ART101: How to frame your artwork

After purchasing your first artwork, the next question that comes to mind would be, “How do I frame it?” Here’s our quick guide to different framing methods for various types of artworks!


  • A simple black or white frame

This is the most commonly used method to frame photographic or illustrative artworks. If you want a no-fuss solution, this would be the easiest choice. This frame will help protect the artwork from dust and sunlight, which can hasten the color deterioration process. An approximate guide to the frame thickness is an estimated 1 or 2-inch border all around. You can also opt to include a white border around the work itself to give it a cleaner look.

Cost: $ – $$

Availability: Easily found at stores such as IKEA or any local framers’ if you are looking at a customized or large sized frame.


^ Featuring Billy Ma’s Welcome to Bali print.


  • Stretcher bars

For canvas works such as acrylic or oil paintings, this would be the most common framing method. A thick and sturdy wooden support will be fixed to the back of painting as the canvas is stretched across it. These supports are called ‘Stretcher Bars’. Most galleries adopt this method of framing, as it is affordable and easily assembled. This works well for works that are textured and are more three-dimensional in nature.

Cost: $ – $$

Availability: Easily found at art stores (for those DIY-aficionados) or easily arranged at any local framers.

photo_2016-01-20_16-43-37 copy


^ Featuring Carrie Chen‘s The Night Floss.


  • Decorative frames

For a more formal presentation of the artwork, you may choose a decorative frame instead. These are usually slightly more expensive as compared to the first two options. As such, this method of framing would be more suitable for paintings. The detailing on the frame varies depending on style and personal preference. Such frames usually do not come with a protective glass layer unlike the first option.

Cost: $$ – $$$

Availability: Only at your local framers.


^ Featuring Magaret Lor’s Tai O Fishing Villiage – Living in the Canopy


  • Floater Box frame

This method of framing is not as common and gives the illusion of the artwork being suspended in midair within the frames. For a more sophisticated or elegant display of the works, you may choose to opt for this framing method. This method can be used to display canvas and paper works.

Cost: $$$ – $$$$

Availability: Only at your local framers.

sandrachung work^ Featuring Sandra Chung Nga-Shan’s Heart.


^Featuring Sandra Chung Nga-Shan‘s Black.

Although this list isn’t as comprehensive as the framing options that are available, we hope it provides a general guideline in choosing your frames. Sometimes, the simpler the better. Going for classic and simple frames will ensure longevity, fitting both your interior design whilst protecting your artwork from elemental damage.



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