How to Frame an Oil Painting Like a Pro

How to Frame an Oil Painting

You’ve just fallen in love with a new oil painting and now it’s time to showcase it in your home! There are a few things to consider first, including choosing and installing a frame, and hanging it professionally and safely in your home.

Need to learn how to frame an oil painting first? You’ve come to the right place.

Oil paintings require special consideration and are framed and hung a little differently to your average artwork. This article will cover everything you need to know about oil painting framing and placement, so you can start enjoying your new masterpiece.

Before You Frame an Oil Painting

First and foremost, you need to think about how you will protect your oil painting from dust, condensation and sunlight. The colours in oil paintings can suffer from long term sun exposure, so be sure to hang your painting in a space where it won’t bask in sunlight all day, and away from indoor lighting, cooling and heating vents.

It’s also important to let your oil painting breathe. This means you won’t need to display it in glass, as dust and moisture can get trapped between the surface of your painting and the glass.

When you’re ready to start the display process, make sure you’re equipped with the following:

  • 1 x Picture frame (we’ll get to choosing one shortly)
  • 1 x length of picture wire
  • 2 x framing hooks
  • Craft paper
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure

These tools are essential, regardless of whether you’re learning how to frame an oil painting on a board or canvas.

Picking a Frame

You’re now ready for the all-important task of choosing a frame! A key point to remember is that the frame you choose should complement the piece, not overpower it.

Step 1: Decide on what you feel comfortable spending on a frame and set your budget.

Step 2: Look for a frame that will not only complement your painting, but also your room’s décor and colour palette. Do you want to create a traditional, contemporary or minimalist look? You have a few options when it comes to oil painting framing, including attaching a frame to the front of the canvas or mounting the canvas into a floating frame.

Step 3: Choose the right size by measuring the dimensions of your painting, considering the space available and selecting the best layout suited to the size of your artwork.

Unsure which size frame will work best for your oil painting? Learn more about how to choose the right sized picture frame.

Adding the Artwork

Once you’ve selected the perfect frame for your oil painting, it’s time to install it.

Step 1: Remove the glass of the frame, as you won’t be needing it for an oil painting.

Step 2: Once you’ve ensured the edges of your frame are smooth and free of any sharp bits, you can lay your frame face down and gently place your oil painting within.

Step 3: Ensure your painting is spaced correctly within the frame, then you can secure it by inserting the frame clips around the canvas.

Step 4: Next, make a dust covering by cutting a piece of craft paper 2 inches larger than the frame cover, fold it over and secure it with tape before adding the backing of the frame. This layer will protect your painting from dust, moisture and insects.

Step 5: Secure your mounting rings to the back of your frame, about ¼ of the way down the side of the frame.

Step 6: Thread the picture wire through the first ring twice, then pull the wire across the back of the painting, leaving a little slack. Repeat this process through the second ring.

Step 7: Mount your framing hooks to the wall using a hammer, ensuring you’ve measured and marked their placement accurately. We always recommend using multiple hooks to distribute the weight evenly. Remember our earlier advice about avoiding sunlit areas and vents and choose an appropriate location for the artwork.

Rather have a professional frame your artwork for you? We can take care of that! We offer same day framing in all of our stores. Simply drop off your artwork to us in the morning and collect it that afternoon. Find out more about our same day picture framing service.

Hanging the Artwork

Now it’s time to hang your artwork in its new home!

Some tips for hanging:

  • Ensure the painting sits flat against the wall
  • Hang your artwork so the centre point is at eye level, usually around 1.5m from the floor
  • If you’re hanging multiple artworks together, view them as one large work and use appropriate spacing to centre them

When it comes time to clean your artwork, you can simply remove any dust with a gentle duster and if possible, vacuum behind the painting to remove any cobwebs.

Now you’ve learnt how to frame a canvas oil painting, you’re ready to show off your new artwork to the world. If you have questions or you’d like help from one of our expert team members, contact us today or visit your local Frame Today store.

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