Frame Your Art, Paintings, Prints and Pictures Like a Pro | By Kerwin Blog

Frame Your Art, Paintings, Prints and Pictures Like a Pro

Discover practical tips for framing your artwork or pictures, plus secret framing hacks from UK artist and home decor expert Kerwin Blackburn

Welcome to the world of picture framing – an important part of getting your newly-purchased or created artwork on display and looking its best. As an artist with their own brand of ‘By Kerwin’ pop art whose mission is to create striking artwork for people’s homes, I have had plenty of framing experience myself. This article aims to share my top tips with you.

Framing is more than just putting borders around your creations; it’s about elevating your art’s presentation and to get it – and keep it – looking its best. In this guide, I’ll dive into the ins and outs of framing, showing you how it can transform the way your art is presented and preserved.

Frame your pictures or art by using a quality frame and the correct tools. Prep your workspace, secure your artwork to the mount or frame, and inspect for any visible dust. Securely seal your frame for protection, ready for hanging. Embrace imperfections; they add character to your finished piece.

Get ready to discover the practical steps to frame your art like a pro – because your masterpieces deserve to be showcased in the best way possible. I have also written a separate guide to choosing the perfect picture frame for your piece – read this here.

Why Frame Your Pictures and Art?

Framing isn’t just about putting a border around your pictures; it’s about providing the perfect finishing touch and protective seal to your artwork. Framing can be a game-changer that makes your art pop and effortlessly blends your artwork into your home environment or art space. Let’s dive into why framing is so important:

Enhanced Appeal

Framing isn’t just a finishing touch – it’s the magic that enhances how your art looks. Framing should complement your art and add to its aesthetic. Effective framing should provide your artwork or creation with a spotlight to shine, and invite the viewer into the piece.

Protection & Longevity

Ever wondered how to keep your art looking fresh? Framing is often the answer. It’s like a shield, protecting your artwork from the wear and tear of time, such as dust or humidity. Framing can also deflect UV rays that could cause an artwork to fade. (Check out my related blog post on framing here, where I explore further protective benefits of framing.)

Overall Presentation

The objective of framing is therefore a combination of protection and presentation. Framing offers you a chance to lift the appearance and perceived value of an already stunning piece of art – in a relatively simple and cost-effective way, too. Imagine your art on display in a gallery – that’s the level of sophistication framing can add to your work.

So, in a nutshell, while framing may be a finishing touch to your art, it is actually a core component of the artwork’s overall visual appeal and story.

Frame Your Art, Paintings, Prints and Pictures Like a Pro | By Kerwin Blog

What You Need When Framing Your Pictures

Frame your pictures or art by using a quality frame and the correct tools. Prep your workspace, secure your artwork to the mount or frame, and inspect for any visible dust. Securely seal your frame for protection, ready for hanging. Embrace imperfections; they add character to your finished piece.

Ready to dive into framing like a pro? Here’s your checklist of must-haves before you get started:

1. Your Frame: Your art’s new home. Choose a frame that complements your style. Read my comprehensive blog guide to choosing the perfect frame for your art, covering nine key things to know, here.

2. Mat (or ‘Mount’) Boards: These optional card inlays can add a further touch of sophistication to your framed art. They can also protect your art from touching the glass. (Many frames can be purchased with a mount, or these can be included when purchasing a made-to-measure frame.)

Frame Your Art, Paintings, Prints and Pictures Like a Pro | By Kerwin Blog
Always use a good-quality frame for displaying your artwork

3. Glass or Acrylic: Shields your masterpiece from dust and damage. Choose between traditional glass or lightweight and less fragile acrylic Perspex (Perspex can come in different thicknesses, offering varying levels of UV protection). Purchased frames will almost always include the necessary glass or acrylic Perspex screen.

4. Backing Boards: The backbone of your frame. Keeps everything in place and secure. Again, this will be included with the purchased frame.

5. Clean Surface or Tabletop: This is where you’ll frame your artwork. It’s crucial to ensure your framing surface is clean and dry; free of dust and moisture that could get into your frame or damage your art. Make sure your surface is uncluttered for a smooth framing experience. Make sure this is in a bright, well-lit space, too.

6. Knife (Non-Cutting): An eating knife is helpful to get under the metal points/tabs on the back of the frame that hold the backing board in place, and bending these back to open the frame. A pair of scissors may also do the job.

Pop! Goes The Easel Norwich Exhibition
My ‘By Kerwin‘ pop art paintings on display at one of my exhibitions

7. Tape: Masking tape or framing tape is your secret weapon to hold everything together seamlessly. I like to tape both the backing board to the frame once fastened, and also the artwork or print to the back of the mount (if using). Use a light-coloured tape if you’ll be taping your artwork to the mount, so the tape doesn’t show through.

8. Measuring Tools: Precision is key. A measuring tape or ruler is optional but can help ensure your art aligns evenly, with equal space on any borders the artwork may have.

9. Hanging Hardware: The final touch. It’s what turns your framed art into a display-ready masterpiece that can be hung on the wall. Many frames come with ready-attached hanging mechanisms, such as hooks or sawtooth hangers. You may also wish (or need) to string your picture frame – read my How-To blog guide to stringing your frame here if so.

10. Cotton Earbuds: These are my secret weapon for clearing individual specs of dust or debris you spot on the inside of the frame, without having to take the whole thing apart and start again.

By Kerwin music themed pop art paintings and prints in a chaotic Jackson Pollock style montage 2024
By Kerwin Art

11. Soft Tissues: Similarly to earbuds, a tissue can be good to sweep up any dust specs you can spot. Choose a soft, high-quality tissue that will neither scratch the frame or leave extra ‘tissue dust’ on the frame.

12. Glass Cleaning Spray & Cloth: Again, this is optional, but some frame glass be streaky or cloudy when purchased. Use glass cleaning spray to clear this, wiping gently. Leave the glass or Perspex to completely dry before proceeding.

13. A Steady Hand and a Little Bit of Patience!: I’ll be honest – framing is not my favourite activity as often feels like a high-pressure task to perfectly align the artwork and not leave a single speck of dust on the inside of the frame. Allow enough time for your framing and don’t rush.

Pop! Goes The Easel Norwich Exhibition - The Beatles pop art painting print
Presenting my framed print of The Beatles at one of my exhibitions

Each item plays a crucial role in the framing process. Frames and mat (or mount) boards provide the aesthetic appeal, while glass or acrylic and backing boards ensure protection. Tape and measuring tools guarantee precision, and hanging hardware makes your art ready to grace any wall. Now, armed with the right tools, let’s frame your masterpiece!

Step-By-Step Guide to Framing Your Pictures Like a Pro

Ready to give your art the spotlight it deserves? Let’s break down the framing process into detailed steps to ensure your masterpiece looks impeccable.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Begin by choosing a workspace that’s clean and well-lit. Make sure you have all your framing materials and tools easily accessible. A clutter-free environment sets the stage for a smooth framing process.

Frame Your Art, Paintings, Prints and Pictures Like a Pro | By Kerwin Blog

Step 2: Choose the Right Frame and Mount

Selecting the perfect frame and mount, or mat, is crucial. Consider the colours, style, and theme of your artwork. Ensure the frame and mat complement each other, enhancing the overall visual appeal of your piece. It’s like finding the right frame for a beautiful picture.

Read more tips about choosing the perfect frame for your piece in my blog guide here.

Step 3: Open the Frame

Using a small knife or a flat-head screwdriver, gently open the frame by bending back the metal points or tabs securing the frame components. This step allows you to access the inside of the frame easily without hurting your fingertips.

Step 4: Clean the Glass if Streaky

If you notice streaks on the glass, use a glass cleaner spray to clean it thoroughly. Wipe the surface in a circular motion with a clean, dry cloth until streaks are eliminated. A crystal-clear cover ensures your art shines without any distractions. Leave the glass to dry before laying it back in the frame.

Step 5: Attach the Artwork to the Mount (If Using)

If using a card mount, lay this face-down on your surface and place your artwork (also face-down) over the mount, aligning it as centrally as you can without being able to see the front. Lightly tape the artwork in place in the corners.

Turn over the mount so see if the artwork is aligned evenly. If it is, you can more securely tape your artwork to the mount (be careful if the artwork is fragile).

Step 6: Secure the Artwork in the Frame

Laying the frame face-down on your surface, place your artwork (or the mount containing your artwork, if using), also face-down, into the frame. Align it as centrally as you can without being able to see the front.

Step 7: Check for Dust or Debris

Before adding the backing board back onto the frame, lift your unsealed frame gently to look underneath for any dust or debris that may be sandwiched between the artwork and the frame. If there is, take the artwork out and clear the dust by blowing gently, or using your cotton buds or a tissue to wipe this away.

This is also the step to check that your artwork is centrally aligned within the frame, with an even border on all sides if the artwork contains one.

Cotton buds are a good way to get dust from under the edges of your frame

Step 8: Seal and Secure the Back

With your artwork perfectly placed and the glass or Perspex screen pristine, add the backing board back into the frame. Seal the frame by bending back the metal tabs. (Tip: initially, fasten only a few of these tabs, before inspecting the front for any dust once again.)

If there is still dust on the white mount, you can use a cotton bud to poke in and clear this around the perimeter of the glass, without having to take the entire backing board off. Once your framed piece is dust-free, ensure a secure fit by pressing down on each tab. This will ensure everything stays in place.

Step 9: Tape Around the Backing Board

Further secure the frame contents in place with a layer of tape around the backing board perimeter. This will also secure the frame from any moisture from entering. Professional framing tape is ideal, but good masking tape is also fine.

Stringing a picture frame
If your frame doesn’t come with hanging string or a hook, learn how to string your frame yourself here

Step 10: Attach Hanging Hardware

Flip your framed artwork over and attach hanging hardware securely to the back if required. Ensure it is balanced and sturdy, ready to adorn any wall. This may involve screwing on a single hook or sawtooth hanger, or stringing across the width of the back of the frame. Read my blog guide on stringing your picture frame here.

Note: Some clip-over hangers need to be placed under the backing board before securing this. Do this before Step 8 if so.

Step 11: Hang or Display Your Artwork

Congratulations! You’ve completed the framing of your artwork and are ready to move onto hanging it on your wall or displaying it on a shelf or table-top in your home!

Read my comprehensive blog guide to hanging art on your walls at home – with tips for both choosing the perfect spot and the hanging practicalities – here.

Once frame, you can then move onto hanging your artwork on your wall

By following these detailed steps, you’re not just framing your art; you’re creating a visual masterpiece with precision and care. Now, step back and admire your framed creation – it’s ready to captivate any onlooker!

Does Picture Framing Have to Be Perfect?

Feeling the pressure for flawless framing? Relax. While being precise matters, perfection isn’t the only goal. Believe it or not, a few quirks can give your art character and make it appear more human.

I’ll admit, I’m guilty as anyone for striving for perfection when framing my By Kerwin art or prints – and then getting frustrated when I can’t clear every speck of dust.

Don’t stress over tiny imperfections; they can add a unique touch. Most bits of dust won’t be seen from a distance once the frame is on the wall, anyway.

So, it’s okay if things aren’t 100% totally picture-perfect. Let your creativity show, and embrace the little details that make your art special. After all, any such imperfections would make your masterpiece truly one-of-a-kind.

By Kerwin home art studio in Norfolk, England | Pop art music-inspired paintings
Get your hanging and measurements as accurate as possible – they’ll never be 100% perfect!


Wrapping up our framing journey, let’s recap the essentials. You’ve learned to prep your workspace, choose the right frame, and secure your artwork with care. Remember, framing isn’t just a task to endure; it’s a chance to elevate your artwork and provide the perfect finishing touch.

As you embark on framing your art, embrace the process with joy; think of all the viewers it will captivate and interesting conversations it will spark. Don’t fear imperfections; they’re the quirks that make your art truly yours.

Now, I want to hear from you! Share your framed creations, ask questions, or let me know how this guide helped. Your feedback matters, and I’m here to help you on your artistic journey. Happy framing!

What is the most helpful piece of advice in this article on framing? Explore my range of By Kerwin pop art paintings and shop prints of your favourite icons from my online shop

Explore the rest of my home decor tips in my dedicated blog section here.

View my full range of Jackson Pollock-inspired pop art paintings and prints of your favourite music and pop culture icons at High-definition printing, fast worldwide delivery and satisfaction guaranteed. You can follow my art progress on Instagram and Facebook.

By Kerwin music themed pop art paintings and prints in a chaotic Jackson Pollock style landscape montage
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
    Scroll to Top