Replace vs Refurbish 70s frame package


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
Challenge #407:

Customer brings in and drops off large piece that was probably originally done pre-70s/80s. It is a LE (a true LE print!) in a very small moulding with two linen wrapped mats - very 70s!! The moulding has come apart at two corners but other than that is in good condition.

My initial thoughts are to either (1) Do a completely new piece, or (2) Utilize existing moulding either same size or cut down a bit smaller and redesign

Did I mention the customer is leaving it with me for 2 1/2 months!!


1st question: What does the customer want?


I would give them options using/updating what they have and I would also give them an option of a totally new design (maybe not so easily dated) but that looks really awesome!

my 2 cents

Roz -
I agree w/ Elaine, do what the customer wants.

However, I think we all have the customers that just drop it off, and says do whatever you think looks good. Which, I hate :mad: but, for some customers, I don't mind too much
as we have completed work for them in the past and know fairly well what they prefer - - - But, we always give them a couple of choices for their okay before we start any work.

I would give them a couple of options - some people want it to look the way it did when it hung in Aunt Minnie's parlor and others want it to fit into their current decor.

Didn't you know that in this business you had to be a mind-reader?
This is why I love my digital camera and email. Put together a couple of corner sample examples with their art in it. Take some pictures and ask them what they want. My hardest thing with this is getting the colours to show in the pictures properly.
The new "Picture It" software from LifeSaver will be a big help as soon as I get it installed.
I would keep it simple.
Does the customer like the way it is framed now?
Then rejoin those two corners and reassemble. I don't see any reason to make it smaller unless your customer has specifically requested it.
If you are concerned about the strength of the moulding, I would recommend to the customer that you use the existing frame as a liner and add a chunkier moulding. OR you could add an aluminum moulding as a liner for strength. OR you could sneak in a strainer frame on the inside of the whole package.
I tend to like 'vintage' frame treatments- yep, that includes the 70's look, which seems to be hot now, by the way. If it is nicely done, I would stick with it. In this case, I would tell the customer that it would be better to invest money into updating some components, such as museum glass, for instance. Don't forget to recommend upgrading the backing if necessary, but you already knew that...

edie the formerdiscoqueen goddess
Roz, you didn't say, but I'm assuming that they said "do what ever you think is best". :D

1) They didn't say "I hate the way it is framed"
2) Nor did they say "I love the 70s style"

So I'm with edie on a few points. Time for

acid free treatment, and modern glass.

Beyond that, if the liners are good, leave them.

The "frame" has already proven inadequate for the job..... replace with an eye towards the period.

BTW: Metal, is NOT an option. It's wide-spread useage wasn't until the color mania of the 80s.

A slight thicker, maybe maple based moulding would do the trick.