At Mary Rose Sanderson's Gallery, We Pride Ourselves

In The Quality, and Price, Of Our Custom Framing.



Below is some general information that you should keep in mind before getting anything framed.



The framing of artwork, photographs or documents is very important to not only their appearance, but also to their preservation. It is important to understand the elements that make up a custom frame before purchasing one.

A custom frame is usually described as a combination containing any of the following parts, specially cut and assembled for a particular item.

Moulding  - often refered to as the frame itself, usually made of wood, plaster, plastic, or metal

Liners - combined with the moulding to add a contrasting colour and expand the size of the piece, usually in framing oils or other works on hardboard or stretched canvas where matboards may not be appropriate as the piece will not have any glazing (glass) protection.

Matboards  - A paper product used to create a border around prints, watercolours, or other works done on paper. Comes in many different forms, and any number may be used to complement the artwork. Matboards should always be protected with glazing (glass).

Glazing  - The glass (or plastic) used to protect the work from the elements. Again normally used with watercolour, prints or any other work on paper. Many different forms available.

Fillets  - similar to a Liner, a fillet is a small piece of moulding that can be combined with the main moulding, or be put between the mats and the work. Used to add contrast, or complement the work.

Backing - Placed inside the moulding, behind all the other components, the backing is a rigid material used to hold the image and other components against the lip of the moulding. Usually comprised of matboard material, "foamcore" or cardboard.

Any particular item to be framed may only require one or more of the above elements. As well, the custom framing process can include such items as lamination onto hardboard, stretching a canvas or other cloth material around a stretcher frame, dry mounting documents, posters or photographs onto a backing material to keep them flat, or any other preparation that may need to be done in any particular situation.


If this were not confusing enough, it is also important to remember that the quality of the materials used in custom framing varies widely, and therefore so does the pricing.


Matboards. There are really only two different types of matboards, although these two types are often broken down into different catagories. Some matboards are 100% acid free. The rest are not!


We only recommend using 100% acid free mats in almost all circumstances. Any amound of acid in the mat will cause not only the matboard to yellow over time (as a newspaper would), but may also cause damage to the piece being framed. A 100% acid free mat is usally distinguishable by a clean, perfectly white bevelled edge. Any fading or yellowing of the core colour certainly means that the mat is not 100% acid free.

Many companies produce a product that has some acid free components. A popular one has acid free front and backing paper, with some amount of acid in the core. This could include those mats that have a colour other than white as their centre core colour. With a few exceptions, colour cored mats have an acidic compound in the core. While this should protect the work underneath for a longer period of time than a mat that has no acid free components, it is usually not worth the gamble to save a few dollars. Another new product has an acid free core (making it continually bright white, and hence confusing itself with 100% acid free mats), but contains acid in the front and backing papers. As well, any matboard that is made from linen, felt, suede, leather etc. is not 100% acid free. The ONLY way to find out is to see the mat sample being used. It will be clearly marked as to it's content. The word "conservation" is usally found on acid free boards, while "normal" or "regular" can be found on those that are not 100% acid free.

In rare cases, a matboard that is not 100% acid free can be used in order to take advantage of it's decorative properties. We would only advise this is the piece being framed is of sentimental value only, or actuallycontains acid itself. It is always the customers choice as to which matboards are used, however we want that to be an informed decision.

Glazing. Glass is normally recommended to acrylic products to protect the piece being framed, but is only available to a maximum size of 40 by 60 inches. Anything larger must have a plastic product such as plexiglass. Almost all glass available today to the picture framer is optically inspected and polished for maximum clarity. As well, many non-glare or UV protectant glass is available on the market. It should be noted however, that many of these specialty glass products do affect the viewing of the artwork. As with all components of framing, make sure you understand what you are purchasing, and ask to see a sample!


Before framing anything, we ask you to remember
As In Everything Else -


You Get What You Pay For!

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