Picture frames are as varied as the photographs and paintings they display. They are available in every color, style, size and decorative theme imaginable. Simple picture frames can be bought at big-box general merchandise stores or specialty boutiques. For a custom look that exactly matches a home’s decor and best complements the artwork, it’s a good idea to get photographs and paintings professionally framed. Custom-framing shops and some art supply stores offer picture framing services. The two factors that most affect the cost of custom picture framing are the materials the frame is made of and the specialty-cut mats that surround the artwork.
Picture frames, in general, are either made from wood or metal. The simpler the frame, the less it will cost, and of course, the size of the frame affects the cost as well. Most high-end framing shops have thousands of frame styles, textures, colors and finishes to choose from. Most also offer different types of glass, from clear to ultra-violet protective, and a variety of museum-grade, acid-free archival mat materials to preserve artwork from sun damage, dust and moisture.
Full-service custom framing shops offer myriad frame types, including shadow boxes and floater frames, to create different finished looks. In addition to framing paintings and photographs, Many professionals can create custom mats and frames for memorabilia such as sports jerseys, needlework projects, mirrors and military collectibles.
The cost for custom framing varies greatly, depending on the materials. The frames themselves can range from $16 per foot to $200 per foot. A 7x5-inch double-mat, clear-glass mounting for a photograph costs about $120, while an 8x10 conservation-glass frame for a college diploma averages $200.
Once a piece of artwork is professionally framed, it should be hung with equal care. A professional art installer, such as Frametown USA in Austin, Texas, can design an art installation to fit a specific home. Pro installers can hang artwork without damaging walls, and most should know how to properly hang even the heaviest artwork.