preparing paintings so framing goes well?

ultramariner

Grumbler in Training
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Jun 13, 2024
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Bloomington IN
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Sarah Pearce Painting
I'm a painter. I plan my large paintings to hang sans frames: I tape off the sides and use 1.5 inches deep stretchers. However, galleries often demand that work be framed, in which case, due to budget ( and also my preference for the handmade over factory made) I have to make my own. Here is my dilemma: If I size (PVA) and ground (oil) my canvas on the sides, they have a tendency to stick to the wood, therefore negating the keying concept! If I make floater frames, the whitish canvas doesn't recess so well. If I make regular frames, they seem so beefy and heavy since the stretchers are so deep. If I use 70's style edge strips, I puncture the canvas on the sides. Has anybody has seen a really simple workflow for this please? Combo of stretcher prep and simple frame that looks good? And hopefully if I can ever afford framers, I'll set them up for success!! Just so you don't think I'm anti-framer, I do hire out all my work on paper to a local independent frame shop.
 
Welcome to the G!

You could probably use a narrow shadowbox frame. It will cover the white sides but will look narrow from the front. Pick a color that goes well with your painting, so it does not look beefy and heavy.
 
A) Ylva is right. You may want to check with a local lumbermill to see if they can produce a simple square profile with a 1 3/4" rabbet out of some nice hardwood, That way, you could choose how wide you want the front to be.

B) You want to have your paintings professionally framed. I worked with a variety of artists over my 37 years in the business and every one of them sold more artwork once they did so.
 
thanks, you supremes!! My professional quoted me $500 + per painting for a basic floater. If the painting was 28 x 28 x 1.5 how thin do you think the stock could be and still stay put at corners? I do have a local mill making my stock. Maybe they are too conservative in recommendations for structural integrity, LOL. This is what I've got so far. So I think you are saying add a rabbet to this? So it is no longer float but covering a tiny bit? (smaller painting so you can see whats going on here. I'm using biscuits at corners but I think if it slims down I switch to nails...
magentaframe.jpg
 
The profile you're showing will work fine. The frame doesn't really support the strainers in this case- it's more the other way around because you screw through the back flange in order to mount the painting.

In the case of a shallow shadowbox, you can use a standard 3/4" stock. That gives you a 1/4" rabbet and a 1/2" "body" if you will. That should be enough surface area for a good glue bond. Wider would be better as far as structural strength goes, but use your best judgement.

Good luck my fellow Hoosier. (Don't you wish they could find a better nickname?)
 
The narrow shadowbox frame (not a floater) does not have to support anything. You basically use the stretcher for the support. Plus, this is not all that heavy, so even a shadowbox frame should be okay. The glue surface overall should still be enough to get good tight and secure corners. You can cross nail it as I assume you don't have an underpinner. Clamp in vises, cross nail with brads, sink nails and fill in the holes

Floaters would look good if the sides of your paintings are painted. With the white, I would not use floaters.
 
In the dim and distant past artists would use roofing battens tacked to the sides of a canvas to give
a 'framed' look and make their work halfway presentable for exhibition. The battens were very cheap.
The idea was if someone actually bought a painting they could put a better frame on later.
But...on some works (modern abstract stuff?) looked good with a minimal slightly rough 'frame'. So much
so that the 'float frame' gained popularity. Of course the modern floater tends to be just as expensive as a
conventional frame - if not more given the complications of un-square canvases an wotnot.

** Frames that the Impressionists used were often any old pieces of wood painted white. When said paintings
became worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$s they got reframed by prestigious galleries using big ugly gilded monstrosities
that really don't do the job of enhancing the paintings. They looked much better in the original frames but the
reasoning was that if they paid six million dollars for a painting then a frame made out of old packing cases was
very infra dig. 😄
 
I'm a painter. I plan my large paintings to hang sans frames: I tape off the sides and use 1.5 inches deep stretchers. However, galleries often demand that work be framed, in which case, due to budget ( and also my preference for the handmade over factory made) I have to make my own. Here is my dilemma: If I size (PVA) and ground (oil) my canvas on the sides, they have a tendency to stick to the wood, therefore negating the keying concept! If I make floater frames, the whitish canvas doesn't recess so well. If I make regular frames, they seem so beefy and heavy since the stretchers are so deep. If I use 70's style edge strips, I puncture the canvas on the sides. Has anybody has seen a really simple workflow for this please? Combo of stretcher prep and simple frame that looks good? And hopefully if I can ever afford framers, I'll set them up for success!! Just so you don't think I'm anti-framer, I do hire out all my work on paper to a local independent frame shop.
Well I am a painter too, and new here on the G, but I know the problem you are dealing with. My suggestion is to use black gesso on the edge of the canvas and get a floater frame that is a little higher than the painting surface. Order your chop with a 3/16" allowance for the canvas folds. I like to leave 1/4" between the edge of the painting and the inner edge of the floater frame. Assuming the inner side of the frame is black, the canvas edge will disappear and not be a visual distraction. I am sure that you will find that there are lots of solutions, some finer, and some less elegant. Hope this helps.
 
I do a lot of infra digging. 😆
Luckily for us Google has heard of it.

infra dig​

[ in-fruh dig ]
Phonetic (Standard)IPA

adjective​

beneath one's dignity.

Word History and Origins​

Origin of infra dig
First recorded in 1815–25, infra dig is from Latin infrā dignitātem

Example Sentences​

The rivalry between North and South is always exceedingly bitter, but latterly the Scotchmen have not thought it infra dig.
From Project Gutenberg
Four of us young post-captains took this decision, and as it would have been, perhaps, considered infra dig.
From Project Gutenberg

just saying
 
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