Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

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Someone mentioned picture frames with “stacked mouldings”, what are those?

As the word implies, it means a picture frame made up of  two or more frames ( mouldings) stacked, or put on top of each  As the word implies, it means a picture frame made up of  two or more frames ( mouldings ) stacked, or put on top of each other. Referring to the image of the framed art in this post, you will note that there are two, disparate frames. The external, or outside one is of a light brown, or tan colour, the internal, or inner one, is of a warm cream colour.  The outside frame was built first, the inner one later. The picture framer then fitted the internal frame inside the external one.  Because mouldings ( picture frames ) can fir and sit on top of each other, these are in effect,  stacked.  The stacking of mouldings in picture framing, is usually done to enhance the aesthetic design of  the art being framed. Again with reference to the image herein, it can be seen that ...   the inner, cream-coloured frame  beautifully separates and define the picture framing from the art. This picture framing technique is a solution when customers wants a particular piece of art to be wider or larger, when extra depth is required or when a combination of finishes, textures and colour are required. This last reason, the mixing of finishes, textures and colours, is perhaps the most common reason for designing  stacked mouldings picture frames. As an example, the modern trend of whites, off-whites, black and  “industrial” finishes does not leave much scope, for example when framing memorabilia. Imagine framing your grandmother’s family tree cross stitch embroidery in any of the four, above-mentioned finishes or colour. The resulting picture frame might not be flattering or do justice to the family keepsake. However, if your picture framer were to stack a silk liner moulding or a silver-foiled moulding inside an off-white, shabby-chic moulding, the end result could be very pleasing. To summarize, if you have a particularly interesting piece of art, or cherished keepsake, or special memento that you would like tastefully  framed, do ask your picture framer to suggest stacked moulding picture framing combinations. While this technique is generally somewhat more expensive ( 2 or more frames are needed instead of only 1) than conventional framing, it is definitely worth considering when planning that special, picture framing project. For ordinary, every-day, picture framing pricing costs, not involving stacked mouldings, visit and use our Picture Frames and Picture Framing Costs Estimator tool.


In India, where I did some D.Y.O. picture framing classes, this double-framing technique was reasonably common. We would use an inner low-light picture frame, and and outer, high-light frame. So if I had to frame a black and white greyscale photograph, I'd use a light grey frame as the inner one and a dark grey or black one for the outer one. I think that the much cheaper cost of materials and labour was a contributing factor as to why it was widely used over here. Over here we have much dearer costs, hence this is probably why stacked frames aren't used as much here.
Poojah V. - 3 Feb 2018 08:32 pm

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