Posted by Frame Masters on 7th Oct 2022

What should you know about picture frame before you start?

Frame Masters has been in the picture framing industry for 53 years. We have worked with many famous artists, museums and galleries. At the same time, we have sponsored events, such as the Oscars. We see customers who often make mistakes when they first start getting into picture frames, so we invite our director Kamran to give customers some advice. 

antique japanese painting

antique japanese painting with gold picture frame

So you are thinking of custom framing something special? You have some apprehensions about how to go about it! Which frame shop to choose? How it should be framed? What it should cost, and is it going to be within my budget?

Unless you have established a good relationship with a framing establishment All these and many other concerns are shared by almost everyone. So don't worry! Keep reading and maybe some of the following will help you in your journey.

Where to frame?

You obviously prefer to go to a local framer. However, this does not always work for everybody.

Not favorable reviews, not enough experience, and limited choice of framing options will almost always persuade you to look a little further.

Experience shouts loud

Years in business is a strong positive point for a small framing company but as a rule, it doesn't work for a chain shop. Chain retailers do have a rather large staff turnover, so continuity can be an issue if you are custom framing on a regular basis. If you can find one with a stable staff it is worth a visit. However, most of these large chain stores will not be able to handle valuable pieces of art or big picture frames. So be aware!


I am sure that most people can read between the lines of the reviews when you are deciding to choose a vendor. Genuine reviews are normally well written and they sound sincere and you can tell it is well thought of.

Choice is power

When you walk into a framing gallery and you see a large showroom filled to the brim with corner samples and framing examples, don't get scared. It does not necessarily mean that you are in an expensive outfit! With most framing projects there is more than one way to skin the cat. Therefore more choice means opportunities to frame in a different way you did not envisage or scale up or down to a different budget. The choice is Power.

a jacket signed by Andy Warhol

a jacket in white shadowbox

Custom Frames

Some shops can still offer the real McCoy! Custom profiles, Custom stain, Gilding services, and oversize frames… name it …. For a Great saving potential: try and find one that actually manufactures their own frames rather than collecting orders from other vendors.

Which way should I go?

There are many options to frame a piece. Make your decision based on the preservation of your art (If it is an investment), appropriate style and design, and your budget. Try and keep away from “flash in the pants.” Unless you are framing something promotional for the day or that season. Most framing jobs will hang on someone's walls for many months if not years so it has to pass the test of time.

How do I keep within my budget?

Some factors that could affect the price are the frame moulding quality and finish, archival materials, and techniques.

If you are filling a space on a large wall and your aim is to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look at a reasonable cost, there is no need to pay for Archival quality!

On the other hand, if you have a valuable piece of art with a limited budget, try to opt for archival matting, backing, and glass over an expensive frame. You should always try and preserve the value and the integrity of your investment first. Sentimental art or objects follow the same rule.

All good decisions require time

Please allow plenty of time so you are not rushed in making a decision you will be living with for a long time. Extra time is also needed if another customer is already being served. Making appointments is a good idea but it doesn't always work.

Ask a friend or someone who knows you to be available and text them the options you are considering. It is always nice to be reassured if you are sitting on the wall.

Never be pressured on choosing any options in front of you. Mull it over and ask pertinent questions. 

Am I spending too much?

In most cases, there is an option to fit your budget. However, it may take a little more time to search within the frame archives or to reconsider the design or materials used.

However, for most framing projects, the price is not the most important factor. You have to keep reminding yourself of the fact that “if it is worth framing, it is worth framing well.” At the end of the day, “it has to look good” and give you the buzzzz! It is worth a few dollars more!

When you really put it in perspective We spend a huge amount of money dining out in a year. No one even remembers what we eat or where we dined last week! It is true that we are socializing and that is a very important aspect of our personal and professional careers. However, an ascetically pleasing framed art is also a powerful statement that influences everyone who comes to our space.

Now you are ready for picture frames. If you still have questions regarding picture frames or would like to see what we offer, please feel free to contact us at