How Much Bigger Should a Frame Be Than the Picture: Expert Tips for Perfect Presentation Selecting the perfect frame for your picture can enhance its visual appeal and protect your treasured memories. One important aspect to consider when choosing a frame is the difference in size between the frame and the picture itself. A properly size
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How Much Bigger Should a Frame Be Than the Picture: Expert Tips for Perfect Presentation

framed picture

Selecting the perfect frame for your picture can enhance its visual appeal and protect your treasured memories. One important aspect to consider when choosing a frame is the difference in size between the frame and the picture itself. A properly sized frame not only complements the artwork or photograph but also ensures that it's held securely in place while providing enough space for matting and glazing elements.

To determine the ideal frame size, you need to consider factors such as the dimensions of the picture, the desired style of matting and borders, and the available wall space. A general rule of thumb is to add at least 1/4 inch to the height and width of the picture, which allows for overlap and helps hold the image securely. Custom frame companies often cut their mat openings to be slightly larger, such as 7.75x9.75 inches for an 8x10 photo, to reduce masking of the image.

Considering these factors, you'll be able to find the perfect fit for your picture while enhancing its appearance in a stylish and visually appealing manner. Remember to double-check your measurements and always choose quality materials to ensure longevity and elegance in your framing project.

Understanding Picture and Frame Dimensions

Picture Size vs Frame Size

When selecting a frame for a picture, you need to consider both the picture size and the frame size. The picture size refers to the dimensions of the image itself, while the frame size refers to the dimensions of the frame including the rebate, which is the inner part of the frame that overlaps the picture. A correctly sized frame will not only enhance the visual impact of the artwork but also provide protection and support.

Width and Length

To determine the appropriate frame size for your picture, measure the width and length of the image. The frame size should be slightly larger than the picture dimensions to allow for a small amount of movement and to accommodate the frame's rebate.

The exact difference between the picture and frame size may vary, but a common practice is to have a 1-3mm (0.04-0.12 inches) difference on each side. This additional space will ensure that the picture is securely held in place while leaving some room for expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity.

Rebate and Outer Dimensions

The rebate is the part of the frame that overlaps the picture's edges, usually by about 5mm (0.2 inches) on each side. This overlap holds the artwork in place and prevents it from sliding out of the frame. In addition to the rebate, the frame's outer dimensions include the width of the frame moulding, which varies depending on the style and material used to create the frame.

When considering the overall dimensions of your framed picture, consider both the inner (picture and rebate) and outer (frame moulding) dimensions. To calculate the total external size, add the width and length of the picture, the additional space for movement on both sides, the width of the rebate overlapping the picture, and the width of the frame moulding.

For example:

  • Picture width: 200mm
  • Picture length: 300mm
  • Additional space: 1mm on each side (width and length)
  • Rebate width: 5mm on each side
  • Frame moulding width: 25cm on each side(of which 5mm will overlap the artwork)

Total external size: (200mm + 2mm + 40mm) x (300mm + 2mm + 40mm) = 242mm x 342mm

To better understand picture and frame dimensions, consider the following table:

Dimension Description Example
Picture Width and length of the image 200mm x 300mm
Rebate Part of frame overlapping the picture edges 5mm on each side
Frame Width and length of the frame moulding 20mm on each side

Knowing the different dimensions and how they interact helps to ensure that your chosen frame will provide both an aesthetically pleasing and functional support for your picture.

Choosing the Right Frame

Frame Sizes and Styles

Itís important to consider both the frame size and style. Frame sizes typically correspond to standard photo dimensions, such as 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 inches, or 10x15, 13x18, and 20x25 centimetres. However, custom frames are also available if you have an unusual photo size or specific dimensions in mind. To maintain a visually pleasing appearance, the frame should be slightly larger than the picture. This allows for adequate space for the mat/mount, glass, and any additional design elements.

Along with size, selecting the right frame style is equally important. This can greatly enhance the aesthetics and visual impact of your artwork. Consider factors such as the picture's subject, colours, and overall mood when selecting a frame style. Additionally, think about the style of the room in which the artwork will be displayed, ensuring the frame complements the surrounding decor.

Personalising Your Frame

For a truly personal touch, customise your picture frames to suit your unique tastes and preferences. Many options are available for personalising frames, such as choosing specific colours, materials, or finishes to match your artwork and interior design. You could even opt for engraved or hand-painted frames to add a one-of-a-kind element to your display.

In addition to customising the frame itself, consider adding a mat/mount to create a professional appearance and enhance the picture's visual appeal. When choosing a mat/mount, select colours that coordinate well with both the artwork and frame. This will help create a cohesive and harmonious display.

Popular Frame Sizes and Trends

Familiarising yourself with popular frame sizes and trends can make it easier to create an eye-catching gallery wall or indoor display. Some common frame sizes, as mentioned earlier, include 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10 inches, or 10x15, 13x18, and 20x25 centimetres. When creating a gallery wall, consider using a mix of frame sizes and styles for an engaging and visually interesting display.

As for trends, many people opt for minimalist or simple frame styles that allow the artwork to take centre stage. Another popular trend is mixing and matching different frame materials or colours for a more eclectic and dynamic display. Floating frames have also gained popularity, as they create a sleek and modern look while appearing to "float" the artwork within the frame.

Matting and Mounting Techniques

The Role of Mounts

The primary purpose of picture mounts is to protect the artwork and enhance its aesthetic appeal. Mounts provide a barrier between the artwork and the frame, preventing it from coming into direct contact with the glass. This is especially important for photographs and other delicate art pieces that could be damaged by condensation or sticking to the glass.

Additionally, mounts draw the viewer's attention to the artwork by creating a visual separation between the frame and the piece. They also help to offset the artwork's colour and tone, accentuating its overall visual impact.

Calculating Mount Board Dimensions

To calculate the mount board dimensions, you will need to measure the artwork and decide on the size of the frame. The mount board should be slightly larger than the artwork to avoid slipping and shifting, and to provide a professional finish.

A popular formula for determining the dimensions of your mount board is to add 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) to each side of the artwork. For instance, if your artwork measures 8 x 10 inches, you should consider a mount board size of approximately 10 x 12 inches. A picture frame size calculator can assist you in finding the appropriate dimensions for your artwork, mat board, and frame sizes.

White Border Considerations

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a mount board is the width of the white border, which can vary depending on the size and style of the artwork. A narrow width of 1/4" (0.6 cm) may be suitable for smaller pieces, while a wider border, such as 1/2" (1.3 cm) or more, may be appropriate for larger artwork or to complement a thicker frame.

Experimenting with several mount-width options can help you achieve the desired effect. Keep in mind that a wider border can make the artwork appear more refined and increase its impact, whereas a narrower border may cause the piece to feel cramped or overshadowed by the frame.

Additional Considerations for Framing

In this section, we will discuss some additional considerations that will help you make an informed decision about framing your artwork or pictures.

Glazing and Protection

One important aspect to consider when framing your artwork or photos is the type of glazing you choose. Glazing serves as a protective barrier, shielding your artwork from dust, moisture, and potential UV damage. There are various options available, including glass and acrylic.

Each glazing material has its advantages and drawbacks. Glass, for instance, provides a clear and distortion-free view, but it can be heavy and may shatter under impact. Acrylic, on the other hand, is lightweight and shatterproof but may be more prone to scratching. Ideally, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each glazing option to decide which suits your needs better.

Creating a Custom Frame Experience

Selecting the proper components for your frame will not only ensure a suitable fit for your artwork but also create a custom, polished display. Consider the following elements when creating a custom frame experience:

  1. Artwork size: Measure your artwork or photo carefully to determine the correct size required for the frame and mount.
  2. Frame moulding: The frame moulding width should support the size of your artwork. For example, up to 14x10 inches (35 x 25 cm) would require a minimum moulding width of 8mm, while 16x12 inches (40 x 30 cm) would require a 10mm width.
  3. Matting: To enhance the overall appearance, you can add a mount around the artwork. Mounts should be larger than the frame, but by visually assessing your picture, you can determine the ideal size.
  4. Canvas: Framing canvas art may require different moulding and glazing options than paper or photo prints. Consider using a floater frame or leaving the canvas unglazed.
  5. Resolution: Ensure your framed photos are high-resolution prints to avoid pixelation or distortion when enlarged.

In conclusion, when deciding on the frame dimensions and how much bigger it should be than your picture, it is important to consider the various components that contribute to your custom framing experience. By carefully selecting the frame moulding, glazing options, and other elements, you can create a visually stunning display that both protects and enhances your artwork or photos.

Easyframe specialise in offering a diverse range of frames that cater to your preferences and needs. With their extensive experience in the industry, they can provide you with expert advice on selecting the perfect frame for your artwork. Whether you're looking to purchase a frame or just seeking some guidance, you can easily reach out to Easyframe via phone at 01234 856 501 or email at They are always willing to chat with you, even if you're not interested in making a purchase.

Article Posted: 28/03/2024 11:46:02

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