frame glazing is proving ever more popular:

Benefits Drawbacks
Being lightweight, Acrylic glazing can be used in narrow frame styles and is more suitable for hanging on plasterboard walls Being lightweight can been seen as a negative in terms of quality
Highly durable, resistant to surface scratches and breakages during transit. Safe to hang around children, in walkways and public spaces. Can be damaged by cleaning agents, instead simply use an anti-static cloth
Acrylic is much cheaper to ship than glass Acrylic is more expensive than glass
Acrylic is completely colour free and shows the true colours of your picture  
Acrylic has a strong UV filter built in, keeping your prints safe from the damaging effects of sunlight  
Benefits and disadvantages of framing with glass

Glass

Whilst we offer 2mm float glass in frames up to a maximum of 60cm, we usually recommend Acrylic. With that said, glass has a few key benefits:

Benefits Drawbacks
It's added weight gives a premium feel to the product Medium to large frames can be too heavy to hang on plasterboard walls. Narrow, modern profile frames may bow due to the weight.
It's fairly durable and resistant to the harmful effects of cleaning products Highly breakable with a high risk of injury
It's inexpensive to buy It's expensive to ship
  Glass is rarely completely colour free and tends to have a slightly greenish tint
  Has no UV filter
Benefits and disadvantages of framing with glass