To frame or not to frame?

Many of us probably have a couple of pieces of art that are just lying around the house, which, when you bought them, you probably had every intention of getting them framed and hung in a particular place. The thought of having to choose a frame can often seem daunting - people worry about the price of getting something framed professionally, or deciding how are you going to select the right frame that is going to house your artwork for many years to come. Finding the perfect frame for your new art purchase can be just as challenging as choosing the art itself.

So, once you’ve found your perfect fine art print, what’s the best way to display it in your home?

Mount Picture Framers specialise in framing for both private and commercial clients. They are experts in finding the perfect frame and mount to complement your space and the image it will surround. We asked them to share their advice and top-tips on what you should consider when looking at how to frame your work:

Do I always need a frame?

Deciding on whether or not you need a frame depends on what you’ve ordered and what you’re hoping to achieve in your room. Canvas prints don’t always need an external frame, as they are usually stretched across an internal timber structure which makes them ready to hang immediately. Fine art paper prints however, will almost always need some kind of external frame to display the artwork, otherwise you are limited to attaching the print directly to the wall, which is not something anyone would recommend!

Why should I frame my work?

Frames are used to show off the work, to protect it and to preserve it for the future. The main point here is longevity; if you frame your fine art paper print, it will almost certainly last you much longer.

What should I look for when I’m purchasing a frame?

Frames should always compliment the artwork and should not be the main event. You want to enjoy your art, not the frame, so choose a frame style and colour that will compliment the work and that will be aesthetically pleasing to your personal taste.

Also look at the interior decor or design of your room where you are hanging your print when you are selecting your frame. Try and coordinate the style and colour to both the artwork and the room where the art is going to be hung. Let the art lead: remember this really important piece of advice when choosing a frame and you will rarely go wrong.

Another useful tip here is to plot out physically the area that your artwork is going to go. If you are worried about damaging the wallpaper or paintwork on the wall, then use masking tape to mark the area. You can then match your frame accordingly.

A lot of the images on our site display art with mount board, will I need a mount board? (Known as matting in the United States)

Mount board is not always necessary.  The whole purpose of mounting art is to place greater focus on the artwork itself, so with that in mind, the same rules apply here: do not choose a colour that will overpower the image of your artwork. You want your eye to move naturally to the artwork in the first instance and not to the mount or frame.

Final tip: Take preservation into consideration

If you are using a professional framers, then ensure that they are using pH neutral materials, quality profiles and art glass which will protect your work from UV rays and reflections depending on where your art work is going. Constant UV light (particularly where prints are hung in direct sunlight throughout the whole day) can affect the pigments used in your art print. We would therefore recommend, where possible, that you use a UV filtered glass. Some companies will also offer acrylic instead of glass, which may sometimes be cheaper. In either case, the main recommendation here is to try and make sure it is UV filtered.

Thank you to the team at Mount Picture Framers for their advice and top tips. We hope this article provides much-needed clarity on important matters to consider when selecting the perfect frame for your artwork.


If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to drop us a message on or check out Mount Picture Framers online for more tips and recommendations.

Be Moved | Be Inspired

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