What picture frames shall I use?
picture frames


With so many picture frames to choose from this article will give you a rundown of available options.

You can pick up decent picture frames from most online market places or stores and supermarkets these days. With so much choice it’s not always easy to make a decision. This guide walks you through different picture frames, their availability off the shelf and what type of artwork the picture frames are suited to.

If you do have the luxury of a larger budget custom framing can look fantastic, ofter the framer will recommend a frame and colour combination to make your artwork really sing that you might not have thought about before.

Traditional Picture Frames

traditional picture frames
How you frame your image can alter your aesthetic and your artwork significantly. Ask yourself what look your going for and consider your current interior and theme. Alternatively simply pick what ‘feels’ right for you. There’s no right or wrong answer.

It’s a classic! Traditional picture frames are versatile and popular and suit near enough all artwork. These are the most abundant picture frames that you will see lining the shelves in all our favourite home stores. They come in all colours and sizes. The moulding (the wood around the picture) can come in a variety of widths and depths ready made from stores in a range of qualities.

The Range is a favourite for many people and I am a fan too. If I need something quick, very reasonably priced off the shelf and have a ‘standard’ image size. I mention standard because images sizes are certainly not all standard and different camera’s can take different image sizes in camera that don’t match the ‘standard’ frame sizes. I’ll cover Aspect ratio’s in a blog coming soon, it’s a big and sometimes confusing topic! There is a huge amount of choice of picture frames in The Range. One thing to be aware of that I have noticed is their corner joins are not always the best. So double check they are secure before you make that purchase. On that point it’s probably always best to check those joints. You don’t want to come home disappointed.

Traditional picture frames can display images under a mount. That is the window that fits in between the frame and the image and sometimes known as a passe-pourtout. They are available in various colours to make your artwork pop and can be single or double thickness. In an ideal World they would be acid free to ensure longevity of your artwork and frame combo.

Box Frames

Box picture frames are a great contemporary way to add depth to art works. The deeper moulding creates a larger space between the glass and the frame creating a very cool modern aesthetic for your home and interior spaces. The beauty of a box frame is that it not only looks fab with a flat image or photograph but it can also house three dimensional objects or work with deep textures. Your imagination is the only limit.

There are many online retailers which dispatch box frames Etsy is a great place to source from and you’re supporting indie retailers as well. On the high street I haven’t seen many larger box frames available, they tend to be up to 12 inches. if you have a supplier that I don’t know of then please leave a comment below.

Alternatively there are many online custom framers who you can use which allows you to customise your particular size piece of work online and send it to you to assemble. I found a really helpful framer in Yorkshire, who was incredibly patient with my requests! https://www.skelfframes.co.uk/ he had ready made frames to go and customised to suit all styles and budgets.

Another factor to bear in mind is if you have picture frames delivered which are over A4 they are likely to be perspex instead of glass. So if you love that heavy super glassy aesthetic it may be better to head to a custom framer or a shop where there is less chance of glass breaking.

box picture frames
Super cool box frames give a very slick, simple and effective aesthetic.

Tray Frames

Tray frames are beautifully minimalist. These picture frames are great for canvas or a print mounted onto a substrate such as aluminium or di-bond. The canvas/image appears suspended within the frame and has a space (shadow) between the image and edge of the frame.

Unless you’re buying a piece of work or have an artwork which is standard size you might consider ordering a custom frame. Available either online made to measure or custom made at your local framers and sure to look great.

I love these frames but they can be hit or miss if not done well. Equally for a delicate print or photograph a tray frame isn’t ideal as it can be easily damaged.

Floating Frame

Not dissimilar to the tray frame, the image appears suspended. Although the floating frame has glass to protect the artwork but the artwork will not touch the glass. As the name suggests the artwork is floating within it’s housing. This is a wonderfully modern and contemporary way to showoff your artwork.

You may well need a custom framer to mount your artwork to use a floating frame. It’s an intricate job and can go wrong if not completed professionally. Worth the investment if you are going for this particular aesthetic!

floating picture frames
It’s tricky to see clearly how the floating frame works on screen. Essentially the image will float between the frame, backing and glass.

In summary there are endless options of colour, moulding and mounting for us to choose from. None of our decisions are permanent so why experiment and have some fun with different framing options and aesthetics! And REMEMBER there is no right or wrong – if you love it, you love it!

All prints in Janey McGill’s online store are of ‘A’ sizes. These picture frames are widely available on any online store or high street store. Have a browse and invite romance into your home.

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