How to Frame an Oil Painting

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How to Frame an Oil Painting
Frame an Oil Painting

Having oil paintings professionally framed can be really expensive, adding to the cost of your art purchase. While professional framers are skilled at choosing frames to suit the piece, and the framing process can be time-consuming, not everyone can shell out the money for this service. You can frame an oil painting yourself with a frame from a hobby store for a cost-conscious result that looks great. Read on to learn how to frame an oil painting.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Oil Painting
  • Frame
  • Nail or Hook
  • Strap Hangers
  • Picture Hanging Wire
  • Offset Clips
  • Number Eight Screws

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    Choosing a Frame

  1. 1

    Take a trip to your local hobby or craft store and browse their selection of glassless, backless frames.

  2. 2

    Look for frames that fit the dimensions of your painting. Remember, it is the inside dimensions of the frame that need to match the painting's dimensions.

  3. 3

    Choose a frame that won't distract from the art itself, but matches the feel. You should also consider the style of your interior décor. Simple, flat black or brown frames can set off nearly any style of painting nicely. Metallic frames with ornate carvings should be reserved for traditional paintings such as portraits, landscapes and still-lifes.

  4. 4

    Test your new frame against your painting to be sure they work together.

    Framing the Painting

  1. 1

    Lay the frame face-down on a clean, flat surface.

  2. 2

    Insert the painting into the opening through the back of the frame.

  3. 3

    Place one offset clip on each side of the frame--either the top and bottom or sides--and screw them in using two number eight screws.

  4. 4

    Screw a strap hanger into each side of the frame, 1/3 of the way down, using the two remaining number eight screws. Don't tighten the screws all the way, so they'll be able to rotate freely.

  5. 5

    Slide one end of the hanging wire into one of the strap hangers and securely wrap the end around it five or six times.

  6. 6

    Insert the hanging wire into the other strap hanger, leaving a little bit of slack. Then, wrap the end as you did with the first one.

  7. 7

    Hang your painting with the hanging wire from a nail or screw in the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • If your painting isn't a standard size, you'll have to either have it professionally custom framed, or make a frame for it yourself.
  • Never frame an oil painting under glass; they need to breathe.

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