General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

What's the best way to frame a little tiny painting?

Asked by SuperMouse (30798points) June 13th, 2008

I just bought a beautiful original painting, it is only 3” square and I’m not sure of the best way to frame it. I don’t know if I can even get a frame that tiny. Should I put a mat around it or would that take away from the artwork?

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12 Answers

jenni's avatar

You could put it on a background ! but if you do use a simple light coulour so the painting is the main focus. =0 x-x

syz's avatar

I find that a bold, large mat catches the eye and encourages you to look at the picture.

There’s a nice description here:

hollywoodduck's avatar

I’ve seen 3“x3” frames. But I would think you would want to use a mat and a larger frame so that they both draw the attention into the painting not away from it. Perhaps bring it to someone who can mount and frame this painting for you.

ccatron's avatar

we have a painting that small in our house. we have it in a large square frame with a mat. i think it has something to do with creating contrast. we bought the mat and cut it ourselves, but we got lucky and only had to cut it once! i would suggest getting it framed if you want it to look perfect. We bought a big piece of mat (is that the correct terminology?) for $8, so we were able to do it over if we messed it up.

nocountry2's avatar

Thick, old-fashioned wood

BronxLens's avatar

- You can take the painting and frame it with a 12” frame (measured from the edge of the canvas to the outside edge of the frame, on all 4 sides).

- You could place the image inside a shadow box, with or without a glass cover.

- You can custom-create a hanging surface that brings the painting to another level.
Say the painting is of a farm landscape, you could find something farm related
(not necessarily obvious), prep the surface where the painting will make contact with
it (so it doesnt damage the back of the canvas) and then hang the painting on it and
the item on the wall. Imagine if you will a porcelain plate that had a related motif – you
could attach the painting to the plate’s back and the plate from the wall.

Knotmyday's avatar

3” by 3”? Mat it, man. Quick, before you swallow it…
Put a wide frame around it, and display it somewhere where it can only be seen in passing; like an alcove, and make sure it’s lit. That way, folks will double-take to see it, and appreciate it a bit more. Otherwise, it’ll just get lost. Try to resist stacking on the piano with a bunch of other little photos…

susanc's avatar

definitely mat it;
definitely mat it in a very neutral color;
definitely have someone else cut the mat for you – however,
if it’s on canvas stretched over a wooden stretcher, this will not work; you must have someone build you a deep fabric-covered internal frame (which will look like a mat) which will then fit into an external frame made of wood or metal;
do not use additional thematic materials: the painting is already complete. You are not called upon to use it as a pretext for a witty collage. Your job
is to present it in an elegant, well-crafted way, so that it, and not your cleverness, is
what you’ll notice.
Be disciplined.
Good for you, for buying original art.

boffin's avatar

Big matte…. Average size frame….

SuperMouse's avatar

@susanc, it is canvas over a wooden stretcher, will I have to go to a custom frame shop to get the matte? Also, the background of the picture is black, any ideas for a good color for the matte? The picture is a a very subdued blue with a dark burgandy (it is a bird flying out of a tree).

@knotmyday, I really like the thought of making sure it doesn’t get lost among a bunch of other pictures. I have another, bigger painting by the same artist that I might want to display with it.

susanc's avatar

Alas, super, you can’t “mat” a canvas/stretcher painting. You will have to
go to the pricey frame shop and throw yourself on their experience (and mercy).
But you can design this with their help. They’ll have samples of frames and – not mats, but something to enlarge the space between the painting and the frame.
For color, I’d think about the color of the wall, and choose
a background color not too far off that – but remember, everyone said “neutral”, so if the wall is bright, refrain. And then get a frame that’s
either a simple light or dark wood, probably without carved angels because this is a modern piece of art, or else a metal frame in a dark color (not silver
or “gold” – too much competition with the art). This is going to cost money.
How is the other piece by this artist framed? See if you can make the two
frames link up visually. Good luck! and again,
a person who buys original art
is a good, good person.

readergirl119's avatar

I think that you should take a really big white frame and decorate it or paint it. If it’s big, it will catch someone’s eye. But, you have to decorate it nicely or it could be a disaster.

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