Art Framing Guidelines

  • Never use masking tape to hinge art to the backing or mat.
    Masking tape contains damaging chemicals and was designed for temporary usage only. (House painters use it to mark an area that will not be painted). DO use a water soluble, acid free tape.
  • Use only two hinges at the top of the artwork.
    Never tape all four sides of the art to the mat or backing. Paper is 6 percent water: it must have space to expand and contract with changes in humidity. If confined on all sides, the art will wrinkle excessively from expansion and never lay flat.The two hinges should not be placed across the corners. Corners are weak spots and may rip or tear. Hinging four corners instead of two is not better.
  • Do not use self adhesive tapes for hinging artwork.
    They contain many harmful chemicals which can damage the art.
  • Never use corrugated board for backing. Acid free corrugated board may be used behind matboard for support
  • Do not use ball point pen to mark mats. Ball point pen may bleed into art and cause permanent damage. Even pencil marks should be erased before coming in contact with art.
  • Do not use sawtooth hangers.
    They are not strong enough to support the weight of a frame safely. They do not allow enough air to circulate between the wall and the framed piece. This is particularly important in areas of high humidity.
  • Art, glazing, matting and backing need to be properly sized in a frame.
    A small amount of space needs to be added for expansion and contraction from changes in humidity. Glass can break from its own pressure trying to expand in too small a space. Backing and matting will buckle. A frame can be forced apart at the corners from pressure of materials inside.]
  • Artists: Consider yourself a professional and treat your work with respect.
    Use the best materials you can afford. It should look professional in its presentation, not battered and shop worn. It should look like it will stay together and be attractive to hang on someone’s wall. Proper framing will pay off in increased sales.


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