Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

Welcome to our weblog about picture framers, picture frames and picture framing. It is published and maintained with the goal to share information, knowledge, tips, ideas and opinions about this industry. All posts are grouped in the sections listed below. For help with orders, please visit our Store Help and FAQS page, or use our Contact page.

Our five most popular Shadow Box frames questions

What are Shadow Box frames?  These frames are essentially the same as normal picture frames but with several different features.  Firstly the moulding, or frame, is much deeper at its side. For instance a normal moulding could be 4cms wide x 2cms high. With shadow box mouldings the proportions are reversed so that it would be 2cms wide x 4cms high, thus giving frames that ‘boxy’ look. As the frame is deeper, and since a window mat, glass and backing are quite thin, perhaps making up .5 cm of the 4cms the remaining 3.5cms can be used to place and hold objects. What these objects could be is only limited by one’s imagination, but basically you can put any small 3-D object with a height or thickness around 85% of the height of the moulding, as a very rough rule of thumb. Secondly there are usually removable spacers between the glass and the back ...

 
When at the framer’s, who should open up and remove prints and poster from mailing tubes?

At first glance this seems a trivial and unimportant question.  You go to your picture framer’s shop, or store, with your freshly-arrived, eBay or Amazon poster rolled up in a tube, you get it opened or unpacked, show it to the framer, and get it framed, what’s the problem?  The problem is, what happens when the framer opens up the tube, removes your print or poster, and then presents you with damaged art?  This necessarily begs the question, was the print or poster already packed in that state, or did the damage occur while it was being unpacked or removed?  This is a situation that occurred to us a few times over the years and once more, just recently. As  a result our Staff no longer affords Customers the courtesy of opening tubes, parcels but instead request that they do so themselves ...

 
What's the best way of lifting, carrying and handling picture frames?

Usually, not by lifting one by the frame as the man is doing in the photo. Unless the string, cord, wire or chain at the back is loose, frayed or damaged and unless the retaining hangers or fixings are missing or loose, picture frames and photo frames ought always be carried by whatever hanging devices they were fitted with. That's why they're there for. The danger with carrying picture frames by their frames .. especially larger frames, is that doing this might break the framing tape seal, "spring" open the backing, upset the picture frame assembly and pop out the backing board, or, heaven forbid, move the glass out of the frame. This isn't an exaggeration. We've actually seen this happen a few times over the years, causing varying degrees of customer ...

 
How do I clean the plastic glass or plexiglass of my Ready-Made picture frames?

Many of our Ready-Made frames are glazed not with clear glass but with what's known as 'plastic glass' or acrylic (clear plastic) sheeting. This is common in the picture framing industry when shipping to customers larger frames so as to minimize transit damage or breakages. The notes below should help customers wishing to know more on how to store, treat and clean this .. practical, lightweight glazing material. HEAT: Acrylic sheets tend to deform if heated up to 100C. and should be stored in ambient temperature not greater than 80C. SCRATCHING: Acrylic sheets have a relatively high surface hardness, however care should be taken to avoid surface scratches during handling. The sheets are factory-protected with masking film or paper and should not be removed until necessary. CLEANING: Acrylic sheets can be cleaned with a solution of mild soap or household...

 
Some of my picture frames look dirty, how should I clean a picture frame?

Most photo frames, poster frames, certificate frames and picture frames consist of a wooden frame and a pane of glass. The picture frame moulding (frame) is often finely finished with gold or silver foils or leaves being a few micron ( very thin) thick. Many household cleaners contain ammonia, solvents and abrasives and shouldn't be used to clean frames lest the finish .. or colour of the frame come off accidentally. Perhaps the best way to keep a picture frame clean is to gently dust it regularly to prevent the dust and dirt build up. If it really needs solid dirt removed, you can use a microfibre cloth with tepid water. The clear glass pane can be cleaned with a cloth moistened with glass cleaner or water. Do not spray directly on to the glass surface lest some liquid seep under the glass and stains or damages the artwork. Antique, gilded, gold-leaf picture frames however are in a ...

 
Help! How will I know what size photo frame or picture frame I should order?

First make sure you have your artwork (photo, print, canvas, document, etc) with you so that you can measure it. While this seems a little silly to suggest, it isn't. Many customers ring us up wanting picture framing quotes for prices. When we ask them what size their picture are many say that the don't know for sure. They say that they don't have the picture because .. they're just about to order it online or that they've just done so. It seem that customers either take it for granted or assume that the picture size they're getting online will be exactly as described or ordered. Unfortunately and, in about half the cases, the picture size the customer gets won't be the same size as ordered. Chances are then that when that 50x70cms poster that you've just ordered online comes, it mightn't be that size ...

 
I want a picture frame made up for my picture, do I have leave my print with you?

Generally, yes. We prefer you leave your picture, print, poster or photo (we call it artwork) with us. We need it to make a custom picture frame, put your artwork inside it, seal it, put the wire or cord and hand it do you. Some customers may be worried that their work is contracted out or framed elsewhere, but, with us at least, that's never been the case. All picture frames, photo frames or poster frames and all .. all picture framing is done by skilled, experienced custom picture framers in house. Other customers may be concerned about artwork loss or damage by flood, fire or accident, though in nearly 40 years of making picture frames, we've never had a claim. Still there have been a occasions where customers, for one reasons or another, have elected not to leave their artwork with us but have still wanted us to make picture frames. In these cases we simply measure ...

 
My friends are buying floater frames, what are these? Should I get one?

The floater frame evolved from the 1950's picture framing "stripping" style. This style was an attempt to embellish and visually seal, or finish, the appearance of unframed oil paintings on canvas. This involved the fixing of thin wood strips or plywood trims, about 3 to 5mm thick, to the four, external sides of a stretcher frame. However, while this style of picture framing .. also known as 'Baguette" improved the appearance of the oil painting's sides, it did not strengthen the stretcher frame construction and provide no support for any future wall hanging. The modern, standard float frame is basically an evolved baguette and has become popular since early 2000's. Its profile is in the L-shape with the back of the moulding being the base which supports the stretcher frame. A floater frame is nearly always cut 10 or 20 mm larger than the actual stretcher framer. Once the stretcher ...

 
Can I have my new prints and photos framed into some old picture frames I have?

Yes. This is of course conditional to the quality, soundness and suitability of the picture frame to be re-used. To begin with, the picture frame, or photo frames being considered for recycling should be sound, solid, free from borers or other insect infestation. Its corners should be unsprung, that is, closed tightly without gaps or rocking or rolling. If any of the .. picture frame corners do move whilst being handled than the frame is said to to be "sprung". If so, it will then have to be dismantled or disassembled and rejoined, if the structural integrity is there. If the corners are cracked or split then the picture frame might be unsalvageable. If the frame passes this test, the next step to consider is whether or not the colour, style and size will suit the intended artwork. If the frame is a black or deep brown and the intended artwork a delicate, dainty pale-coloured embroidery, then... 

 
Can I phone through a custom picture frame order and pick it from your store?

Yes, but we would rather not do it. And we know this sounds crazy, but let us explain why. The reason is that most people aren't picture framers, they don't know how to measure for picture framing, they get the measurements wrong and then we may make picture frame frames that won't fit the artwork. When this happens, the customer blames us and either refuse to pay for the frame we just made or wants a new or "better" frame made up for free. This is a lose-lose situation for both customers and ourselves and that's why we won't take over-the-phone orders for custom picture frames or custom picture framing. Oh well, you might say, why not accept these phone orders anyway and just warn customers that they, and not you, will be responsible? We actually tried that and it doesn't work! Let's face it, how would you like to pay a hundred bucks for something that doesn't fit and ...

 
Do you sell or make picture frames sourced from old, used or recycled timbers?

No. Recycled timber picture frames are sold in niche or specialist markets. Frames from old timbers are generally more expensive than normal, run-of-the-mill picture frames of photo frames. Typically, these upmarket frames are only about 3~5 % of all sales and it's difficult to specialise in these and remain commercially profitable. If you look on the web you'll find one or .. two specialist picture framers but there aren't many. There are several good reasons why this is so. The main one has to do with commercial profitability. Recycled timbers are expensive to work with and labour, especially Australia labour, is always a far expensive component than materials. These timbers need to be salvaged, sorted, stored, de-nailed, cleaned and re-machined to size. Importantly, the milling, sawing, docking, cutting, sanding and general machining of recycled wood takes longer ...

 
What's the difference between a shadow box frame and a box frame?

Simply said, a shadow box picture frame has one or more raised mats that will cast a shadow on the artwork whereas a box frame hasn't. In the example photo shown here the light blue mat is raised and casts a shadow over the child's artwork underneath. And while there are other matting and spacing variations, this is the main difference between the two picture framing styles. Again referring to the self-same illustration, many shadow box frames have one or more mats recessed at the bottom of the frame so that the shadow is cast still, but lower. In fact, these shadow boxes are a hybrid of box frame and shadow box frame. Certainly this type of specialized picture frame has evolved from the days when shadow boxes were almost exclusively made to hold and display antiquaria, numismatica or militaria. Nowadays, many shadow box creations are crafted ...

 
I couldn't see it on your site, but do you frame football or sports guerseys?

Yes. We do have several pictures and references on this site about the picture framing of football and other sports' jumpers, guernseys, jerseys or tops. But to expand, yes, we do picture frame football jumpers and also publish online or our prices information for the 3 most popular framing options. We only use quality methods and acid-free materials for this specialized picture .. framing and can incorporate into the picture frame photos, medals, ribbons, letters, engraved plaques and other items if required. The corporate, black box frame we use allow us to put spacers under the mat so as to give the framed jumper or article that lovely, 3-dimensional or "shadow-box" framed look. We don't recommend using the 1-dimensional look. This method requires nearly as much work but will end up with the framed jumper looking "lifeless" or  indeed, "flat" . If required ...

 
Picture frames and picture framing is so expensive! How can I get it cheaper?

Easily! Don't get stuff custom framed and don't buy custom picture frames! Just buy Ready-Made (pre-made) picture frames and stick your pictures in yourself! Take for instance a common, A1 size (59.4x84.1 cms ) poster. We can make you a custom picture frame for $132. Or you can buy one of our A1 Ready-Made frames for $33.75 and save heaps! It's up to you. Of course custom .. picture framing does make the picture a little classier. It should look a little neater and flatter, for instance, as the artwork it's often either dry or wet-mounted. But it's that worth more than double the money, especially for inexpensive holiday prints? Again, it's your choice and, if unsure, just contact us! Extra tip: When getting custom picture framing done ask your framer for a cash payment discount. Chances are they can because the profit margin on custom picture framing is higher ...

 
What are the advantages and disadvantages of plastic glass over clear glass?

Where picture framing is concerned, there are several advantages of plastic glazing ( to glaze is to cover the surface of something with a pane or film of covering material ) over glass glazing in using it for indoor (as against outdoor) picture frames. For picture frames, the most common acrylic glazing material used is cast plastic rather than the extruded or 'continuous' type. The reason .. for this is that the former is of higher quality has less impurities and harder and thus a little harder to scratch. Nowadays Chinese-made cast plastic is most often the one now sold in Australia though for many years Plexiglass and Lucite were the dominant brands . Plastic is (depending on the thickness) much lighter, only about half as heavy, it's virtually unbreakable or shatter-proof and generally, it offers better U.V. (ultra-violet) protection. It also insulates better than glass ...

 
I want order online, is your site legitimate, reputable and who else buys from you?

Our picture frames and picture framing site is seriously legitimate and definitely reputable. We sell certificate frames, picture frames and photo frames to the Australian Commonwealth Government and to many Australian State Government bodies and Australian Local Government entities. A great many of Australia's Top 100 Corporations and Institutions and Australia's Top 100 Professional entities also buy our picture frames. Our customers page shows some, but not all, many, other, well known, prominent Australian corporations, bodies and entities. Hovering the mouse over each customer logo will usually display the our online store order identification number. In addition, our contact page lshows our trading address, contact and business details including our Australian Business Number (ABN). ABNs may be quickly, easily ...

 
Do you sell off-the-shelf, ready-made picture frames and where are these?

Yes. Our popular ready-made picture frames are listed here and can be bought online. Some of the most common, standard picture frames, certificate frames and photo frames sizes are listed in those pages. Because more and more paper art nowadays is printed in standard sizes, ratios and shapes, more and more can be easily and quickly put into a Ready-Made frames by the customers themselves. Take for instance all those paintings your children bring back from school, sometimes several times a week. And if your child is ..

 
Can I have something framed yesterday?

This is our most popular, yet slightly, oxymoronic customer question to which, the self-evident answer is obviously, sorry, but no. And the reason why 99% of picture framers cannot drop everything to do that urgent picture frame a customer wants is that they are busy making picture frames for the other customers that came ahead in the work queue. This is a similar work flow to other trades. Most mechanics aren't .. idle and waiting for a car to be brought in to be repaired. Normally they're busy working on somebody else's' car. They'll ask you to leave your car and to come back when it's ready. It's much the same with picture framers. Another question that we often get asked is: "Can you frame it while I wait?". Again, and in most cases, the answer is no  the picture framer is most likely working on other customers' picture frames, probably due for completion...

 
Do the Eastleigh Frames' staff do all their own picture framing themselves?

Yes, we do. There are still country agencies and remote or smaller newsagencies and art shops who still send their customer's work to be done outside at wholesale picture framing factories. We or course do all our own picture framing, have our own picture framers and manufacture all photo frames, picture frames at our industrial premises in Moorabbin, Victoria. With us your artwork .. will never get forwarded on, double-handled and maybe, get lost or damaged. Making picture frames begins with a picture framing consultation. A customer comes in with a print, photograph, poster or other artwork to be framed. Together with the customer we select an appropriate picture framing combination and we agree on a price. We then write out a Work Docket setting out the framing instructions, details, customer's name and completion date. The customer pays a picture framing deposit a leaves ...

 
Is it rude to ask picture framers for cheaper prices or picture framing discounts?

Not at all! Firstly, get an idea of how much your picture framing project might cost by getting online estimates, or, if you really have to, by ringing around. Good, competitive picture frame shops won't be reticent in offering free quotes or of telling you their prices. Some, like ourselves, even have free, online Picture Framing Price Estimator for Customers to .. do just that. A few, like ourselves, even have permanent site Picture Framing and Picture Frames Discounts Coupon to encourage Customer to shop with us. Remember that picture framers are under just as much pressure to make sales as anybody else and will readily discuss discounts if asked. However, if you don't ask or bargain, then they'll charge you their full, undiscounted, retails prices, it's as simple as that. They'll still make the ...

 
Can I ask to have my oil painting picture picture framed under glass?

Yes, however this type of picture frame is not constructed very often and for a few good reasons. Firstly, the glass should not rest or touch even an "old", or aged, oil painting because the white oxides in the paint may take up to several months to thoroughly dry. Often, an oil painting may feel hard to the touch and yet the inside layers are still soft and curing, or drying. The painting media (plural, as there may be several, coats or paint layers of different paints) and the method applied by the artist will affect the longevity of an oil painting. The common painting techniques requires applying several layers of oil pigments. These are often thinned (diluted) in several method, as preferred by the artist, to achieve the desired colours, hue, strength, intensity and brilliance. The paint oils have to ...

 
Can you match the picture frame, photo frame or mat that I bought years ago?

Sometimes ( though not always ) this is possible and can be done. The first step is to browse through a picture framer's web site and see if they have the particular frame that you're looking for. In our case, our most popular ( but not all, we have too many ) picture frames and photo frames, can be seen here If you can't see the frame that you're trying to match, then take a photo of the ... frame ( your phone camera will do fine ) and email it to several picture framers. Explain that you've got some framing to do, that you're trying to match an existing picture frame, and do they have the frame or at least know who the supplier is. Hopefully, at least one of them will recognize the frame you're after and give you some pertinent help or advice. That said, we have to add that while we can access ...

 
Do you repair broken picture frames and replace smashed photo frames glass?

Yes to both, but with qualifications and limitations. Picture frames repairs and re-glazing ( glazing is the covering of a surface with glass ) can be done by most picture framers provided the frame isn't too badly damaged or has just sprung open, as shown in the picture. Other repairs such as retouching of small scratches, replacing broken glass or decayed rear dust covers or broken cord, or .. or string or hangers or nails or screws is also easily enough done. To repair or restore valuable, historical or antique picture frames which need restoration we recommend a qualified, professional art restorer, particularly when antique gilding or hand-carved mouldings are involved ...

 
Do I have to put my canvas photo or painting in a frame and what choices do I have?

No. You have other choices. The first choice, and most popular one is to stretch-frame it over a strainer frame. That means making a strainer frame and stretching your canvas over it tightly. That way you won't even see the frame as it'll be hidden inside the stretched canvas. The second choice is to mount or glue down your canvas art (only if it's an inexpensive or of no real value item) onto a board, just as you would a print or poster, and then put a picture frame around it. With this choice, most customers choose not to have glass fitted to picture frames this tends to take away the feel and texture of oil paintings on canvas. The third choice is to combine the first and second choices together so as to have the canvas stretched and framed. This last option isn't as popular because it's normally...

 
How much or how wide do the margins need to be to stretch-frame a canvas?

For the average, 2cm thick stretcher bar, it should be between 4 to 5 cm, at the very least and as illustrated in the image here. If the stretcher bar is thicker, add this extra thickness to the above, recommended thickness. The image on the canvas should have at least this width of all four sides of the canvas. This goes for all canvases, whether gallery-wrapped or not. This width will allow for the wrapping.. of the canvas around and over the four sides of the stretcher frame bars. Importantly, this also allows for the picture framer's hands, canvas pliers or other hand tool to grip the edge of the canvas and pull. The canvas must be pulled tightly and evenly all around the perimeter, or all four sides, of the stretcher frame. This is most important. If the canvas cannot be tightly gripped, the tension ... 

 
I brought back home my painting rolled up in a tube, will it be all right to frame?

In most cases, this is fine and rolled up oil paintings on canvas can be unrolled, relaxed and either stretch-framed or fully framed Sometimes though, this isn't possible. In some cases, what happens is that the oil painting has been painted quite thickly, almost palette-like, that it has dried up, while tightly rolled up, and that on unrolling and straightening it, the surface .. of the painting starts to crack. In other instances, the artist who painted the canvas hasn't used quality oil painting media but cheaper acrylic house paint. in other instances, the artist who painted the canvas hasn't used quality oil painting media but cheaper acrylic house paint. This type of paint will readily split and crack if even slightly bent or twisted during straightening or stretching. In yet other examples, an artist ...

 
Help! My car is too small for my huge picture frame, can you deliver it to me?

Yes, if we can fit it inside our delivery van we can certainly deliver to you, if required. However we provide this service only for our Customers as we are not general or common carriers. If you need this personal deliver service, please discuss this with us at time of collection. With our goods van we can transport picture frames over 2 metres long. We deliver after work or on weekends and by prior arrangement. For local deliveries .. we charge $50, for Melbourne city deliveries $100 and for outside Melbourne as negotiated. While we use our best endeavours to deliver any goods safely and withoud damage and have never had a single accident , all deliveries are uninsured and entirely at Customers' risk. Please be aware of this condition when you ask us to deliver your picture frame to you ... 

 
I just want a custom mat cut to size and nothing else, do you do this?

No. We of course do cut window mats for all our custom picture frames, photo frames, certificate frames, ready-made frames and for any frame we make but we won't supply or cut mats only. The reason we do this, oddly enough, is for better customer relations. In the past, when we did offer a custom mat cutting service, we found that customers were dissatisfied with about 20% of the mats .. we cut. The complaint we seemed to get (far too often ) was that the custom mat we had just cut "didn't fit" either the customer's picture frame or the artwork. It then dawned upon us that the reason why our mats didn't fit or suit, wasn't us, our tools ... .

 
What is your turn around or completion time for picture framing?

1 to 2 weeks if the job is not urgent or ASAP and as negotiated with the customer during the picture framing consultation. Truth is most picture framing can't be done yesterday. A couple of good reasons for this. Firstly, picture framing is an not only an exact craft, but can be exacting as well. For instance, if we make a wet or dry mounting mistake with a customer's .. artwork usually this can't be fixed and the we'd really be in trouble. And secondly, when rushing work, window mats and or picture frames may be cut wrong. This is because we often need to calculate 8 disparate measurements just to cut one mat. If we get it wrong, we have to do it again. This means doing the job twice and thus, unprofitably. That said ...

 
So who are you picture framers and how long have you been picture framing?

Our picture framery is Eastleigh Frames, our business details are here and we have been professionally picture framing in Melbourne for nearly 40 years. We began framing in the late 70's, the golden age of picture framing. Back then even the average, middle class house had at least half a dozen posters, several works on papers and one or two originals or small oil paintings. Custom and customers were different then. Many customers appreciated, bought and collected fine art, original works, Australiana and limited edition reproductions. People even bought oil paintings as investments they hoped would appreciate. There were more jobs around then and perhaps more felt they had a larger, discretionary income. The Australian dollar was worth nearly half of what it is today. Importers weren't ...

 
I don't want expensive frames or framing, how do your prices compare to others?

We are cheap - and proud of it. We're so confident of this that we've actually published up our custom picture framing and picture frames prices on the web for the whole world to see! Check us out if you don't believe us, try our picture frames, photo frames and picture framing online Prices Estimator Do you know, there may about 3000-odd picture framers in Australia, but very few, may be about half a dozen or .. so, publicize their prices like we do. Most framers jealously guard their prices which won't be disclosed to you unless you either drive to their store with your pictures for them to see, or phone up asking for a quote. But that's not what thrifty customers want! Nowadays customers want a good ...

 
I need lots of photo frames and picture frames, what discounts can you give me?

It all depends on the type of picture frames and picture framing we have to do. For instance, discount pricing is available for most of our cheap photo frames. Also, already heavily discounted, when compared to picture frames by other picture framers are our pre-made or ready-made cheap picture frames. Finally, our custom picture frames and custom picture .. framing can also be discounted on most occasions as detailed in our Discounts page. Alas wee need to say a few words of wisdom on quantity discounts for picture frames. There -is- a limit on how much discounting customers can expect. We have had retail or business customers who promised us "lots of work" but what good is this if we don't make a fair profit? Some business customers either forget or overlook this basic, business survival requirement. A customer, innocently enough, once asked us for matching quantity ...

 
I'm new to PictureFrame.com.au, how does this site work?

Our site is about picture frames, picture framing and picture framers. It offers customers two kinds of picture framing ready-made picture frames and custom picture framing. It works by providing you with information to help you decide which of these two kinds of picture frames best suit your needs. In our experience, price is the first factor in most customers' minds when inquiring about picture framing. In our experience, price is the first factor in most customers' minds when inquiring about picture framing. We will therefore tailor the tenor of this post with this preamble in mind. Broadly speaking, ready-made picture frames are half to two thirds cheaper than custom picture frames. Most of our ready-made picture frames are made from synthetic, rather than organic, materials, are mass- produced and often, are fully imported. Ready-made frames are take-away goods ...