Framing Tricks

Hanging a Level Picture

Of course the obvious would be to use a level. This method is if you don't have one handy. Hold a half-full glass of water along the top of the frame when you're holding it against the wall. The water surface is your make-shift level.

Transporting a Picture Frame

An easy, inexpensive way to keep a frame safe during transit is to use corrugated corners. They are folded pieces of cardboard that fit snugly over each corner and protect the frame from bumps and scratches.

Storing Picture Frames

To properly store framed pieces, cover them with a soft cloth and lay the pictures facing down. If the art is not yet behind glass, lay it between layers of acid-free tissue and store in a dry place. Avoid rolling artwork at all costs because this could ultimately result in chipped paint or smeared graphite.

Measuring Picture Mats

To determine the dimensions of your mat opening, measure exactly ¼" into the image. Mats are cut with a bevel, and the opening will now overlap the image just slightly so as to not reveal any unwanted areas underneath. This is especially important with photographs; otherwise the photo will pop through the opening. For example, if your photo is 4" X 6", your mat opening should be 3 ¾" X 5.

Personalized Picture Mats

Consider personalizing a mat for a wedding or retirement gift by getting all the invitees to sign it. Lightly draw a pencil line ¼" in from the outside perimeter of the mat because when it does eventually go in a frame, this part will be hidden. Try a metallic, permanent thin-tipped pen. These are always a hit.

Fingerprints and Stains

In the unfortunate case that you get fingerprints on a photograph, try using a drop of lighter fluid on a cotton swab to dab it away. First, test it on a corner that will be hidden, then work your way around the fingerprint in gentle circles until the oil is separated and disappeared. Stains on fabric will often come off by dampening the fabric and rubbing a bar of soap or dishwashing liquid into the spot and rinsing.

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