Friday, August 26, 2016

Choose the Perfect Frame for a Canvas Painting

You finally found the painting you’d been searching for and are eager to hang it up. The question is, with so many available, what type of frame should you choose?

Although you may think a canvas painting means you need to go with wood, you can use a metal frame instead. What’s more: Framing your canvas in a metal frame doesn’t have to be a difficult process! Of course, there are a few simple things to check for to be sure it will fit properly.

Choose the right metal frame for canvas

The sheer variety in metal frames means you have many choices, and as great as that is, it also means you have to consider a few factors.

  • Stretcher bar thickness 
  • Stretched canvas thickness 
  • Frame rabbet depth 
It's important to remember the role of rabbets in this process. When using a metal frame, the stretcher bar must be thinner than the rabbet so the canvas will fit inside the frame channel smoothly. To do this, simply refer to the measurement on the frame listed as “R.” This is the maximum thickness your frame will hold.

Frame your work

So long as your rabbet depths are measured and fitted, this process is the same as framing anything in metal.
  1. Start with a clean workspace. Prepare your frame by wiping it with a soft cloth, then lay it facedown and prepare the corners with backing plates, leaving one side open. This is where you’ll insert the canvas. Secure with a screwdriver.

  2. Slide the canvas in and place the last edge of the frame. Secure the corners with a screwdriver.

  3. If you would like to attach a hanging wire, measure one-quarter of the way down from the top of the frame on both sides and attach the hardware. For step-by-step instructions, follow our handy tutorial!
Keep in mind how you want your framed piece to look when you hang it. When you use a metal frame, the canvas can't push out of the back like some wooden frames  if you measure the canvas correctly and choose a frame with an appropriate rabbet, your metal frame will fit like a glove. With so many frame styles to choose from, your options are endless!

Have you framed a canvas piece in metal? We want to see it! Post a photo of your work with the hashtag #FramingHappiness!

Laura Jajko
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.

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