Custom Framing F.A.Q

  1. How much will it cost to frame my picture?

We are glad to give free price quotes. To do that we need to know some basic information that greatly affects the quote. The two greatest influences on pricing are the dimensions of your art, and your frame selection. Other factors of pricing are: mats, mountings, glass options, fillets, and fittings. We will work with you and your budget to achieve the look you want for your artwork.

  1. How long does it take to get a quote?

Considering that custom framing is, well, custom, this process often takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes per piece. The individual components are specifically chosen for your artwork and its new home. Appointments are available seven days a week with 24 hours notice.

  1. How soon can I get my artwork back?

Generally, our turn around on pieces is about two weeks. In some circumstances, we can do rush orders depending on the day of the week, and the selection of options you choose. Stop in with your art and we can tell you what to expect.

  1. Does the size of the frame matter?

If your artwork is an over-sized piece and/or heavy, it requires a beefier frame. The width and depth of a frame need to be thicker to properly support the artwork as it hangs. We will make recommendations on frames that will properly support your piece.

  1. What are your frames made out of?

Our partner in custom framing is Larson Juhl. They provide us with American hardwood frames manufactured in Ashland, WI. Larson Juhl holds environmental- friendly certifications for practices including recycling wood shavings as animal bedding, using environmentally-friendly furniture finishes, and buying forest friendly raw lumber.

  1. Do I need to match other frames hanging in the same room?

The simple answer is no.  Frame choice should first compliment the artwork. However, you can tie the new piece to others already hanging by selecting similar frame styles and finishes.

  1. How big can I make my piece?

If your art will not fill the area of your choosing, we can find ways to make up the difference. One way to accomplish this is by increasing the mat size, layering mats, or using a wider moulding. Another option is by adding v-grooves or custom borders to the mat to increase the mat width.

  1. What is a mat?

matmatting, or mat board is a paper based material that has many functions broken down into two categories- Protection and Decoration.


A mat separates the art from the glass preventing condensation from damaging the piece by water damage, mold, mildew, or image transfer in the case of photographs, pastels, chalk, or charcoal.

We use Larson Juhl’s Artique Conservation Matboard. It is a museum quality mat board that is conservation quality, 100% virgin alpha-cellulose, acid and lignin free, alkaline pH buffered, and bleed and fade resistant.


Visually, a mat’s function is to draw the viewer’s eye into the artwork. The mat’s color can be utilized to highlight or set off a particular element of the piece through complementary or neutral colors. The function of a mat should not compete, but enhance the piece of art.

Multiple mats can be “stacked” to show narrow bands of color to highlight multiple elements. Most commonly ordered is the double mat.

Fillets, a small narrow moulding with a lip, can be inserted inside a moulding, between layers of mats, or the mat and the art to create visual interest.

V-grooves are one form of carving into a mat to expose the core’s color. Often white, a limited range of colors can be available for core colors.

Mat windows are available in more than just rectangles and squares. Ovals are the most common shape, but hearts, arches, diamonds, and offset shapes can be ordered. Corners can be offset, slanted, or rounded. Multiple windows can be cut into a single mat.

  1. How should I mount my artwork?

Certain types of mountings work better for specific pieces of art.

Float mounting is a technique used often with watercolors or artwork that goes to the edge of the paper. The piece is hinged to a mounting board, the pedestal, that is about one inch smaller than the artwork. That board is mounted to a decorative background that is two to three inches larger than the art, and spacers are added to keep the glass off of the art. A mat window can be used. The overall effect leaves the artwork “floating” in the frame. Best used for artwork on heavier papers like watercolor or photographs.

Museum mounting is considered to be a conservation mounting method. The back of the artwork is attached to the backer board by the way of Japanese rice paper hinges with a wheat  paste. This method is considered archival and acid-free, and completely reversible.  Museum mounting is generally set in the upper corners allowing for natural movement as the atmosphere changes. This mounting preserves the integrity and value of the art by not permanently altering the original.

Spray mounting uses an aerosol adhesive to mount the image to a board. Originally developed by 3M and other manufacturers to apply to photographs for mounting. Can be applied to posters also.

  1. What is a spacer?

A spacer is a device used to create a separation between layers that lays against the wall of the moulding. It can be a piece of wood, plexi glass, mat or fabric board. Not only does the spacer allow ventilation to eliminate water damage from condensation, but it gives another design option that provides a varying shadowbox effect.

  1. What does glass or “glazing” do for my art?

Glass provides a layer of protection for your artwork to help extend its life. We have a variety of options with a range of features to best the needs of your artwork and budget.

Premium Clear  High-quality USA-made clear glass that is 2.5mm thick. Light transmission is about 86%. Absorbs 45% of UV light. Base glass option with a very reflective surface, and the lowest UV protection possible.

Reflection Control  Reflection factor (the amount of light that is lost traveling through the glass) is 8% for single-sided etched reflection control glass. Reduces glare to less than 4%. Absorbs 45% UV light. Glass with the highest glare reduction and the lowest UV protection possible. Requires cleaning with a soft cloth and an Ammonia-free cleaner.

Conservation Clear Protects artwork by absorbing 99% of harmful UV light, which can cause fading and other damage. Glass with the highest UV protection possible, but has a very reflective surface. Best choice of glass without a reflection-free coating. This is our basic recommendation for protecting against fading.

Conservation Reflection Control  Protects art from damaging UV light while reducing glare and reflection. Absorbs 99% UV light. Glass with the highest glare reduction and the highest UV protection possible. Requires cleaning with a soft cloth and an Ammonia-free cleaner.

Museum Glass  Highest quality picture framing glass available to the industry. Anti-reflecting technology coupled with 99% UV Protection. Glass of the highest quality for glare reduction and UV protection possible. Requires cleaning with a soft cloth and an Ammonia-free cleaner. This is our most highly recommended choice to resist fading and to eliminate glare.

Acrylic/Acrylite (Plexiglass)  A shatter resistant  material, but needs special care when cleaning. Paper products are not recommended. The best practice is to use a soft cloth and a plexiglass cleaner for deep cleaning, while the use of canned air is preferred for the removal of dust. Highly recommended for large hanging pieces to reduce weight (it is 50% the weight of glass. Base material absorbs 89% of UV light. It also has options similar to glass and can get to 98% absorption of UV light. Acrylite has a higher quality standard and is used in aviation technology. A polymer that is very lightweight and shatter resistant. The base material starts at a higher UV protection level and can mirror most options available in glass. Biggest drawback is that it can be easily scratched, and therefore requires cleaning with a soft cloth and a plexiglass cleaner.

  1. I have artwork on a canvas. Can you mount it in a way that it can be displayed?

We can mount it in two ways. We take the canvas and stretch or gallery wrap it.

Stretching  your canvas involves attaching the canvas to wooden stretchers with fasteners such as heavy duty staples. These fasteners are seen from the side and will be covered the moulding.

Gallery wrapping a canvas is a complete finishing process. The canvas is usually attached to heavier stretchers and the fasteners are applied on the back. The artwork can hang on the wall without the need of a moulding. Generally, the image “wraps” around the sides of the stretcher.

  1. I have a needlepoint/cross-stitch/crochet or some other needle-craft I want framed. Can you do that?

Through a process called, lacing or sewing, we can sew your piece on a mounting board in a way that will preserve the fabric from laddering and deteriorating  over time.

  1. I just finished a needlepoint and I want to frame it, but it is all out of shape. What can be done to reshape it before framing it?

The process is called stretch and block. The piece will be tacked down onto a board and stretched to regain the original shape. This service is currently not available.  However, most dry cleaners can do this step and then we can frame your piece.

  1. I have a photo/print/poster that I want to put on canvas. Can you do that?

The process, called canvas transfer, is used for this purpose. An image is transferred onto a film, destroying the original piece. The film is heated and bonded to a canvas which is usually attached to stretcher in the gallery wrap style. While we do not provided the transfer service, places like Groupon often have deals online.

  1. In my price quote, there is a charge for fitting. What is that for?

The fitting fee category covers the finishing of your custom framing and the incidentals needed to complete the piece.

Regular fitting includes the backing board, paper and hanging materials.

Shadowbox features a deep frame for framing 3-D objects. Often thought of as memory boxes. Can be anything from sports jerseys to trip memorabilia to childhood keepsakes.

Easelback is the hinged leg on the back of the piece to stand on a table or mantel.

  1. How long will my artwork be preserved for?

With proper matting and framing, your artwork will last decades before needing to be redone. However, even with the current technology of glass and acrylic, your art will still fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight. We can help slow this effect with Conservation Clear or Museum Glass, but these glass options will not completely stop it from fading.

  1. My artwork is faded and I do not like the frame or matting any longer. What can I do?

We can take your piece of art and rehab it. The frame and mat can be removed and a whole new look can be created through new colors, layering of mats, bold mouldings – just to name a few options. Bring in your piece for a free consultation.

  1. I want to move my artwork to another room, but the frame does not match. What can I do?

You have a few options here. We can take all the framed pieces for that room and redo them in the same moulding to unify the overall look. Another option we can execute is to replace the frame of the mismatched piece with a new moulding based on the other pieces in the room.

  1. I want a mirror to fit a specific space, but I cannot find the dimensions needed. Can you make a custom mirror?

We most definitely can make you a custom mirror. The moulding choices may be limited slightly by the size of the mirror you wish to hang, but we will have many choices for you to peruse. Stop in for a free quote.

  1. How is my frame made?

All our wood frames are joined together with a “v” wedge from the underside. The moulding is glued and clamped to form a solid durable join without the use of nails.

  1. What if I don’t want the artist’s signature or a border showing?

We have ways of matting art that can conceal signatures without compromising the integrity of the art. When it come to posters, we can trim the publisher’s line or title off or mat it in a way to cover the border.

  1. How can I highlight the title of my art, and/or not cover the Certificate of Authenticity? 

We can do amazing things with mat boards.

title cut is a notch in the mat that showcases the title and possibly the artist’s name.

If you chose to, a window can be created in the mat to display the certificate along side the art. However, if you just want to have the certificate available, but not covered in the framing process, it can be mounted on the back of the piece.