Looking at the Basics of Picture Frames

With Victorian Frame Company, you can now order quality frames online! However, if you are really serious about your picture frames, you should also get to know the basic anatomy of a picture frame. After all, the purchase of these frames will be an investment. Your choice of picture frame will also have an impact on your display. Knowing the basics can help you make a more informed and confident choice when you need to order picture frames online.

  • Picture frame material. Metal and wood are the most common choices for picture frames. Your choice of material will depend on the kind of look you are going for and the kind of photograph or artwork you would like to display. Wood works well with traditional, rusty and shabby chic looks. For instance, an antique picture frame with intricate moldings that feature white, gold, gold or silver leaf finish will look great for portraits in a room that has a classic motif. However, the same picture frame, with a distressed finish will work well with a room with a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Meanwhile, metal is more modern and is great for the contemporary, industrial and minimalist themes. For example, a silver picture frame with straight, simple lines that feature a black and white photo will look sleek and will fit a bold and modern decorative motif.
  • Glazing. The glass in the frame is an important part of the picture frame – it provides much of the frame’s protective capabilities. The glazing lets the light in and enables one to see the item being framed but it prevents dust, grime and moisture from getting inside. However, glazing comes with different levels of protection.
    • Glass vs. acrylic. Glass is usually cheaper than acrylic, have more clarity and is also scratch proof. However, glass tends to be heavier (especially with bigger frames) and is more vulnerable to cracks and breakage. On the other hand, acrylic is lighter and less prone to breaking. The drawback, though, is that acrylic needs special care since it can be easily scratched. You need soft cloth and a mild cleanser for cleaning.
    • UV protection. Glass and acrylic can be equipped with UV protection. This prevents the light from damaging the photo, since the UV rays can cause discoloration and brittleness.
    • Anti-glare properties. For better viewing clarity, you can choose to get anti-glare glazing. This minimizes the reflection of light onto the glass.
    • Convex glass. This is the type of glass that is curved and is commonly found in antique picture frames. Convex glass was used in old picture frames as a way to minimize the contact of the glass and the photograph and thus prevent the photograph from sticking onto the glazing. If you want to have an antique feel for your portrait, the Victorian Frame Company still offers a wide variety of convex glass.
  • Matt boards. This serves as a frame within a frame and as a spacer, keeping the photo and the glazing from touching. The matting boards add visual impact to the overall look of the picture frame. Some even opt to add two or more layers of matting, playing around with the colors, so that they draw the viewer’s eyes to the photograph. When choosing matt boards, as well as other frame materials that touch the photograph, consider whether you need acid-free and lignin-free materials. Board paper will commonly contain acid and lignin (which will eventually turn into acid). Over time, the acid will seep into the photograph, causing it to become yellowed and brittle. If your photo is printed from a digital file, you will not necessarily need acid-free materials, since the photo can easily be re-printed.
  • Backing. This seals the back of the picture frame, keeping insects and dirt from coming inside. However, when the picture frame is exposed to extreme temperatures (especially during the winter and summer), it is best to seal the backing board with paper tape or other more permeable options. Moisture can still get inside the picture frame by way of condensation. If you close the board with plastic tape, it traps the moisture inside and this will damage the item
  • Spacers. This serves as an alternative to matting boards. This is a silicon or plastic strip that is placed on the inside of the frame molding. The spacers keep the glass from coming into contact with the photo. This provides some “breathing space” that allows any moisture that can get in to dry out.
28th Apr 2016 Eric Morgan

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