Using Oval Picture Frames for Your Home Décor

Oval picture frames exude a classic, old-world feel. This is especially if you choose oval vintage picture frames that are made of carved wood molding and that come with a gold leaf or wood finish. Some of these picture frames can come with an optional silver or gold lip on the inside of the frame. Oval frames nowadays have become more contemporary, with the emergence of frames with a black or chrome finish.

Oval picture frames were very popular during the 1900s. During those times, these wooden frames with elaborate carvings or molding designs also came with a convex glass. The curvature of the glass helped protect the photo from dust, grime and moisture in the environment while minimizing the level of contact of the glass with the surface of the photo. The convex glass prevents any buildup of moisture on the inside surface from causing damage to the photo.

If you want to use an oval picture frame, here are some things you need to consider:

  • Type of photo to be framed. Oval frames work well with portraits, especially formal solo portraits. It can also be used for headshots of two people as long as the heads of the subjects are close to each other. This makes the frame ideal for wedding or anniversary photos, but not for family portraits. Landscapes may also not be ideal for use with an oval frame, since the oval shape will naturally cut off the corner areas of the picture or painting. You can test whether a photo will look good in an oval frame by cutting out a piece of large paper (such as butcher paper) into an oval-shaped frame. Then you can put this over the picture to see whether the photo works well for the shape.
  • Consider using convex glass. If you are framing a photo of your grandparents or want your photos to have that “antique look”, think about adding convex glass. You can get the frame fitted with the bent glass. While you’re at it, if you are using convex glass on an oval frame, you can get 3-dimensional objects and keepsakes such as your wedding bouquet and mount these into the frame.
  • Choose the design. This depends on the overall décor of the room, as well as the photo being framed. There are plenty of designs when it comes to oval frames:
    • Vintage oval frames. These feature ornamentation such as beading or ruffle carvings in the inner or outer edge of the molding. The more ornate designs best fit portraits of ladies while the simple oval frame with clean lines suit portraits of men.
    • Gold or silver antique oval frame. This frame may also feature elaborate ornamentation on its molding. Or a simpler version where the ornamentation or beading is located just on the top and bottom of the frame’s molding. The color is the key here, which perfectly complements a black and white or sepia photo.
    • Modern oval frame. Contemporary oval frames feature simple lines – with flat or carved moldings that do not bear any ornamentation. This may be made with black-finished wood or silver chrome. This is great for more modern portraits.
  • Center the picture in the frame. Of course, your photo will come in a rectangular shape and you need to cut it into an oval shape to fit the frame. Remove the glass from the frame. Position the glass onto the photo so that the photo aligns with the horizontal line at the center of the frame. (For portraits, the head does not have to be in the exact center of the frame. Rather, it should be around two-thirds up from the bottom of the oval.) If you need to move the glass to perfect the alignment, be careful so as not to scratch the photo. Once the photo is centered in the glass, trace the oval shape. Use a pair of very sharp scissors to cut.
4th Oct 2014 Eric Morgan

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