Framing Tips and Tricks

There are many tips and tricks involved in all aspects of the framing process from your end before you bring the piece to us
to taking care of it once you leave the shop.
Let us give you the framers guide to frame care!

Before you come to see us:

Be cautious of removing your work from the packaging.

We know it can be difficult to resist the temptation, but if your work is rolled up in a tube or safe and secure in a folder or some other sort of packaging then yuo might want to leave it in there until you come in to see us! This ensures that the piece will be as safe as possible until you come to get it framed.  It is hard to safely put an artwork back into the tube once you have released it. 


Think about where you want it to hang.

You may not have a full idea of where you would like your work to reside once you pick it up from us, but if you have a space in mind it is a good idea to note a few things.


While we generally advocate for choosing you framing to match the piece, in some cases you may want to consider its surroundings for a cohesive theme to your house.

  • Wall Colour:

    • If the piece is intended to match the room, thinking about the wall colour can be just as important. If you have a bright feature wall, choosing a frame that is not going to conflict with that is a wise idea. If you ahve neutral walls, this may be less important.

  • Furniture Colour:

    • If this piece is a large statement for the room, thinking about the furniture colouring means you can choose a style that reflects the vibe of the room.

  • Size of the wall:

    • Framing can potentially add anything from 15cm to 50cm to the size of the work. If you have a specific place in mind, make sure you measure it so you know how much of a statement you can make with the framing. This is especially important if you are running out of room. Imagining where it will go and ensuring it will fit before coming to see us may save you the problem solving task when you get it home.  


All this will get you thinking about what might work best for your space so we can work on achieving that goal when you come to see us. If you have no specific things that need to be complimented, we will pull off as many different styles as possible and choose a frame you love that suits the work.



Can I use self adhesive hooks?


We only see situations where pieces have come off the wall because of adhesion failure and the subsequent need for repairs and new glass. It seems likely that the problem is not with the hooks, but the surface they are put on.  We commonly see that the weight of the frame has caused the hook to peel layers of paint off the wall rather than the hooks themselves failing. If you follow the manufacturers installation instructions you should not have any problems..  Note that freshly painted walls need an exteneded curing time before applying self adhesive hooks.


Wherever possible, however, we recommend using traditional hooks just to be sure.  The hole in the wall from the nail is pretty small!



Using traditional hooks?


When you pick up your framing from us, we will offer you a pack of complimentary hooks to hang your work. We will evaluate your piece and give you the right amount of the right type to ensure they will handle your piece. Single hooks are good up to 10kg and double hooks up to 18kg.


These traditional hooks with nails are the most fool proof method for hanging and keeping your piece on the wall, but even traditional hooks can fail if not intalled properly. You will notice when you put the nail in the hole at the top that it will slant downwards at an angle. This is how this needs to be nailed into the wall as it stops the nail from potentially slipping out over time from the weight of the frame,


For heavier items, there are other hanging systems available. Mirrors in particular are heavy due to the glass being around 5mm in thickness.  Mirrors generally require specialised hanging systems.

Hook Placement:


The hooks we provide you with do not require a wall stud like they used to. What we do recommend however is using 2 hooks per frame. This is not necessarily about weight distribution (though it does help on the heavier ones) but keeping the piece straight on the wall. 


As a general rule of thumb, bring the hook in around 25% of the frame width from the edge on each side. This should give you a good spacing to keep it from shifting on the wall. 



Does the hook need to go into a wall stud?


The hooks we supply are designed to go straight into Gib, which gives you the flexibility you need to hang your work whever you want to, not wherever you have to. 


Single hooks are good up to 10kg and double hooks are 18kg.


For heavier items, there are other, more sturdy systems available. Have a chat to us and we can advise you on the best option.



The glass broke, now what?


Many people make the mistake of lying frames facing up when the glass breaks. The best thing to do is remove any loose shards in the middle of the break so they don't stab the work, and then lie it face down on a sheet, blanket or towel that your arent too attached to. This stops the glass from touching the work as much as possible and will hopefully minimise any damage caused by the broken shards. Keeping the artwork face up gives the glass the opportunity to slide around on the work and will often cause damage.


Bring it in to us and we can organise a reglaze for you and make it look beautiful again.



How to clean the glass/perspex:


Glass (Clear, UV and Museum):

A damp soft cloth ((microfibre cloths are great) will remove dust and dirt from the glass and frame.  Sometimes the glass might need something a bit more aggressive.  When using glass cleaner spray it on to the cloth; not the glass, to avoid the risk of the cleaner running down the glass and inside the frame.  


Perspex (aka acrylic or plexiglass): 

Glass cleaner can have a negative effect on perspex, especially if it contains ammonia.  Over time the use of glass cleaner can make the perspex cloudy.  We recommend using a damp cloth to do most of your cleaning.  There's not much that can't be removed in this way.  If you happen to get adhesive residue on the perspex for some reason it can be removed with judicious use of lighter fluid (Zippo or Fuelite).  If a cleaning product is needed, use perspex cleaner with a damp cloth and blot dry if needed with a damp clean cloth. A dry cloth may cause scratches, as will the use of any rough or dirty cleaning cloths, so be sure to be gentle.  Again, microfibre cloths are good for this.



Be careful in the car!


Framed artwork needs to be handled with care until it is safely installed on your wall.  The frames themselves are susceptible to knocks on door jambs and hard parts of your car. What many don't realise is that even a gentle bash on a solid surfance can dent the frame. Be extremely careful when arranging them in the car and taking them out again. Lie them down wherever possible. If you cannot lie them down, ensure that they are braced properly to prevent any damage if you have to brake suddenly on the way home. 


If you do lie them flat, lie them face up if they are by themselves. Any other frames going on top of it? Ensure they are face to face and back to back when stacked. The hanging hardware on the back can create some very severe dents and scratches, even if protected by bubble wrap (which will always be around your work where possible when we give it to you).



Putting your frames in storage?


If you don't have room on the wall anymore, or are putting things in a storage unit while you move, be sure to keep all frames upright, especially pieces that have been floated. The conservation framing process means that we tape your work into the frame with acid free tapes, and are mostly taped from the top to carry the weight. If they are stored on their side or upside down, the work will likely slip and fold up over time when gravity is coming at it from a different direction.


Also, be sure to protect them sufficiently and put them carefully somewhere safe and dry. Framing is not completely moisture tight and putting it in a humid or damp environment puts the piece at risk.



Need it delivered?


We generally avoid standard couriers with picture framing as they don't always operate with the requisite care. If the piece is too big for you to take away in your own car, or you need it delivered for other reasons, we recommend Man With a Van. He has a lot of experience with picture frame delivery and has been our go-to guy for many years.


Let us know if you need him, and we will oprganise everything for you and just add the delivery charge to your invoice to make life easy. Within Central Auckland the cost is $69.00.   Alternatively, if it will fit in the Frame by Frame station wagon we'll drop it off for free!