A short Guide on How to Frame Canvas Artwork

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Many people choose not to frame their canvas art because they can often be hung on a nail using the depth of the wooden frame of the canvas. However this can be more difficult for canvases with a small depth to their frames. But certain artwork such as precious, or expensive art would benefit from the extra protection of a frame.

What is canvas art?

Canvas can come in a variety of shapes and dimension, and the type of artwork can be original or printed. Printed canvas art on box frames has become very popular in recent years due to its modern look and the ability to have any image printed cheaply. These make great feature pieces in your home. Photos printed to canvas wall art are also a popular decorative pieces. 

Why would you want to frame your canvas?

There are many advantages to framing your canvas art, these include: 

1. Protecting your artwork from humidity and moisture.
2. Increased protection from scratches and dust. 
3. Reducing the chance your canvas art will fall off the wall, and the added protection from the frame for if it does
4. Hiding frayed or warped canvas edging. 

Is it expensive?

The cost of framing your canvas artwork depends on the canvas size, which is true for framing any piece of art. However the additional cost is potentially the need to buy the metal canvas clips which can usually be bought at a reasonable cost online.  

How to frame your canvas?

1. Measure your canvas length, width and depth and use these dimensions to buy a frame which has the right size and depth to hold your canvas. It’s better to buy a slightly bigger frame by a few millimetres rather than to buy one that is an exact fit, because canvas edging can be thicker in the corners. 

2. If you buy a wide enough frame at the perfect size, it is possible to be able to put a canvas into a frame and then put the frames backing straight on. However, most canvases do not easily fit into standard frames, and even if they sit into the frame well, they can often be easily moved inside a wide frame if not held in place. This is achieved using canvas clips. Metal clips that attach to the canvas and the frame by either clicking into place or requiring screws.  If required, buy canvas clips to be used to hold your canvas in place once it is sitting in the frame. Before buying your clips, measure the depth of the frame back edging to the canvas stretcher bar as it sits inside the frame to find out what size clip you will require. 

3.  To frame your canvas put the canvas into the frame with the frame front and the canvas decorated side face down. Make sure the canvas fits inside the internal edging of the frame, if not you will see the inside of the frame through gaps. Re-arrange this until the frame sits evenly inside the frame. 

4. When the canvas is in position use the canvas clips to secure the canvas in-place. 

5. Once the clips are secure add a wire hanger to the frame so it can be hung onto a nail. Often the wire is provided with new frames. Attach the wire across the top of the frame in the orientation you wish it to hang. If you want the wire to be invisible on the wall ensure when you tie it on, that when you pull it upwards it can’t be seen above the top of the frame. This may need to be adjusted for heavier frames. 

6.  Add a dust cover to the back of the frame using brown wrapping paper. This can be best attached using masking tape so it can be easily removed later if you need to re-position your canvas. Cut out a large enough piece to cover the whole of the back of the frame. In the centre of the paper cut a large hole, or several small ones. This will allow the canvas to breath inside the frame. Although this does allow some dust to now enter, having the holes reduces the chance of encouraging mold, or trapping ambient humidity which can cause the canvas to loose tension stretched on the wooden frame, leading to canvas sagging.  
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