A Brief Guide to Framing Different Types of Artwork

Framing is an essential aspect of preserving and showcasing your artwork, enhancing its visual appeal while protecting it from damage. However, the framing process can vary greatly depending on the type of artwork you have. In this guide, we will discuss the nuances of framing different types of artwork, including three dimensional art, to help you choose the perfect framing solution for your collection. For examples of the frames discussed in this article, we invite you to visit our portfolio page.

Oil and Acrylic Paintings

Oil and acrylic paintings typically do not require glass or plexiglass for protection since they are resistant to moisture and light damage. However, the framing process should still provide adequate support and aesthetic appeal. Consider these framing options:

Floater frames: Floater frames create the illusion of the painting floating within the frame, allowing the viewer to see the edges of the canvas. This style is popular for contemporary artwork and works well with gallery-wrapped canvases.

Traditional frames: For a more classic look, traditional frames with ornate designs can complement the artwork and enhance its visual appeal.

Watercolor Paintings and Fine Art Prints

Watercolor paintings and fine art prints are more susceptible to damage from light and moisture, so proper framing is crucial. Consider the following elements:

Matting: Using acid-free matting helps create a barrier between the artwork and the glass, preventing condensation and preserving the artwork’s integrity. Additionally, matting can enhance the visual appeal by creating a border that highlights the piece.

Glazing: Choose UV-protective glass or plexiglass to shield your watercolor paintings and fine art prints from harmful UV rays that can cause fading and discoloration.

Conservation framing: Investing in conservation framing techniques, such as using acid-free materials and hinging the artwork instead of using adhesive, will ensure the longevity of your delicate pieces.


Framing photography involves similar considerations as watercolor paintings and fine art prints. Utilize UV-protective glazing, acid-free matting, and conservation framing techniques to preserve your photographs for years to come.

Textile Art

Textile art, such as embroidery, tapestries, and quilts, requires specific framing methods to prevent damage and deterioration:

Stretching: Gently stretch the fabric over acid-free foam core or board to provide support and prevent sagging or wrinkling.

Spacers: Use spacers between the textile and the glazing to prevent the fabric from coming into direct contact with the glass or plexiglass, which could cause moisture damage.

Three Dimensional Art

Framing 3D, or dimensional, art, such as sculptures, ceramics, or shadowbox displays, can be more complex due to the added dimension. Consider:

Shadowboxes: Shadowboxes are deep-set frames that can accommodate 3D artwork, providing ample space for the depth and dimensions of the piece. They can be custom-built to fit your artwork perfectly and often include a glass or plexiglass cover to protect the piece from dust and damage.

Acrylic display cases: An alternative to shadowboxes, acrylic display cases offer a clear and lightweight option for showcasing your 3D art. These cases can be custom-made to accommodate various shapes and sizes and are ideal for displaying sculptures or other delicate 3D artwork.

Floating mounts: For smaller 3D art pieces, floating mounts can create the illusion of the artwork floating within the frame. This framing technique is ideal for highlighting the depth and dimension of the piece while still providing protection and support.