How to Frame Your Artwork Like a Pro Without Spending a Fortune

Art Frames
By Katharina Wenzel-Vollenbroich
How to Frame Your Artwork Like a Pro Without Spending a Fortune How to Frame Your Artwork Like a Pro Without Spending a Fortune

Properly framing and displaying your artwork makes all the difference in its presentation and protection. While professional custom framing can be costly, there are ways to achieve quality results framing your art affordably. 

Displaying your artwork in a professionally framed presentation makes all the difference in elevating its visual impact. But paying a framing shop top dollar isn't always feasible. The good news is you can achieve quality, protective framing results at home for a fraction of the cost. This guide will walk you through expert DIY framing techniques, top budget-friendly picks for archival supplies, and insider tips for framing like a pro. With a bit of patience and wise supply choices available on Amazon, you can showcase your cherished art in its best light without spending a fortune. Follow these pro tips to become a framing master using affordable, archival-grade materials ordered online. Your artwork will thank you for taking the time to frame it properly on a budget.

Follow this beginner’s guide on framing basics, what to avoid, and how to frame art professionally on a budget. With smart choices, you can display your cherished works artfully without breaking the bank.

Evaluate Your Artwork  

Consider the medium, size, colors and condition of your art to select optimal materials:

  • Medium - Delicate mediums like pastel require specialized framing like these Heimlich frames to prevent smudging. Photographs need UV-blocking glass. Canvases may mount directly on stretcher bars.
  • Size - Standard frame sizes like these convenient packs from Nicekool cost less. Odd sizes require custom cuts and framing. Plan artwork sizes accordingly.
  • Colors - Select mats and frames that complement without competing with prominent colors in your art. White and black are classic choices.
  • Condition - Fragile or damaged art needs archival matting and backings like these DEHA frames to prevent further deterioration.  

Knowing your art's unique needs guides smarter framing decisions.

Shop Quality Frames on a Budget

Big box stores offer convenience but frames are lower quality. For better results on a budget:

  • Thrift art framing supplies at second-hand and antique stores. With some updating, used frames give character.
  • Shop end-of-season sales at local frame shops and art supply stores for discounted mouldings, mat boards, glass, etc.
  • Buy unassembled frame kits online like these Wifujoy art frames to cut costs and customize. Watch for coupon codes.
  • Stick to simple black, white or natural wood frames. Elaborate decorative frames cost more.
  • Only buy high quality acid-free archival Art frames from Atobart, especially for valuable art.

Avoid flimsy discount frames that can damage artwork. Prioritize spending on archival-grade materials.

 Choose the Right Frame Style  

Frame profiles impact the art's visibility:

  • Thin lightweight wood or metal frames maintain focus on the art.
  •  Ornate moulded frames suit traditional styles. Keep to neutral colours.
  •  Floating frames display the edges of work on canvas or paper.  
  • Match frame proportions to the art. A wide horizontal piece needs an equally wide frame.
  • The frame should complement, not overwhelm. Let the art take centre stage.

Select Quality Matting   

Matting enhances and protects the art while unifying the look:

  • Use 100% cotton rag archival matting. Avoid wood pulp or recycled paper mats.
  • Choose neutral white or off-white to keep focus on the art, not the mat.
  • Limit matting to 1-3 layers. Too many looks cluttered. 
  • Match mat proportion to frame. A standard 4:3 ratio works for most art.  
  • Cream or white mats with thin colored liner mats offer a clean, polished look.
  • Matting quality directly affects art preservation. It's worth the investment.

Mind Proper Framing Techniques  

Improper framing harms artwork over time:

  • Never allow art to touch glass. Use spacers and window mats to create space.
  • Seal the backing with archival tape on all edges to keep out dust, humidity and pollutants. 
  • Use framing wire and d-rings to hang heavier pieces properly on nails. No sawtooth hangers.
  • Frame works on paper under the mattress to prevent ripples and buckling from humidity.
  • Take care securing delicate art properly inside frames to avoid deterioration issues.

Display and Protect Your Framed Art

Once framed, keep art safe by:

  • Hanging out of direct sunlight. Use curtains or UV film to filter light.
  • Keeping away from excessive heat registers, stoves or fireplaces. 
  • Securing tightly to walls with anchors and earthquake putty if necessary.
  • Dusting regularly with microfiber cloths designed for framed art.

Your art will thank you for a quality frame job and protected display space!

Framing Final Tips

Follow this framing guidance to present your treasured art affordably. Prioritize spending on archival-grade matting and UV glass while economizing on mouldings. With wise choices, your art will exhibit beautifully for years to come.

browse artwork
How to Frame Your Artwork Like a Pro Without Spending a Fortune How to Frame Your Artwork Like a Pro Without Spending a Fortune

You may also want to read...

Delivery & Returns


Artworks are professionally packaged by us or the artist. Packaging and delivery method will vary according to the type of work. Shipping is free for any artwork. 


If you are a customer living in the European Union, the legal return period is 14 days after receipt of your order. Please note that returns are only possible if in accordance with the Terms & Conditions. If you want to return an item please contact us via first. Please note that you cannot return the artwork without contacting us beforehand, as in this case the artwork will not be insured. ARTPIQ is not responsible for any damages or loss occurring through unauthorised return shipping and will in this case not be able to release your refund.


Newsletter signup