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Picture framing advice

If you have, or are considering buying a print, your next step will be to get it framed. For most people, this isn't something you will do yourself. If the print is a standard size, you can by all means buy the appropriate sized frame and do it yourself. Continue reading on, as this picture framing advice is still relevant to you!


A good frame consists of the frame itself, glaze (glass or acrylic), the mount, mount board, filler board and back paper. The frame itself could be made from wood, metal or a synthetic material. You need to choose the colour of the frame carefully so that it compliments the print it is going to hold, as well as looking good and fitting in with your room decor. The glaze, whether you opt for glass or acrylic, should have UV protection.


The print will be placed onto a mount board (the same size as the print), and then a window mount will be placed over the top of the print. The board keeps the print rigid and the window mount prevents the glaze from touching the print as well as giving it an extra aesthetic appeal. You could chose a tiny or even hidden mount that tucks behind the frame, or a wide mount to make the entire framed picture much larger. This comes down to personal taste, but a mount is, nonetheless, required.


Next, a filler board is placed on the back. This essentially fills the rest of the gap between the frame and offers a layer of protection to your print. Finally, the back paper keeps dust out. A good framing shop can always offer you advice if you are struggling to choose. My recommendation would be to let them frame it for you. I'm a photographer, not a framer, and my DIY skills need a lot to be desired! Having said that, if you have some basic skills, I see no reason why you can't attempt to frame your print(s) yourself.


Woman hanging a picture on a wall


How to hang your framed print


Once you have your print nicely framed, comes the next challenge. Not really a challenge per se, but you would be surprised how many people get this 'wrong'. There is no real right or wrong way to hang a picture really, as it depends on many things, personal taste being one of them. Maybe this is a Dutch thing, as I never noticed it before I lived here - almost every home I go in to, their pictures are hung at insane heights on the walls. Yes, Dutch people are tall, and many homes here have high ceilings, but I find it looks odd. Maybe that's just me. I always believed pictures should be hung at eye height. At 1.65m tall, eye height is roughly 1.55m from the floor. But once I got in to photography I discovered that even I was 'wrong'. The perfect height to hang a picture is that the centre of your picture should be 1.45m from the floor. Why? That's called museum height and it is considered the optimum viewing height.


Now you know that, you can forget it, as we all know the optimum height depends on factors such as furniture in the room, other wall art, and lastly our own height. My point is, consider not putting it so high up (yes, Dutchies, I'm talking to you!), and not too low either. What I do now when hanging a picture is to get my husband to hold it where I think I'd like it to go, step back and see how it looks. Maybe try a few different locations and heights. I want to enjoy that picture. I want it to enhance my room, and I want it to look the best it possibly can. So if my husband gets aching arms, then sobeit. Little disclaimer - I am by no means suggesting anybody should do that either, and I won't be held liable for any complaints that may arise from aching arms/shoulders!


You might find this article helpful: How to care for your art prints

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