Choosing the Right Framing for your Artwork

choosing frame for artwork

It can be harder than you think to hang beautiful art. So often we have customers tell us they picked out a gorgeous art print, took it home, and let it collect dust as they never quite found the right frame for it.

Whilst some creations can easily be slotted into an inexpensive store-bought frame, there are others that need the right enclosing to really make it pop. What about if you have an original vs. a print?

Need some help to decide on framing options? Picture Framers Melbourne is here to take the confusion out of the matter and help you weigh up your options when choosing something to really show off your art. Check out our handy tips below.

What Kind of Frame Should You Choose?

While there isn’t one singular rule of thumb to decide this, it’s important to note that most frames will generally fall into one of the categories below:

  • Traditional: These casings are generally made of wood and have some sort of intricate embellishments, such as a series of ornamental carvings, oriental accents or canvas/ linen inserts.
  • Modern: You’ll find these casings are often made of metal or simple plain wood. With modern varieties, you may find that roughly only 8-10mm of the border is showing as you face the picture. Think of thin borders in blacks, silvers, and white hues.
  • Transitional: These borders are minimally ornamented, with only a tiny area of border showing from the front.
  • Shadow Box Frame: These add the element of depth to show off 3D pieces of art.

Things to Consider When Deciding

Now you have an overview of the varieties you might find on the market, it’s time to consider which elements may best complement your art. Here we consider various factors to think about.

Style of the Painting

Have a look at your artwork. Its individual style should suggest the right kind of border to really show it off. For example, a contemporary piece with splashes of colour might suit black metal, whilst a classical example might call for an extravagant, carved margin made of rich wood.


Although there is no hard and fast rule to picking a particular colour, there are some things to take into consideration prior to hanging your new piece.

It’s essential to consider a colour that doesn’t compete or clash with the central themes of your art – for example, picking a blue one when the photo is predominantly of the ocean or sky. In this scenario, the image could get lost in the edging, and the beauty of the frame could be lost against the image.

Also, try to avoid intricate carvings if your piece of art has many complex details. This could prove quite busy for the eye and may take away from both the beautiful outline and the art inside.

Where Will It Be Hung?

When it comes to placing art nicely, placement is important. Think about where you will be placing your art – will it be hung on a bare wall at home? Then think about the other décor in the room, and how your art can complement it.

Will it be in a corporate office overlooking the city? Think about a transitional border to not distract from the surroundings. If you have a small nook or cranny that would suit some new hanging art, consider a small and minimal frame so as to not seem too bulky for the small space.


In general terms, we recommend you add approximately 10cm – 12.5cm to the height and width of your artwork. This will provide you with a general idea of what the picture will look like once framed, and help you to determine where to place it.

Be wary of not consuming art with its border. This happens when a small or delicate artwork is bordered by something overly extensive.

How Much Are You Willing to Spend?

Setting a budget is a great way to ensure you buy within your means and allows you to go in with a goal.

If selling art is what you’re doing, then choosing something that complements and highlights your work will make all the difference. Whilst art framing can be a somewhat expensive process, if it’s done right you can reap the benefits for years to come.

The Bottom Line

Whilst framing art may seem confusing and complex, the most important thing is that you have fun doing it. Things like colour, size and placement are as enjoyable as they are vital.

Give us a call today to discuss your framing options, and make sure your next project is one to wow the guests.