New to Framing? get started here
New to Framing: Personal Framing
How can I start doing my own framing?
You can start doing your own framing with a few pieces of equipment. With time and practice you’ll get good results using simple moulding profiles and mount designs. As a rule, it’s best to avoid trying to use harder woods such as oak and more ornate / shaped mouldings – you’ll need commercial framing equipment to work with these.
There are six basic processes:
- Cutting the moulding with a hand mitre saw, or ordering it on our Chop Service
- Inserting v-nails to join the moulding to make a frame using a band clamp/vice and a frame joiner, or a foot operated underpinner
- Cutting a window mount using a mountcutter
- Cutting the glass using a glass cutter and straightedge (or shatterproof styrene glazing using a scoring tool and straightedge)
- Cutting the backing board with a knife and straightedge
- Assembling the frame and securing the back in place with a point driver or hand tool.
The materials you’ll need include:
- Moulding to make the frame
- V Nails and PVA wood glue to join the frame
- Mountboard is cut on a mountcutter to make the window mount and undermount.
- Hinging tape to fix artwork to the undermount, or self-adhesive mounting board to stick down posters / photographs. This stops them from going wavy inside the frame.
- Glass or styrene glazing. We don’t supply glass as we can’t despatch it, but you can source it from a local glazier.
- MDF or fluted cardboard as a backing board for the frame
- Brown framing tape to seal the back of the frame to prevent dust and moisture getting in.
- Hangers to suit the frame – options include D rings + cord, square sawtooth hangers for easy levelling.
Watch our series of videos for an introduction to the processes – they focus on commercial framing equipment, but the principles are the same.
Watch a short video below on the anatomy of a frame.
Do you supply a kit to start framing?
We have a wide range of equipment for professional and DIY framing but we don’t sell a kit.
To understand the basic framing processes, click here to watch our series of videos.
If you want an off-the-shelf kit with everything you need to get started, try our reseller Start Up In Framing. It won’t cost you any more than buying direct from us, and you’ll be able to access a wide range of teaching resources to help you get started.
Do you offer training courses?
We don’t offer training courses in the process of framing but listed below are some people who do -
- Mark Higgins - Start-Up in Framing
Learn from a skilled picture framer from the comfort of your own home. Mark's online course includes a total beginner's package, with enough materials to complete your first six frames. There will be plenty left over for practising your techniques. Visit startupinframing.teachable.com.
- Alan Carlisle - Custom Frames
For 30 years Custom Frames Ltd has offered framing solutions to the general public, Corporate and Trade as well as well known public galleries and museums. We have a wealth of knowledge built up over the years and are happy to share this with you through our one day training courses in our 4,000 square foot commercial workshop. They range from a half day introduction course to an advanced courses and for those wishing to make picture framing a careers an advance and business module is available. Visit custom-frames.co.uk/academy_m.
Easy to follow how-to videos, take a look.
Can I try personal framing equipment before I order?
We offer demonstrations and training on professional equipment in our showroom, but not on personal framing equipment.
Most Logan equipment has very helpful videos showing how they work.
What is moulding?
Moulding is the wooden or aluminium profile used to make a picture frame - We supply moulding in lengths (usually around 3m, but it varies) or mitre cut to size on our Chop Service.
Wood moulding inconveniently doesn't come in standard lengths. Even within the same batch it can vary between 2.5m and 3.5m. When you order we ask you to enter the number of metres you want and we will round up to the nearest whole length. This means you will often get slightly more than you ordered - you will always be invoiced for the exact amount we send you.
Avoid harder woods such as ash and oak if you’ll be joining the frame with a hand-operated underpinner, and also more ornate / shaped mouldings – you’ll need commercial framing equipment to work with these.
How do I order moulding?
- Order the number of metres you need. We will round up to the next whole length to ensure you have enough moulding for your project.
- We only sell moulding in full lengths; we cannot cut lengths down. Most lengths are around 3m long but they can range from 2.5m to 3.5m.
- If you want moulding cut to size, click here for details of our Chop Service.
- Avoid harder woods such as ash and oak if you’ll be joining the frame with a hand-operated underpinner, and also more ornate / shaped mouldings – you’ll need commercial framing equipment to work with these.
- Watch below our video on cutting moulding using a mitre guillotine.
How does moulding Chop Service work?
Our Chop Service will supply you with four pieces of moulding, mitre cut to size and ready to join. We can only supply moulding mitre cut, we can’t cut it square.
Order Chop Service by giving us the ‘glass size’ of your frame in mm – the size of the piece of glass that will sit in the rebate of your frame. This will also be the size of your mounted artwork.
We automatically add 2mm tolerance to your measurements, unless you check the box telling us not to.
To join the four pieces into a frame, you will need an underpinner to insert v-nails. You can’t just bang them in with a hammer! Some hand-operated underpinners will also require a band clamp or vice to hold the pieces together while you insert the v-nails. Click here to view our range.
If you’ll be joining the frame with a hand-operated underpinner, avoid harder woods such as oak and ash, and also more ornate / shaped mouldings – you’ll need commercial framing equipment to work with these.
What is Mountboard?
Mountboard is a high-quality cardboard sheet with a coloured face paper on the front and a white face paper on the back.
It is used to cut the window mount that surrounds the image and has two functions – to draw the eye into the artwork and space it away from the glazing allowing air to circulate.
It is also used as an undermount to mount the artwork onto. Watch below our video on cutting a mount.
How do I order Mountboard?
- Mountboard comes in sheets approx. 800 x 1200mm.
- To ensure it’s delivered safely, there’s a minimum order of 10 sheets – this can be mixed and also includes a range of other sheet materials.
- Click here for more information about Mixed Sheet Despatch
Do you supply glass?
We supply everything you need to make a frame except glass - we can’t despatch it safely. You can source this from a local glazier.
We do supply shatterproof styrene glazing, in full sheets and standard cut sizes. Click here for more information.
Can I buy from you if I don’t have a business? / Your pack quantities are very big and delivery charges high!
Yes, there’s no restriction on who can buy from LION. A few useful points:
- Prices are shown excluding VAT
- If you order online there’s no minimum order value - over the phone or via email it’s £50.
- If you’re ordering mountboard you’ll need to order at least ten sheets. Click here to read more about our Mixed Sheet Despatch.
- Our prices are trade prices for regular trade purchasers. We don’t work on the kind of margins that retailers use to subsidise delivery costs.
- Our delivery charges are higher than you’d get from a retailer. Most of our parcels are big and heavy and we use carriers who have the capacity to deliver them to our trade customers on a signed-for service. We don’t have other options for small orders. -
If our pack quantities / delivery charges are a bit much for you, we have several resellers who offer lots of our products in smaller quantities with retail-style delivery charges.
You’ll find several on Amazon and eBay, and also try ukpictureframingsupplies.co.uk.
Can you make me a frame?
No, we supply the materials and equipment to make frames. If you’re after a complete frame, we can give you details of some of professional framer customers in your local area, of you can find one via our trade association, Fine Art Trade Guild fineart.co.uk
Can you cut me a mount?
No, we don’t offer a mountcutting service.
I have a broken / damaged frame, can you help me repair it?
We cannot offer advice or help with the repair, but we sell the products that professional framers use. Click here to view our range of waxes and fillers. Our best recommendation is to go to a professional framer.