Ah, nothing like finishing a masterful oil artwork. But you’re probably thinking a frame would be better with the art. And you don’t want the hassle of sending it to an art gallery bearing hefty costs for framing. Hence, you clicked this article, right? Here, I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to frame an oil painting!
Firstly, choose the right frame. Unpack and gently put it down on a flat surface to avoid scratches. Place the canvas board (your oil painting) on the interior of the frame. Align it properly. Place a thin paper behind the canvas. Put the back cardboard on the paper and seal it with points. Install your hanging mount on the frame using a cordless drill and screws.
You might still feel a bit confused about what to do. Don’t worry! I’ll explain it with more ease if you have the time. Also, I’ll talk about other things like the type of frames and why you shouldn’t use frames under glass. So, please, stick around to know more!
Steps to Frame Your Oil Painting
Before I get to the meat of the matter, here are a few things to consider. Prior to framing that beautiful artwork of yours, ask yourself:
- What type of color should the frame be?
- What is the size of my canvas?
- Where will I hang it?
- Can my canvas breathe within the frame?
- How much will the frame cost?
The color of the canvas depends on your oil painting. Maintain a nice contrast and make sure the focus remains on the artwork. Measure the width, length, and height of your canvas properly. Finally, ensure the perfect place to hang your frame before buying it.
Costing has a wide range. It solely depends on how much you want to spend. And, I’ll talk about the breathing aspect when it’ll be relevant, so please keep reading.
Now, the exciting part! These are the steps to frame your oil painting. Make sure you follow them exactly as I say.
Step 1: Placing Your Frame
Unpack your frame from the packaging and place it gently on the working bench facing it downwards. You can use a soft cloth beneath the working bench. That way, the front of your frame will be protected from scratches. Place your other tools like screws, drills, or screwdrivers beside the frame.
Step 2: Place Your Oil Canvas On The Frame
Gently place your oil canvas on the rabbet of the frame. The rabbet is the small depth made inside the frame where the canvas can be installed firmly.
Make sure the four edges of the canvas are well adjusted to the four corners of the rabbet of the frame. Align your painting to the center as much as possible.
Step 3: Cover The Back Using Standard Paper
A standard paper protects your artwork from dust, moisture, and bugs. Simply, cut a piece of paper using a paper cutter or scissors.
Ensure the size is equal to the size of the canvas. Spread the paper over the back of the canvas. Do this process gently and slowly. Avoid any tear or wrinkling of the paper.
Step 4: Place A Cardboard On Top
A light and solid cardboard will come with the frame to cover your interiors. Place this cardboard to cover your canvas and the paper.
Press it lightly with your fingers to remove any air pockets. After placing the cardboard, see if the painting is still properly aligned at the center.
Step 5: Seal The Back
The small metallic points with tapered ends are the things that’ll keep everything in place. Some frames come with built-in points which can flip. So, just flip them downwards after you put them on the cardboard.
If you have to place points manually then don’t worry! It’s quite easy. Place the tapered end of the point towards the interior of the frame. Take a flathead screwdriver or a putty knife and gently hammer it down laterally.
The friction of the frame and cardboard will keep the points secure. So, do the same thing using 4 to 10 points on each side of the frame depending on the length.
Step 6: Attach A Mount (If Needed)
Your frame normally comes with a hanging mount on its woodwork or cardboard. If it doesn’t then you can buy some d-rings and saw-tooth rings to hang your frame. Simply make a few holes on the top of the frame using a small drill. Then put the D-ring or saw-tooth ring and screw them in place using a cordless power drill.
Additionally, you use some thin bendable metallic wires with your D–rings. Just make a simple knot with the wire in and around the d-rings you’ve installed. Then perform a spiral action with the wire for creating a stronger knot.
Cut the excess wire using pliers and take the remaining long wire to the other D-ring of the frame and do the same knot. As a result, the wire will act as the tension to hang your picture frame. It will be sturdier and easier to mount on walls.
And that’s it! Your picture frame is ready to be hung! There are some optional things you can do though. You can stick some packing tape over the back cardboard for extra protection.
Also, you can use mounts. Mounts are a small card that separates the canvas from the frame and allows it to ‘’breathe’’ as I’ve mentioned before. This means the edges of your canvas will not be ruined.
Also, mounts provide a minor detail that changes the view of your oil painting. For example, you can insert a small black mount around the canvas of your painting inside the frame. It can enhance your painting a lot. So, congratulations! Now you know how to frame your oil painting yourself!
Don’t Frame Your Oil Painting Under Glass
Framing your oil painting under glass is a big no-no. Why? Because glass is mainly used in other paintings for protection against UV rays and dust. Oil is a strong mixture and it is thick enough to withstand such minorities.
Putting a glass frame will suffocate the oil painting and ruin the colors. So if you want extra protection, do other things! Varnish both enhances colors and also protects from dust and other particles damaging the surface of the paint.
It creates an ideal barrier to prevent the removal of paint when you clean. Remember that it is very important that you get the correct varnish for your painting. Otherwise, you will do more damage than repair.
I would advise you to consult an art professional before purchasing. Also, wait at least 6 months before you apply any varnish or put your oil painting in a frame. It takes a long time to dry so be patient.
Frames That Are Ideal For Your Painting
Frames are quite subjective and depend solely on you. But I can give you some general idea!
For a modern look, you can get floaters or baguettes. They have a simple design. Floaters give a more 3-D type effect on your painting. Baguettes keep the frame a few inches off the wall which creates a striking impression.
For a traditional look, you can go for traditional wooden or metallic frames. They have a great design that pairs well with your oil painting. The viewers will give equal importance to the frame and painting.
For an old-school look, you can buy expensive antique frames. These frames stand out well on their own and are worthy of your true masterpieces only. Additionally, the thickness of the frame matters too.
So, before you buy any frames go to websites where you can upload your oil painting with the frame of your choice. You can decide then and there if it is to your standards.
So to summarize, follow the steps I’ve told at first! Like unpacking the frame, installing the canvas, ensuring alignment, putting the paper and cardboard, and screwing them. Do not frame your oil painting under glass as it will ruin it. Instead use varnish for better protection.
Framing depends on you but I’ve given some general frames that you can normally use like baguettes, floaters, and antiques. Hopefully, this article helped you understand how to frame an oil painting. Stay healthy, stay safe, and I’ll see you next time!