Why are Custom Frames Better than Ready Made Frames?

One of the most common questions we get from new customers revolves around the subject of custom frames VS. ready-made frames from a big box store. They think that a frame is just a frame, matting is just matting, and glass is just glass–ultimately, they feel it doesn’t matter and they might as well pay less for something that is readily available. These are the types of people who would normally only consider custom frames for pieces that are oddly sized.

However, custom frames from a reputable frame store not only offer a significantly better product that’s of higher quality but they also accentuate your artwork, serve as pieces of art in of themselves, and they protect the item you are framing from damage.

Whether the item you want to frame has monetary value to it, sentimental value, or it is to serve as a decorative element to a space, custom frames add a plethora of value that make the piece pop, stand out, and give it protection from UV rays, moisture, and a number of other threats. But most importantly, they simply look 100x better and promote a more luxurious look.

Of course there are a few instances when ready made, mass produced frames are appropriate to use. For example, if you are producing a play and need framed prints for props, then a common inexpensive frame would be just fine. But when it comes to a work of art, photograph, or any other item you wish to present in your home or office that has meaning and that will be one of many focal points to a room, custom frames are well worth the investment, and when you entrust the team at Framed to handle your project, you will receive competitive pricing without sacrificing quality.

What are the Benefits of Custom Framing?

When it comes to original photographs, valuable prints, and works of art, custom framing is a great investment to ensure your pieces survive a long time, and look amazing in your living space.

But what exactly does custom framing involve? Custom frames are products comprised of moulding, mats, glazing, and mounting systems. Moulding can be sleek and minimalist in design, rustic, modern, or contemporary. While a lot of mouldings are made of wood, some can be made from metal or a special blend of materials. Additionally, professional frame stores will carefully pair art mats and frames based on the piece and your specific needs. For example, if you have a valuable print you will want a mat that is acid-free and museum quality to protect the item from damage. Such a project would also require a specific type of glazing to protect the work from damaging UV rays that could lead to fading. If the piece is large and one of your goals is to limit its weight, acrylic or plexi, is significantly lighter than glass and will enable more options for hanging and displaying the piece.

Here is a breakdown of the many benefits of custom framing followed by the pitfalls people fall into when buying mass produced frames.

A Custom Framer Offers Experience – A custom framer has been trained on how to frame a wide variety of items. They have framed  photographs, posters, paintings, prints and specialty items like sports jerseys and memorabilia. Therefore, they know the best way to frame your piece to make it stand out and truly special.

Custom Frames Offer the Best Quality – A custom framer is a craftsman; he or she uses specialized techniques and tools, coupled with extensive knowledge and skills that derive from years of experience, to create high quality frames for art or photographs.

Selection – Custom frame stores have an extensive selection of framing choices, including hard-to-find framing materials that would be expensive to buy on your own. Custom framing shops have a skilled framer with expansive skills and knowledge when it comes to pairing a piece of art with the right frame color, design, style and size.

Protection – Art can fade over time; a piece can turn yellow or suffer from other types of damage due to light or cheap acidic framing materials that slowly eat away at the artwork. Custom frame stores use scientifically designed materials created to protect the artwork.

The Perfect Finished Look – Custom framing adds a noticeably finished layer to the overall look and presentation of your piece in a way that enhances your personality, business brand, and style.

There are many disadvantages to buying standard frames from big box stores. These include the following:

1. The quality of the glass is poor and can easily crack.

2. The frame is poor quality (often made of a cheap wood veneer, plastic or resin).

3. Mats are almost always made from cheap wood cellulose that contain acid.

4. The backing is almost always made from cardboard which can also be acidic.

5. Frame sizes are severely limited. For example, you will not find specific dimensions like a 6’’x17,” or ½” sizes.

6. You may struggle to cut and possibly rip the photo or artwork, as well as trimming the mat, followed by frustrations with adhering the item into the available space, which may ultimately damage the piece.

7. You also run the risk of paying more for a ready-made frame in the long run. The poor quality materials will damage your piece over time. Mass produced frames are made of acidic materials that eat away at paper, and fabric and the glass doesn’t protect the art from UV light. If the item you are framing is important to you, you can spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to have a professional restore your artwork after it has been damaged.

Ultimately, when it comes to getting the best value, invest in something that is custom made for your art by skilled professionals that use high-quality materials. You may be investing more up front, but the value and multiple ways in which you benefit from going with a custom frame makes the investment a no-brainer. Finally, some custom frame stores offer better prices than others, so while you may spend more than you would at a big chain store, you can still find great deals on affordable custom frames with unparalleled quality.

Custom Frame Glass for Photos and Art

Framing glass, also known as specialty picture frame glass, comes in a variety of types. But what is the difference between glass in a picture frame you buy from big box stores versus custom frame shops? First of all, basic picture frame glass is a type of glazing that retail and online stores use in frames. This glass protects your art from scratches, spills and dust, but that’s it. This cheap glass doesn’t protect art from harmful UV rays, nor does it have anti reflection properties. It can also have imperfections within that distract from viewing.

Custom framing stores also offer acrylic or plexiglass, an alternate lightweight glazing known for being shatter-proof. This non-glass glazing product is appropriate for people who may want to hang a large piece over a bed or sofa. In earthquake prone areas, acrylic or plexiglass is a highly used option. Acrylic or plexiglass is available in many options such as UV, Non Glare, or Museum. Plexi is a perfect choice for playrooms, classrooms and kid’s bedrooms.It is typically more expensive than glass and should be cleaned with a microfiber cloth to avoid hairline scratches.

If your art is valuable or has great sentimental value, you may want to consider Conservation Clear–picture framing glazing that offers the highest level of protection against UV rays in the industry. Over time, indoor and outdoor UV light rays can deteriorate or fade art, photographs, fabrics, and other materials. Conservation Clear glazing blocks 99 percent of UV rays to help maintain the value and integrity of artwork.

If you want high-quality glazing that can be viewed at any angle without glare or reflection, and you want UV protection, then Museum Glass will be your best investment. This type of frame glass offers UV protection and anti-reflection through an invisible finish. It virtually disappears on the piece. Not only does Museum Glass offer clear viewing from any angle, it also blocks 99 percent of harmful indoor and outdoor UV rays. If you have irreplaceable art, documents, or memorabilia to frame, Museum Glass is without a doubt the best option to invest in.

Custom Art Frames are Worth It

If you want to protect your art from fading, and deteriorating, custom frames are worth the investment. Custom framers can use speciality glazing to protect your art and make the piece lighter in weight, and use acid-free mats to protect your art’s integrity. If you owned a Lamborghini would you plaster it with tacky bumper stickers? Of course not! So why buy a cheap frame from a large retail store to display your special artwork? Big box frames can cheapen the look of a photograph or piece of art.

Bring in your artwork for an estimate with one of our friendly staff who can help you create a unique look that will showcase your artwork and reflect your personality. You can also take pictures of the room that you intend to hang the piece in, and we can help you design an amazing frame that will complement the room’s style and other pieces. We are here to help you create the right statement piece that will be the focal point of your living space and bring your enjoyment for years to come.