How to Mount a Painting in a Frame

What You'll Need
Mat (if you choose to use one)
Glass (if your painting needs it)
Paper to cover the back of the frame
Adhesive, if you are using a mat
Hammer, nail and hanging screw
Tape measure

Deciding to frame a painting yourself can be something you may consider and to do a good job of it you have to purchase the ideal painting frame for your chosen painting. Mounting your painting in a frame is one of the best ways to preserve and enjoy your painting each day of your life. Choose your frame with care as it is the finishing touch to a beautiful work of art.

Step 1- Measurement

Measure your painting’s dimensions (height and width) with care and precision. If the painting is not too hefty to carry, it is best to take it with you to the shop from where you are getting your frame.

Step 2- Choosing a Frame

Choose a frame that will compliment the art and decor of the room but does not overwhelm the painting. An oil painting requires a glassless, backless frame. The framers at the shop can put in hanging wire or a screw by which to hang your frame.

    Step 3 – Choosing a Mat

    A painting does not need to have a mat, the frame can touch the edge of the painting, but a mat can really finish off a painting and brighten the colors in it. Mats come in single and double formats. Double format mats will provide a border for your painting. Decide whether your painting needs to be enhanced with a mat, single or otherwise. You can buy mats from a D.I.Y. store.

      Step 4 – If You Are Using Glass

      Glass in a frame is essential for delicate works of art such as pastel drawings and watercolors but not for oil paintings as oils need to breathe. You can choose between ordinary glass and matte glass which is non reflective but it does subdue the colors in the painting to a small extent. Glass is cut at any hardware or D.I.Y. store.

      Step 5 - Mounting the Painting

      If you are using glass, place it in the frame; make sure it is clean and free from any fingerprints or dust especially on the inside where you can’t get to it later.

      Step 6 - Use an Acid Free Adhesive

      Attach the painting to the mat using an acid free adhesive.   

      Step 7 - Mount It With Scotch Tape

      Mount your painting on an acid free backboard with scotch tape. Attach tape cut in the form of a T to the top of the back of the picture.

      After you put in the backboard, to prevent dust from entering inside, finish the back of the frame with a layer of thick paper to cover the entire length of the frame and glued along the edges. This does not apply to oil paintings.

        Using the hammer and nail you now can hang up your picture and admire your handiwork. If this is your first mount, it is ideal to practice on a less favorite piece first before attempting to mount an expensive or valuable one. If you have a large painting, the frame might have to be custom made.