Picture frames are basically a form of archival storage that is prepared for display. However, there is much more to it that simply buying photo frames at the local Mega-Mart and slipping your pictures in. Proper framing requires patience, skill and the right picture framing supplies; picture frames are only one part of the equation. |
One of the most basic photo framing supplies you need is mat board. The purpose of mat board is to provide a stiff backing for your photograph. You'll attach your photo to the mat board using photo corners, which are self-adhesive and allow you to fix the photo to the mat board without the use of adhesive. Most of the better picture framing kits include mat boards and photo corners as well as the picture frames themselves.
Next you need an additional piece of matting to place on top of the photograph. This accomplishes two things; it provides an attractive border for the photograph itself, and it keeps the surface of the photograph from coming in actual contact with the glazing material - which is the last element of picture framing kits other than the picture frames themselves.
It is important that all matting materials be acid-free if you don't want your photographs to become discolored and brittle. Most good quality mat board is impregnated with an alkaline barrier that neutralizes any acidic compounds. These are more expensive, but well worth the extra cost when it comes to the preservation of your photos.
Glazing may be a piece of glass, acrylic or clear plastic. The function of the glazing is to protect the photograph from direct sunlight, dust and other environmental contaminants.
If you photo is not of a standard size - or you simply don't care for what is commercially and readily available - you might consider custom picture frames. These are unique picture frames that are made for a specific artifact.
Once your photos are matted and has been inserted into picture frames, you'll either want to hang them from the wall or set it on a cabinet, desk, or other appropriate piece of furniture. You'll want to take this into consideration when choosing picture framing kits, incidentally; not every frame is right for every kind of décor. Think about the predominant colors in the room, the kinds of wood and finishes as well as the kind of furniture. Ideally, your photo frames will complement the picture rather than detract from it. The key to successful framing is to take you time, choose your picture frames wisely and have patience.
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