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How To Frame an Oil Paintings

How To Frame an Oil Paintings

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An oil painting, in its basic form is still an unfinished product. In order to display it properly, you will need to frame it. This provides protection over the long term, and finishes off the outside edges of the painting to make it look beautiful.

Selecting a Frame

Traditionally, frames come in standard sizes, which are set out in the table below. If your oil painting does not conform to these dimensions, it is likely that you will have to have a frame custom made to fit your painting. Remember, it is the inside dimensions of the frame that your painting needs to fit into, not the outside dimensions.

Should my oil painting be framed with glass?

Many of our favourite items, like posters or photographs are faced with glass to protect them from dust and other hazards. Not so an oil painting. Oil paintings need to breath. Placing them under glass can trap moisture and ultimately lead to the demise of your precious art. Therefore, glass facing is a no-no for all oil paintings.

Framing your Oil Painting

Once you’ve selected the frame that really sets off your oil painting, it’s time to place the painting inside the frame with a stretch frame bar.

The first thing you need is a clean, flat surface. Lay your frame face-down as you will insert the painting in the back of the frame. Make sure your painting fits within the inside edges of the frame with the stretch bar. If it doesn’t then you will end up damaging your painting.

The next step is to professionally stretch your canvas. This is the most difficult part in framing an oil painting. You must know exactly how to do it, which angles to use and how much pressure to use. Some specific sizes and canvas types are required to use a special stretcher. The framer must know how to use a stretcher. Always remember your painting cannot be stretch too tight or to loose.Too tight and the oil paint will flake off the canvas after just a few months. Too loose and the canvas sags causing waves in the surface.

Once the stretching part is done, the next step is to secure your painting in the frame. This is done by placing the stretch bar inside the frame and securing it on all sides. You must be careful not to tighten down too much as you don’t want to indent the canvas – just secure the painting within the frame.

That’s all there is to it. Once sure that your oil painting is securely fastened within the frame, you can happily hang it on the wall where it can be admired by you and all your friends for the next 40-50 years.