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Do’s and Don’ts on collecting your new picture frames

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Wiki-Knowledge-article-icon On the subject of collecting your new picture frames we need to quote Confucius. Indeed it is he who is reputed to have been the sage who first immortalized  picture-framing-customer-overloaded-with-furniturethe famous dictum “ By three methods we may learn wisdom:  the first, by reflection, which is noblest;  the second, by imitation, which is easiest; and the third by experience, which is the bitterest." And this is pretty much how it is when we witness how some Customers are arranging the collection and transport of the picture frames we’ve framed for them. Ergo: a)  We reflect on how they do this, resolving never to do what they do, b)  we never imitate what they do, lest we wreck the frames and c)  we practice doing the opposite of what are doing, which may be harder and  slower, but safer for the frames.

So what do we mean by all this?  By and large, on collecting new picture frames, most Customers are  cautious, careful and prepared.  Indeed, the majority come prepared, with an empty back seat, boot and blankets or rugs, even,  But some Customers ?  Aaargh !!! Busy Saturday morning mums are possibly the worst offenders.

This is probably because they want to do a many things as they can in the shortest possible amount of time.  We’ve lost count of them coming in to collect a huge framed poster with absolutely no room at the back.  It got so bad that we even had to put a warning in our website about our popular A0 poster  frames below:   Our red-text warning says,  in part,  that “Under no circumstances will we load the frame next to, or near baby capsules, or children“.

This is because sometimes a parent would insist that we load a large glass frame in the car, even if in an in inappropriate or unsafe place, giving as a reason, that he or she did not want to come back since they were already there. But even if it isn’t a large frame, we are often amazed at how some Customers load and toss, throw, even, their freshly framed pictures into their cars!  Actually, we are sometimes shocked at what we see!

However, and mostly to avoid all this, we now invariably carry Customers’ frames to their cars and ask them where should we put them. We have found that, on collecting new picture frames, since adopting this approach there have been far less Customer relations problems. In particular, we have now obviated that difficult Customer phone call that goes something like this:  “ Hi, I just got home and I found a dent in my new frame, what can be done about it?”

Of course, the dent wasn’t there when the Customer collected the frame, because we presented it to the Customer for his or her inspection and approval. This is why to avoid awkward complaints, carrying the Customers frames to their cars is a good insurance policy. However, on the occasions that Customers insist on carrying their fresh custom frames to their cars we politely proffer our advice.  We have summarized it in these main points:

Do prepare your car, before picking up the frames. We’ve lost count of the Customers who come to collect huge frames only to go away empty-handed because their cars are full!  This happens even when we text them and warn them about bringing an empty car with empty booth. We even give them the measurements and send pictures sometimes!

Don’t come with a car full with passengers or a boot full of stuff.  Some of our biggest frames, the A0 Poster frames, for instance, require e at least a space of 125 x 90 cms to be safely placed flat. Most cars don’t have a boot that long, even if as wide, and the only way to take these posters away is by flattening the foldable  rear seats.

But this can’t be done when the rear seat is filled with passengers, they’ll have nowhere to sit!  By the same token,  the same, large frame cannot be laid flat in the boot if it’s filled with prams, dogs, tools, ladders, plants, concrete bags, cement sheets and what have you.

Once or twice some Customers even asked us to place large, glazed frames over the back of rear seats and above the heads of babies or children in their carriers or seat. We drew the line at that and politely declined.

Do pick up, hold and carry the new picture frame with both hands, one at either side of the frame. While this suggestion isn’t that applicable or important with small picture frames, it is quite relevant to medium and large size frames. Carrying a large frame with one hand, on one side only, unsupported on the other 3 sides is asking for trouble.

When walking with the frame being held on one side only, the up and down walking motion will add to the lateral stress to the four picture frame joints, possibly, or likely, causing these to spring, or separate even, with ensuing catastrophic frame failure, or in plain English, the frame might fall apart!  And of the glass falling out, shattering and sending dangerous shards flying everywhere? We’ve seen this happen!  For the same walking motion reason, we also don’t suggest carrying a heavy frame by its wire, cord or chain.

Walking steps are akin to pulling and tugging, and no hanging device is meant to withstand that.  Remember that hangers and hanging apparatuses always stay still and stead on walls and do not bounce or move around.

Don’t carry any picture frame with one hand.   Well, perhaps a small 4”x6” photo frame or even an A4 certificate frame are small enough to be carried with one hand, but anything larger than that should be carried with both hands, one at either side.

Do stack multiple frames face to face or glass to glass.  The reason for this is the hardware usually fitted at the back of the frames.  We often fit hangers, eyelets, screws and what have you at the rear of the frames. Most of the times these protrude and do not lay flat. If the face, or front of one frame is place against the back of another frame, chances are that the steel hardware with scratch and dent the softer wood. This is why it’s always best to place, load, stack or carry frame glass-to-glass.

Customers sometimes see that fit cardboard corner protectors on the four corners of the frames and assume that these will fully protect. But these do not, only partially protect and the face-to-face placement is still the safest method.

Don’t load, stack or dump picture frames one on top of the other.  This is particular problem posed by Customers who may be in a hurry or late for something or someone.


It almost brings tears to our eyes when, on collecting new picture frames,  we see a Customer hurriedly and carelessly almost throwing a beautifully framed piece of art in the boot amongst tyre levers, car jacks, gas bottles, spanners, tools, hammers and heavens knows what other hard and dangerous objects and surfaces.

Do place frames inside the car carefully and laying flat. While this may not matter a great deal with smaller, photo-size frames, it does proportionally matter the larger a picture frame. Placing large frames tilted, at an angle or balanced on top of a pile of things is asking for trouble. Things move and bounce around in cars owing to driving around corners, speeding, braking, going over kerbs, gutters and what have you.  Any of those circumstances may result in the picture frame being jolted, stressed, with the frame sprung or glass broken.

This unfortunate and unwanted damage has happened often enough for our Management to adopt a simple policy. Unless requested by Customers not to do so, our Staff will personally carry and place Customer’s picture frames in their vehicles.  We have found that since adopting this policy we hardly, if ever, get any more transit breakages.

Don’t place picture frames at an angle or at an incline, or obliquely or standing up. It’s upsetting to see a Customer coming back barely 5 minutes after he or she has driven off with a broken glass or damaged frame. It can also be quite troublesome for both ourselves and the Customers if he or she insists that it’s not their fault, that they’ve done nothing wrong and that the breakage or damage occurred spontaneously and all by itself.  This has actually happened a few times and it takes a fair amount of time tact and diplomacy to resolve. For all or any of these reasons, please transport pictures safely, even and flat on their back.

Do take away any picture frames from inside a car during hot day. While most people do know that the inside of car can get hot during even a warm day, many don’t know how just how hot it can get. If outside it’s 40° c A vehicle’s dashboard temperatures can rise to around 76° c, almost double. That means that a picture frame which has been glued together at the corners will slowly cook, or bake, inside the car. It almost certain that in these temperatures the frame will buckle, the moulding distort, the backing buckle and art therein cockle.  In other words, both the frame and the art inside, will be pretty much ruined.

Don’t place picture frames inside cars during hot days.  While this should not be done has been detailed in the preceding paragraph, another reason is that the temperature inside a locked car not only increases greatly, but also quite quickly.

The sun’s shortwave radiations will heat any object these can reach and radiate back long-wave radiations, or heat. In a mere 2 minutes the temperature inside a car can jump from 26°C to 35°C,  and in one hour, 48°C.  While the heat wouldn’t melt the frame, it would almost certainly distort it and ruin it.

A last point on the topic of collecting your new picture frames we need to mention is the widespread incorrect lifting and carrying of frames whist  using only one hand.


We see this happen a fair bit in our store, as Customers take away their frames and if we see this,  we warn them that this is never a .good idea. This particular issue is further discussed in our post   What’s the best way of lifting, carrying and handling picture frames?´ of 1 Nov 2016. Thank you for reading this post "Do’s and Don’ts on collecting your new picture frames".

1 thought on “Do’s and Don’ts on collecting your new picture frames

  1. I run a picture frame shop in the western suburbs and I really must applaud this post. It says a lot of things and lays out a lot of problems I’ve had with my own Customers over the years. In particular I want to confirm the problem or people trying to squeeze large picture frames into small cars. At least 3 times in the last year or so I’ve had fights with customers over this. They push, shove, jam and twist the frame so badly that sometimes they crack the glass. They then have the effrontery to tell me that since the glass “was so weak that it broke by itself” I owe them a new frame or a new glass !!! What a cheek !!!

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