Minimum | Budget | Commended | Conservation | Museum

Commended Picture Framing Standards

To visually enhance artwork and give a moderate level of protection.

  • Suitable For Replaceable artwork of limited commercial and/or moderate sentimental value and where visual appearance is important. Preferably processes should be reversible. Customers should be advised that lifetimes given assume that artwork is not inherently unstable.
  • Moulding No significant blemishes. Care must be taken to match the pieces. The moulding should have a rebate that is sufficiently deep to comfortably hold the sandwich.
  • Mitres Accurately cut, glued and pinned tightly. Corners to be touched-up so no unfinished moulding is visible.
  • Windowmount. A windowmount or slip should normally be used to visually enhance the artwork and distance it from the glazing. If close framing is required, there should be a spacer between the artwork and the glazing. The corners of the windowmount must be cleanly cut; the mountboard must be free from blemishes; there must be clearance of 1mm-3mm inside the rebate (clearance varies depending on frame size). Standard mountboard (or better) at least 1100 micron thick and conforming to the Guild standard should be used. Slip moulding must be accurately cut. Multiple mounts or deep spacers must be used to frame works with migrant or delicate pigments, such as pastel drawings
  • Undermount There should be a barrier layer between the artwork and the back board; preferably this should be made from Standard mountboard (or better) at least 1100 micron thick but, at this level, 500 micron thickness may be used for lightweight artwork. The undermount should be the same size as the windowmount and ideally should be hinged to it along the longer side. Other methods of joining the two are acceptable providing no adhesive is used.
  • Attaching Artwork The artwork should be hinged to the undermount with T-hinges on the top edge preferably using gummed tape with a water-soluble adhesive, though self-adhesive water-reversible white paper tape may be used, or a similarly reversible process, such as corner pockets. It is not acceptable to make hinges from tape with a high acid content. Hinges should be weaker than, or the same paper weight as the artwork- never heavier. Hinges should be attached to the back of the artwork, not the front, and should overlap onto the artwork the minimum amount necessary to give proper support. Note: for the majority of art on paper 5 mm should be sufficient. At this level drymounting onto mountboard is acceptable providing customers understand that the process is irreversible. Artwork must be properly centred and free from blemishes
  • Glazing Float glass or better, free from obvious blemishes and of appropriate thickness for the frame size. Must be cut to allow sufficient clearance inside the rebate of the frame. It is not acceptable for the glazing to touch the artwork For large items and for items to be hung in areas accessible to the public, safety should be considered, e.g. laminated or acrylic sheet.
  • Back board Back board needs to be strong, rigid and flat, and to protect the artwork from damage.
  • Securing the frame The frame must be secured firmly with framers’ points or tacks. Flexible tabs are not acceptable.
  • Hanging Hanging fittings must be sufficiently strong to support the frame.
  • Finish Dust and dirt should be removed and the glass should be cleaned and polished without smears. The back should be sealed, preferably with gummed tape. At this level good quality self-adhesive framing tape may be used but it is important to ensure good adhesion and longevity. Masking tape, cellotape and parcel tape are not acceptable. Note: Self-adhesive tapes dry out and can fail. Pads or buffers should be applied to the two lower corners. A label giving the date and the framer’s name should be adhered to the back. Old labels should be retained if possible and attached to the back.