Archival Framing

When you go to the frame shop there appears to be a hundred ways to frame artwork on paper or antique prints. We will teach you some basics and essential steps to follow when having your art framed using archival framing.

Framers have many secrets to their trade and many will be glad to share these secrets with you. Framing shops contain specialty tools that are beyond the budget of many. This is not to say you cannot frame your art yourself, however framers offer the assurance of experience and the availability of materials which are often difficult to find.

Framers make most of their money with add-on features that look nice but are not always essential to the preservation of artwork or antiques. The most expensive item for sale is the molding. The molding is the “stick” from which the frame is made. They come in all shapes, colors and textures you can imagine, from metal to wood and increasingly from molded plastic.

Another expense is the matting and glass. In this case framers will suggest fancy double or triple layers of matting and finally specialty glass to protect your art.

You should frame within your budget. There are however a few features that are important in preserving your antique print or artwork on paper. These are the matting and the glass.

If your art is of some value, may it be sentimental or financial, it is important that you protect it from the elements. For this you should ask your framer to provide you with archival or conservation framing. Let them suggest the best approach.

ConservationĀ or archival framing will use an archival mat and back board to protect the front and back of your art from touching the glass or the wall behind it, as well as to avoid getting dust onto the art. They will hinge your art within the mat and back board with non-adhesive materials so that your art will not be damaged over time.

Finally they will offer you a special glass to protect your art from harmful UV light. The glass is essential for antique prints, old maps and art on paper which can scratch, get soiled and most importantly can fade from natural daylight and even from fluorescent lights.

Tell your framer where you intend to hang your art and let them suggest the glass you will need. For those of you framing your art yourself, the best will be a 100% UV protection glass or plexiglass.

We have thousands of antique prints, old maps and original art on paper for sale, visit our website atĀ