How to Build a Frame for a Canvas Painting

Written by leslie rose
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How to Build a Frame for a Canvas Painting
Save money by making your own frame. (frame. finished gold frame image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com)

Paying for custom framing services can be expensive. However, with only a few tools and some lattice from a local lumber yard, you can easily build your own frames without the need for a trained carpenter. This type of frame is simple and minimalistic in appearance, while still giving a notable presence to your painting when you hang it on the wall.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring Tape
  • Saw
  • Lattice
  • Sand Paper
  • Nails
  • Hammer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the top and one side of your canvas. Multiply each number by two, then add the two figures together. This is the amount of lattice you will need to purchase.

  2. 2

    Purchase the lattice at the lumber yard. Remember that you must choose strips long enough that will allow you to form the full length of each side of the frame without adding two pieces together. You should also buy enough so that you'll have a little extra to work with on all sides, which provides you with a small margin of error. The lattice should be high-quality. Look for wood that is straight and free from irregularities, like knots and areas of weakness.

  3. 3

    Measure a length of lattice that will span the top of the canvas. Cut the wood to this length and sand down the edges, and nail it to the top of the canvas. Use nails with small heads, and as few nails as possible. Note that the lattice will likely be thicker than the side of the canvas; in this case, secure it so that the front edge hangs over the edge of the canvas by a small margin, and the back of the lattice hangs over the back of the painting. The strips of lattice on all four sides of the painting should line up with the edges of this strip.

  4. 4

    Measure a length of lattice that will span the bottom of the canvas. Cut it to this length and sand down the edges. Nail the strip of wood to the bottom of the canvas.

  5. 5

    Measure a length of lattice that will span the left side of the painting, plus the lattice that has been nailed to the top and bottom of the canvas. Sand the sides and nail it to the edge of the painting.

  6. 6

    Measure a length of lattice that will span the right side of the painting, plus the lattice that has been nailed to the top and bottom of the canvas. Sand the sides and nail it to the edge of the painting.

Tips and warnings

  • Given that this frame is literally nailed into the canvas stretcher bars, this type of frame should not be used on paintings that are very old or valuable. In that case, the paintings should be handled by a professional.
  • You might want to stain the lattice to match the colour scheme of the painting. Use acrylic paint or wood stain.

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