Painting frame

Painting is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression. Many people consider it to be the most finished form of art. The main ingredient in a painting is what the artist puts on it. It is the artist’s talent and vision that will make you fall in love with a work so that it will “speak” to you.

A canvas can be painted with oil or acrylic as well as other materials. Acrylic based paints are relatively new. They date from the beginning of the last century. Oil based paints are still considered the best, but acrylic paints have been proven to stand the test of time, and many excellent artists use them in their work. Works painted with both types of paint are in museum collections around the world.

To design a custom frame that will accentuate the work’s beauty and distinctiveness, Atelier Daniel’s framers will consider many issues.

The surface

Most of the time, the paintings are made on woven cotton or linen canvas.
These are treated with a plaster coating (gesso) to seal the fibers and thus better hold the paint. There are, of course, different qualities of the canvas.

The material is usually stretched on a stretcher with wedges in the corners, which are used to ensure maximum tension of the canvas. As the canvas is made of natural fibers, it reacts to temperature and humidity changes: it will sometimes appear looser and sometimes tighter on the stretcher. The stretcher should be strong enough to hold the canvas upright and prevent warping. For canvases larger than 30″ x 40″ (76cm x 102cm), back tensioners should be added to the stretcher to increase rigidity.

The dimensions

To design a custom frame for your painting, we will take four different measurements:

  • The size of the work, i.e., the actual size of the canvas.
  • The diagonal – by measuring the paint diagonally from the corners of the canvas, we can determine if the canvas is square. If the canvas is not square, the frame groove will need to be modified accordingly.
  • The visible part of the canvas, called the site size, which you will see after the framing is complete. A conventional frame will hide about ¼ inch (63 mm) around the painting, while the floating structure will show the entire canvas.
  • The depth of the canvas. To some extent, this will determine the kind of frame you can use.

Note that when inserting a painting into a frame, the framer should preferably not nail through the canvas. Special projecting fasteners will hold the painting firmly in the frame without damaging the canvas or the paint.

The liner


The liner is a painted or fabric covered wooden frame in which the work rests and is then inserted into the main molding. It is neutral in colour (often white) and acts as a bridge between the main molding and the painting. Its edge on the visible part is usually beveled and can be of a contrasting colour (gold, silver, white, black, etc.), which gives the work a touch of brilliance or even more depth.

Would you like to have a valuable or cherished work framed? Consider preservation framing.

Should a painting be protected with glass?

Although glass or acrylic with UV filters can extend the life of certain types of artwork, such as photographs, drawings, pastels and other works on paper we do not recommend glazing for paintings. Oil and acrylic paintings generally stand the test of time and do not need this additional protection, which could also cause the effect of the material to be lost and the relief of the work to become less apparent.

We offer hundreds of varieties of custom mouldings to suit all budgets.

CTA: Call us today to find out more about our different products and price ranges.

Conservation of works

To ensure that your paintings retain their original colors, make sure they are kept away from constant direct sunlight and bright fluorescent lights.

Paintings on canvas are also sensitive to changes in humidity. The use of a humidifier in winter and a dehumidifier in summer may be necessary to maintain a relative humidity of about 50% at all times.

Try to avoid placing your paintings near direct sources of heat, such as radiators, fireplaces, and incandescent or halogen light bulbs.