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How best to frame original, acrylic paintings???


Oct 21, 2005
Greetings everyone,

I was wondering if I could impose on the collective experience of this forum to ask for some advice. As I have mentioned here before, my wife is an artist and the main reason that I got into framing in the first place was to provide excellent quality framing and workmanship for her artwork to her clients. We have mainly stuck to working on her limited edition prints. However, I am now being asked about originals. I have tried a few experiments in this area but the results have seemed ... well ... boring. I was wondering if people here could weigh in on some options for framing original acrylic paintings of wildlife. These paintings are done on a wonderful art board (light but very strong), probably about 3/8" - 1/2" thick.

Any ideas would be very helpful and appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

However you decide to enhance the image with th
framing, it is wise to use glazing with acrylic
paintings. These paints have minute holes, left
by the evaporating water, and the holes will
fill up with grime, which no conservator can
completely remove.

Thanks for that input Hugh. Does this still apply if the original has been varnished?

Hugh...do you recommend glazing on all acrylic - on canvas too?
Glazing any acrylic painting will help keep grime
out of the tiny holes in the surface of the paint.
If acrylic sheet is used, it should be spaced well
away from the paint, to avoid adhesions between
two forms of acrylic polymer, the paint and the

OK. So aside from glazing the artwork in some fashion, does anyone have any suggestions as to *HOW* best to frame it?

Do you always suggest a liner? Linen liner? What about filets? Has anyone ever found a good way to use matting? What about frames: Simple? Gold?

I'm really looking for some ideas here folks! Any help would be appreciated!

Anyone up to the challenge?


It really depends on the art itself. You can use a liner if the frame blends too much with the art itself. For example, a scene with lots of color could use a liner to give it some "peaceful" boundary between the frame and the art. Or if the art itself is too dark next to the frame, a liner brightens things up a bit.

Many times, a scene doesn't look perfect till you add the liner, then things fall into place. But overdoing it (adding a liner when none is needed), is also a bad habit.

As for a fillet, this is usually used with mats, but it is also possible to use a fillet in place of the liner; it is not used frequently as a liner this way, but it could be used, depending on the frame and fillet size & color.

Sometimes, instead of a liner you can also use a thinner frame inside the main frame (a frame within a frame).

Again, it depends on many factors, you need to experiment to get the look that you want.
Paul is right. Every piece is different. Why don't you post a picture of one of the paintings, maybe you'll get some good suggestions.
Oh Terry, you're such a soil sport....

where's the fun of adventure? Lets frame by pychic abilities alone.... :D

Maybe, if we're REAL good, we can even dissern the true size and chop the frame perfectly. :D

carry on. Post a Pic, help us out here.
Well Baer, as you know my modesty prevented my bringing it up at first but of course there is only one right way to frame an original painting and that would be in one of my original hand carved and water gilded frames but I know that some people just can't handle the truth..
Hi again,

Ok ... here is a link to a bunch of paintings


and this gives you some pencil drawings to consider ...


please wait until all of the pics are loaded. Then you can click on any one of them to get a closer pic (with an admittedly crappy frame) and then you can click that closer pic to get a really close view.

The two that I am the most interested in your opinions on are:

Painting: Siberian Solitude (Tiger in the middle of the grid)

Drawing: Any of the big cats, but especially the Lion in the middle of the right-most column.

Thanks again for any suggestions that you can come up with!

Peter, I may be wrong but I think you might get more response if you posted an image rather than a link. The average grumbler attention span may not be that long plus some of us uae dial up then there are even a few who actually have some work to do on occasion.I think you should try a new post maybe asking for opinions on a particular picture and include that image on the post.I must not be one of them today(not). For the paintings my first thought is to keep them pushed out front and giving them weight and importance and not confine them in too narrow a frame. I'd look first at reverse profiles. I think clean contemporary lines but with visual or actual textures/ distressing would be appropriate. Designer 43 is a nice one finish 433 is a nice sort of black wash over silver over orange base about 3" wide.Or the Roma Gianni line has a nice stepped reverse design. Then I'd look at adding an antiqued silver fillet of some sort, maybe even a LJ enhance in a cove or pattern might be nice then finnish it with a plain flat liner of about 1" to 1 1/2 in a black or dark color.
Drawings would be good in a simple frame. Again a little texture or distressing is fine.Can't go wrong with Hogarth or cassetta type styles. Keep finishes nuetral. Silvers and grays are good. A nice fairly wide mat or double mat with a little simple line work and/or narrow panel would accent nicely. And now off to work with me. I think I've used up a month worth of one finger typing. Good luck and do your homework.

I have very little experience in framing originals, so I'll leave the advice to those who are better suited to provide it. I just wanted to say that your wife is very talented. Her work is terrific.

Good luck,