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Extract from The Guild // Five Levels of Framing

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Extract from The Guild // Five Levels of Framing

You have a choice about how much or how little you want to safeguard your picture. There are Five Levels of Framing for you to choose from as the following summary explains:

Museum - The ultimate protection for your artwork

Conservation - Helping preserve your artwork for future generations
Commended - Guarantees a degree of protection, with design playing an important part
Budget - Visually pleasing, but offering no long-term protection
Minimum - Putting economy first

We always discuss these options with you while designing your frame. Generally we stock conservation level materials across the board; however we look to cater for everyone!

Caring for your artwork when it gets home...

Avoid Heat

Ideally pictures should not be hung above radiators. Extreme or rapid changes in temperature cause paper and wood to dry out and adhesives to fail

Beware damp

Damp can cause pictures to ripple. If the ripples touch the glass, the picture might stick and be hard to remove. Damp also encourages fungal growth - likely to show as brown stains. Conservation framing can slow these effects, but it is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Allow six months before hanging pictures on newly plastered walls.

Hang securely

Use two hooks on the wall, each set about a quarter of the way in from either side of the picture. Check that the cord, wire or other hanger you use is designed to support the weight of your artwork. Where safety is critical, in children's bedrooms, for example, ask us about safer framing options, such as swapping glass for acrylic art screen. We also offer a full range of security fittings for more valuable artwork or frames in public spaces. When hanging your picture, you may notice a small cork disk stuck on to the bottom corners. These are applied so that air circulates around the frame without becoming trapped at the back, which helps maintain the correct humidity (lack of) in the picture.

Gentle Cleaning

Dust frames or treat with a soft brush, rather than risk applying water or cleaning fluids. Don't use cleaning fluids or water on the varnished surface of oil paintings; again dust carefully. If cleaning fluids have to be used on the glass, apply them to a duster first (rather than spraying the glass directly); take care not to let the fluids touch the frame.

Regular checks

If you find any evidence of discolouration, unsightly brown dots, small insects under the glass or that the brown paper tape sealing the back of the frame has come unstuck, return the frame to the framer. Check for corroding picture wire or weak or loosening cord. Oil paintings stretched over wooden bars may sag over time and the bars can make a slight imprint on the front of the canvas. Take the picture back to your framer for tightening or re-stretching. The Fine Art Trade Guild recommends inspection every five years

Out of the light

Try not to hang pictures directly opposite large windows as sunlight fades colours and discolours paper. Special UV-coated glass can help to slow this down. Our materials at APG are in line with the The Fine Art Trade Guild Standards. Ask us about the ways in which you can preserve your artwork in the long-term.

Handle with care

When carrying and transporting a picture, grasp the frame firmly on both sides. If you have to store pictures, make sure they are stacked vertically and the right way up. When stacking pictures, make sure you do this so that they are face to face and back to back, this will prevent the hardware on the backs of the frames damaging the fronts. 

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