Tips for framing and showcasing beautiful photos and other unique finds

Top priority: Your home doesn’t have to be a museum. 

The majority of us collect wonderful artwork - sentimental pieces we’ve inherited, flea market and online buys, a photograph from a honeymoon, a few choice children’s paintings, vintage posters, a beautiful quilt too fragile for use but that could be dreamy on a wall. These are the pieces you want to frame well, without spending a fortune or feeling intimidated by the process.

You want to frame your work in order to protect it from dust and too much handling (fingerprints, etc.)   

Things to keep in mind are whether or not you want a mat as mats help keep your artwork safe by separating the glass from the art.  Having a mat (which should be acid-free) in between your artwork and framing glass is important because any condensation that might develop on the inside of the glass can be transferred to your art causing water damage, mold or mildew. 

Mats can also add an extra layer of decoration to compliment or emphasize the photo.  They come in many colours so another decision for you to make is do I want the mat to contrast or blend with the work.

If you’d like, you can add an accent mat—a second mat that sits inside the primary mat and creates a thin outline around the artwork. This accent mat isn’t necessary but if you go for it, think of choosing a color that’s found in the work itself—a bit of red you want to highlight, for example, or a gray undertone from the sky.

You also need to decide whether you want to use regular glass or non-glare glass or acrylic. Acrylic has the advantage of being shatterproof and lightweight; on the other hand it can get scratched much more easily than glass. 

At this point and considering whether you think your work is valuable and you want to preserve it correctly and for a long time, you may want to have a professional framer work on it.

Often times the standard rule of size is to select a frame that is an inch wider and taller than the print, or poster.  Again so many decisions come in to play, do I want a more modern feel, should I use wood or metal, do I want it ornate, etc.


While the bottom line is certainly a matter of personal preference, ordinarily picture frames should not all match. For a great look without too much uniformity, go for frames that are different sizes and styles, but the same color or material.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published