Museum Quality Picture Framing – What And Why?

You might have recently bought a costly new art-work and may be thinking of framing it. And after googling, searching for terms like “framing” and “custom framing“, you would have came across the word “museum quality framing“. Now, probably one of the confusion for you is “whether I should buy a ready-made frame or get a custom framing on my art-work?”. Do you know that a perfect wall-piece is made of almost nine different components which only custom framing can offer you.

To have museum quality picture framing, almost nine different components have to fit together properly. Just like me, it may be interesting for you to know those components and the purpose they are used for.

1. Moulding
2. Glazing
3. Mats
4. Hinge
5. Art-work
6. Mount board
7. Backing board
8. Dust cover
9. Bumper

Now let us have small introductions of all these parts and what they are used for in picture framing.

1. Moulding:
It is an artistic edging around picture. It is also called frame. It has a rigid hollow structure generally made of plastics, metals or wood. It holds glazing between its etched-inside edges. Framing shops like paintbox art and framing offer a wide range of frames for custom framing. Moulding serves as protection for overall framing structure and it also adorns overall look of your wall-piece.

2. Glazing:
It is high-quality glass-plate used in picture framing generally to protect the actual art-work. It is put exactly over the art-work. Mainly it aims to save the art-work from humidity,soiling and heat. Laminated glass or some acrylic materials can save pictures, generally drawn on paper or fabrics from heat and ultra-violet radiations. This is needed because some art-works are made using pigments or dyes which tend to de-colorize when directly exposed to ultraviolet rays or heat. There are several types of glazing or glass for framing pictures.
1. Acrylic glass
2. Regular glass (also called clear glass)
3. Low-iron glass (also called extra-clear or water-white glass)
4. Laminated glass
all of these glass-types have their unique characteristics and are used for different purposes in picture framing.

3. Mats:
Mat is a paper-based material used for separating the art from the glass. It is included within picture frame and it serves as additional decoration for art-work. There are basically two types of mats in available market, either acidic or acid-free mats. They come in four level of qualities
1. Museum board (highest quality)
2. Museum mat or Rag mat
3. Conservation or archival mat
4. Acid-free mat
It is essential because it separates glass from art-work or photograph. And if humidity or condensation is generated over the glass, mat board automatically absorbs it. And also if glass is allowed to contact the photo or art-work directly it may tend to stick with it and spoil it. perfect mat cutting is also a matter of skill in picture framing.

4. Hinge:
Hinge is generally mounted on mount board to fix the art-work rigidly on the mount board. It generally consists of screw and a finished metal piece. There may be some even more creative forms of hinge according to the ambience of wall-piece and picture frame.

5. Art-work:
This is the piece of art to be displayed overall. It is the core part of picture framing. It may be a hand-drawn sketch, an oil painting, a photograph or anything else to be framed.

6. Mount board:
It is a board made of  foam-core or non-foam core or mate-like materials. It is usually thicker than the mate and it is used to support the picture from inside. preferably it should be acid-free because acid-free mount board stop malicious decays to the art-work on which the picture framing is performed.

7. Backing board:
Backing board also should be acid-free preferably. It is strong supportive plate, generally wooden. It may be 1-ply, 2-ply or 4-ply based upon where the wall-piece has to be used. It provides strength to overall framing structure.

8. Dust cover:
It is a thin protective cover to save the art-work from outer dusts. It encloses the rear space of wall-piece so that the dust can not enter it. For museum quality picture framing it is a truly important part.

9. Bumpers:
Bumpers are embossed sections behind the wall-piece and picture framing. They are put to protect the wall and separate it from the wall piece. Generally bumpers are made of rubber but they can also be made of metal,plastic or wood. They can be carved inside for tacking wall-piece on the wall.

So basically there is huge difference between basic picture framing and museum quality picture framing. Doing picture framing on yourself merely by following some DIYs is not a wise step. Rather than that, one should opt for expertise framing from museum quality custom framing shops like Paintbox art and framing who have years long experience and a huge satisfied clientele for framing their valuable art-works. Along with all this they provide fast home-delivery to local,national or international clients for overall customer satisfaction.


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