Professional Framing Tips


I am a certified professional framer and have been in the business since the beginning of 1981. So many framing choices have evolved over the years and the biggest changes have come in just three areas: glass quality, matting quality and backing quality. What you select when choosing the right frame for your art can be the difference between just an “OK” frame job and a “stunning, eye-catching” work of art for that special place in your home. Pick the most attractive frame that you can afford for your project with the idea in mind that it’s a one-time expense for a beautiful piece of art. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll normally spend as much on the framing as you do on the piece of art.

Almost no one uses what we call "paper mats" anymore (thank goodness). Conservation quality rag mats or wood pulp mats treated to become "archival" are now the norm with rag mats being the mat of choice. If you have an expensive work of art, you should consider nothing less than true rag mats in order to properly preserve your investment. My personal choice is Bainbridge Alphamat, which incorporates a unique conservation product or technique called "Artcare."

Have your framer create a pocket on the back of the frame in which to store your Certificate of Authenticity. It is important to have if you ever offer your print for re-sale. Many opinions exist about whether to keep your Certificate with the art or in a safe place separate from the art. Since the purpose of a Certificate of Authenticity is to prove the authenticity of the art not ownership, I feel the best place is attached to or stored with the art. However, this is only my opinion and if it makes you more comfortable to separate the COA from the art, be sure to place it in a safe place for access should you offer the art for re-sale.


Ask your framer to use the following:

* Tru-Vue UV filtering glass. Your choice of three types is recommended: 


>Tru-Vue Conservation Clear 

>Tru-Vue Conservation Reflection Control 

>Tru-Vue Museum Glass (my favorite - although a little pricey)


* Alphamat matboard and 2 ply backing with the patented Artcare System.

* Bainbridge acid-free foam core for backing (also with Artcare).

* Acid-free plastic corner pockets for mounting your prints. 

NOTE: Choose wisely when selecting a framer to handle your works of art. Just as a note of concern, anyone can hang a shingle and claim to be “in the business” but only a true professional framer has the knowledge to preserve your work of art for generations to come. The more informed you are about framing, the wiser your choice in framer will be. If I can be of help with your questions or concerns, please feel free to call me at any time. Enjoy the art!

Dianne Nazaretian, CPF
Certified Professional Framer