The Basic Components of Framing Art

The Basic Components of Framing Art


Archival mounting

Archival mounting is a process that uses acid-free mount-board in order to protect a piece of art over time. Using acid-free material, lignin-free material or measures to help maintain an alkaline pH, ensure the board itself doesn't contain anything that will produce harmful acid in the future. Archival-quality mounting can also be known as, museum quality, acid-free, or conservation quality.

Float mounting

Float mounting is when the artwork within a frame is mounted on top of the matting rather than being overlapped by the mat or frame. Often, foamboard is then used to slightly offset the artwork from the mat underneath, higlighting depth and making the work really stand out. Float mounting is particularly effective when the artwork has unique edges, with the contrast of the shadow behind highlighting any subtle details.

Window mounting

Also known as Passe-Partout or Mat, window mounting is a framing process that essentially acts as a frame within the frame, giving the artwork a border. Window mounting also acts as a protective measure, keeping the glass away from the surface of the artwork. The mat or mount-board used to create the window can be any colour you like and is often used to pull out less prominent colours in a work.


French matting

French matting is created by inking border lines and then carefully filling the space between them with watercolours. Additional outer-washes, gilded tape and patterned papers can also be used to further embelish the mat.



Plexiglass is a lightweight and shatter-resistant material that can be used as an alternative to glass in framing. It provides excellent clarity and is perfect for pieces that will be displayed in high-traffic areas.

Standard glazing

Framers will often offer a variety of different glazing options. If a framer offers a custom framing service, there is a high chance you will be able to specify which glazing should be used in the frame. Glazing options are usually split into two categories, acrylic plexiglass and glass, both with multiple options depending on the piece you are looking to frame.

UV protective plexiglass

UV protective plexiglass is a type of plexiglass that blocks up to 99% of UV radiation, helping to prevent fading and damage to artwork or photos over time. It is a great option for pieces that will be displayed in areas with a lot of natural light.

UV protective glazing

UV protective glass has a special coating that blocks up to 99% of UV radiation. It is perfect for protecting valuable artwork or photos from fading due to exposure to light.

Museum-grade plexiglass

Museum-grade plexiglass is a high-quality type of plexiglass that provides excellent clarity and is shatter-resistant, making it a safe and durable option for framing valuable pieces.

Museum-grade glazing

Museum-Grade glass provides superior clarity and protection for valuable artwork or photos. It is the ultimate option for those who want to showcase their pieces in the best possible way.


Box framing

Box framing is when framers use a deeper frame to ensure the artwork is recessed from the glass on the front. Not only does it look great aesthetically, but it also protects the artwork itself. If you're looking to float mount your artwork, you will usually want to get it box framed.

Canvas framing

Framers will almost always offer a canvas framing service. This is the perfect way to protect and enhance an original canvas artwork. There are a number of different mounting techniques when framing a canvas. A recessed mount is a traditional technique where the artwork sits behind the frame. A float mount creates a gap between the canvas and the frame's edge. A flush mount is where the frame and the edge of the canvas are attached directly with the frame and the canvas level on the front and back.

Custom framing

Custom framing is when a frame is created specifically for the artwork and in many cases the room it will be displayed in. This allows customers to choose every small detail, matching colours, textures and sometimes even specific elements to the artwork itself.

Memorabilia framing

Many framers will offer a service to frame memorabilia. Whether it's a signed boxing glove, trophy or piece of history, there is a high chance it can be framed. For three-dimensional objects, box frames will often be used and are usually accompanied by photographs and/or written information.

Mirror framing

Many framers will frame mirrors as well as different types of artwork. Although some of the processes are not required when framing mirrors, there are still options to choose from when it comes to the design of the frame and the hanging techniques used.

Photography framing

Photography and print framing follow the same principles. Often framed using mounting techniques such as window mounting to make the image stand out. Photographs are often printed in standard sizes, meaning it is usually possible to buy off-the-shelf frames to display them in.