Breakdown of a Picture Frame

In today’s day and age, digital picture has made taking, processing and viewing pictures easy. Along with the times, Picture frame has also seen some evolution. Digital picture frame can show multiple images like a screen saver. Classic picture frame seems like old age technology today. Indeed picture frame history dates back many years and have seen lot of evolution. However, there are some basic fundamentals of picture frame that has not changed ever since frame came into existence.

The Actual Frame
Picture frames essentially do the job of enhancing your image. Frames are generally made of wood, metal or plastic. The most common materials of which frames are wood and metal.
Wood Frames: Wood frame varies greatly from costly oak molding to bamboo molding. There are varied types of wood frame available in as many types of wood present in market. Wooden frames can bring old age feeling and sophistication to your photograph.
Metal Frames: Metallic frames are much simple to design when compared to wooden frames. Specialty designs can be obtained in Metal framing – such as brushed rounded corners (by using chemicals) and baded designs.

Glazing can be made of Standard Glass or Plexiglas. Standard Glass is the most common glazing used and is inexpensive and readily available. Standard glass is the best option for reproduction prints, posters and artwork.
Plexiglas is lighter than glass, and less dangerous to handle. Plexiglas, in its most advanced form, provides most of the benefit of museum glass and has the ability to filter 50-75% of UV rays along with being anti-static and scratch resistant. Plexiglas is a great alternative and preferred choice of framers around the world.


Mats can be made of cardboard or other materials and serves as a frame within a frame. Mat separates picture from direct contact with the glass and creates a small air space between photographs. Glass also prevents moisture build up. A mat can be decorated as per photograph’s specification- colored, decorated or pure white. The more acidic the mat material quicker the artwork is bound to deteriorate. Normally mats made of cotton are great for preserving art work.

Mats - Picture Framing

Mounting Board
This holds the picture against the mat. This is often the first step in framing process. Normally cardboards are used as mounting board material but framers normally advice against using them. Cardboards are acidic in nature, and this may be detrimental for the artwork over the years. Mounting board with polystyrene core are generally good as they are acid free, have smooth surface , warps less and can be cut smoothly.


So these are the 5 major components of a frame. While selecting suitable frame, all the guidance should be taken into consideration. However, nothing beats the beauty of an experience framer. It is recommended to try various options before finalizing a frame. As this happens so often, even if thing do not look good, might just look great and provide valuable experience to user about choosing correct picture frame.


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