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Framing Tips

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When framing a photo, print, or original work of art, there are some important things to consider. It is important that you make the item being framed the focal point. Naturally, you will need to make some allowances to suit the decor of your home, but don't destroy the impact of your picture for the sake of your curtains, carpet, or bedspread!

When buying prints or original artwork, you should consider these issues before you even select your artwork - try to find something that fits with the colours and mood of the room you wish to hang it in. For instance, if you have a traditionally styled house, with antique style furniture, don't select an ultra-modern picture, and vice-versa. It's far easier to frame something suitably to match your decor if the artwork itself fits in well with your home!

When framing family photographs and the like, consider how long you wish to display the photo for. Do you want a permanent framing job, or do you want to change the photo for another on a regular basis? If you let your framer know, they can frame the photo appropriately to cater for either scenario. If a photo is to be kept in the frame for any period of time, it should be held away from the glass, using a plastic spacer, or better still, a matboard. This will prevent condensation damage, which can cause the photograph to adhere to the glass and ruin its surface.

When using matboards, don't be afraid of trying different combinations and ideas. Using different colours on an image can change the look and feel of the picture entirely. And why not try some decorative cuts too? Why limit yourself to simple rectangular cutouts? Ovals, arches, diamonds, rounded corners, and many other decorative shapes can give an image a mood and character all of it's own. V-Grooves, coloured inlays, and corner decorations can add extra impact, to really grab attention. You can even use specialised picture cutouts, to highlight a special piece - imagine a cute baby photo, surrounded by a cutout shaped like a rubber ducky!

The type of glass you use is also an important consideration. Standard clear glass is the best, as far as clarity is concerned. It will not interfere with the colour or sharpness of the image. However, under direct light, such as from sun-facing windows, spotlights, and the like, clear glass causes reflections which will interfere with your viewing the picture. Standard non-reflective glass can fix this problem in some cases. However, if the non-reflective glass is not flat against the image, such as when using matboards or shadowboxes, it will give a greyness to the colours, and take away from the clarity of the image. A better solution to reflection problems is an ultra-fine single-etched non-reflective glass, such as Tru-Vue Reflection Control. This American glass may cost a little more than standard non-reflective glass, but it has far less impact on the colour and clarity of the image. For this reason, we recommend Tru-Vue Reflection Control Glass for all applications where a non-glare glass is required. Finally, if your picture is valuable, and will be exposed to direct sunlight, you may need to consider Tru-Vue UV Control glass. This glass lessens the amount of UV light which reaches the image, reducing the fading effect these rays can have on the pigments in the image.

Conservation framing is another consideration, when framing articles with financial or personal value. Conservation framing focuses on using acid-free materials in the framing process, such as the matboards, backing, and mounting materials. Acid in framing materials, including cheap cardboard matboards and spray-glue, can cause brown marks, known as 'foxing', to appear in your valuable artwork. By using Peterboro Conservation Matboards, and Conservation Quality Backing, as well as acid-free mounting materials, you can be sure your framed artwork will be well-preserved to stand the test of time.

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