TOP 10 Framing tips for amateurs

I have put together my list of top ten tips for framing using a readymade frame, I hope you find this useful.

This is a practical solution for an everyday gift, using a shop-bought frame. Framing does more than just enhance the look of your picture, it can also help protect it.


1 – Choose the perfect frame

If it’s for a gift, pick a neutral colour that will match most decors. You can get some really beautiful and ornate frames, but if you have bought a nice print you should be showing it off – buy something complimentary that will protect the print and not compete with it.

You can pick a frame with a mount (called a mat in U.S.) to enhance and lift your image – different colours will give different effects.


(Thanks to ‘Marie’ for supplying the above pictures of her framing results).

2 – Set up your workspace

Before even getting your print ready, make sure you have a clean dust-free, flat space to work in. Have enough space to take apart the frame and remove the glass safely. I suggest putting a cloth down to rest the front of the frame on to avoid any scratching.

3 – Clean the glass and frame

Make sure everything is grease and dust-free by using a glass cleaner and a clean cloth.

Work in a brightly lit space so you can spot any stray bits of dust and fibres on the glass and use a paintbrush to remove – do not blow with your mouth or brush dust off with your fingers as you will end up transferring more dirt back onto the glass.


Handle the glass with a cloth or fabric gloves and be careful of sharp edges.


Make sure that the glass cleaner does not come into contact with your print.

3 – Use acid-free materials

Choose acid-free matting, paper, tape and any other materials wherever possible.

There is acid present in cardboard and other papers. Acid can cause your artwork turn yellow over time.

4 – Trim your print

Put down a clean flat wooden board (that you don’t mind marking with a knife) or a cutting mat on a flat clear surface.

If you are using a mounting (matting), place the mount over your print and get your print into position, then mark your print lightly with a pencil at each corner as your cutting guide.


Trim the print using a sharp craft knife or scalpel and a metal ruler. Only use a knife if you are a confident and responsible adult! Or alternatively a guillotine.


5 – Secure your print

Use acid-free hinging tape to attach your print to either the top of the backing board or mount (mat). Your print will be less likely to slip out of position, and being attached only at the top will prevent it bowing or crinkling if it expands in varying atmospheric conditions.

Do not use glue or stick tape – the glue will soak through your print and cause damage.

6 – Never have the print touching the glass

Always use a mount (mat). If the glass touches your print it will in time, damage the ink and your print as a result.

Tip – if you want the image to be full-size in the frame, then cut the existing mounting (matting) to leave just enough edge to hide behind the frame, which will keep your image from touching the glass


7 – Seal the back

The last thing you want is a bunch of thunder bugs crawling about and getting stuck inside the frame and against your print. You can buy sealing tape online or from any good art or craft store.

After sealing, trim the edges of the tape flush with your frame.


9 – Protect it from the elements

Try not to hang it in direct sunlight, steamy damp rooms such as bathrooms, or smoky greasy rooms such as a kitchen. Give it the best chance of standing the test of time.

10 – If in doubt – ask the professionals!

The above framing method is NOT recommended if you have an original piece of art, or a limited edition Giclée print – it is a practical solution for an everyday gift around the home.  If you want something to be protected for several lifetimes then a store bought frame may not help to protect your art – you should really consider getting your piece framed professionally.

Thanks for stopping by! Visit my shop here for gorgeous personalised Word Art designs:


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