Picture and Photo Framing, What can I frame?

We can answer your Picture and Photo Framing questions. We pride ourselves on our ability to frame practically anything. From prints and limited editions to original works of art and even 3-D objects of all kinds, our dedicated owners have seen it all. They have framed plasma screens, musical instruments, sports equipment, artifacts, memorabilia, mementoes, prizes, awards, ribbons, prints, certificates, mirrors and more. Virtually anything you want to preserve or display, can be framed. Our design consultants take the utmost in care when framing your treasures. You can trust us with your most fragile family photos or even a favorite piece of your child’s precious art. Our stores have all the right materials, techniques, training and know how to properly frame all of your certificates, memorabilia, historical documents, artifacts and awards. We also specialize in framing 3-D objects of all kinds from sports memorabilia, your spoon collection, antique plate or grandpa’s war medals. Whatever you need framed, bring it to us and we will frame them in a shadow box that you will be proud to display in your home.

What is Preservation Framing?

Preservation framing (or conservation framing) is the method where we envelope your artwork in a completely acid free environment. We use the highest quality mats, mounting boards and framing techniques to shield your valuable and sentimental artwork from the effects of acid degradation and harmful UV light. Our preservation framing allows you to remove the artwork from the frame at a later date, unharmed and unaltered. This will preserve the value of your artwork for years to come. In addition to preservation framing, we offer museum framing, which is the highest form of protective framing available. Your FastFrame design consultant will help you decide which method is right for your artwork. Our preservation and museum standards are very high and have been independently scrutinized by industry experts for content, use of materials and framing techniques. With our preservation and museum framing we also offer free inspections every three years. With your valuable and sentimental artwork, you can be sure it will be properly framed at FastFrame.

What kind of mats should I use?

For the highest protection for your artwork, you should only use mats that are preservation or museum grade. There are three basic types of mats used in picture framing. The first is a regular or paper mat. These mats, while being cost effective, contain a product called lignin. Over time lignin breaks down creating an acidic gas that can leave a burn mark on your artwork. The color will also fade over time, and the cream colored bevel will begin to darken. Some paper mats have a bleached white core, but the overall degradation of the mat will be the same. The second type of mat is an alpha cellulose mat. Cellulose is the chief material in all plant life. Alpha cellulose is the purest form of this material. These mats are buffered to maintain a neutral pH. They are considered to be preservation quality. They will not harm the artwork, nor will they fade over time. This type of mat is the primary, in-stock mat at FastFrame. The third type of mat is a rag mat. Made from cotton linters, rag mats are naturally l ignin free. They are made with a colored surface paper, which are preservation grade, or can be 100% rag mat, which is museum grade.

What is dry mounting?

Technique used to adhere, flatten and laminate artwork onto various substrates. This also protects the artwork against wrinkles and creases. Dry mounting, through the use of a vacuum or mechanical heat press, attaches and flattens artwork onto a backing board. The process is primarily aesthetic, removing small wrinkles and creases as well as reducing the continual effects of “cockling.” The process can be either permanent or semi permanent. There are several methods and products that may be used for dry mounting. Your FastFrame design consultant will select and explain the method best suited for your artwork. In any case, there are no “wet” materials, such as glue, used in the process. At FastFrame, we use a vacuum press method. The artwork with backing board and adhesive material is placed into the press. The heat of the press melts the adhesive while the vacuum removes the residual air, creating a bond between the art and the backing board.

What is artwork glazing?

Glazing is a protective coating applied to clear glass used in framing that can be invisible to the human eye, but invaluable to your artwork. The choices in glazing are plentiful, consisting of top quality glass and acrylic glazing options by Tru Vue®. Your design consultant will help you choose the best glazing options for your artwork.

What is a Frame?

The frame is the support that holds everything together. Today there is an enormous variety of design and quality offered in picture frame moulding. In choosing a frame (as well as mats, fillets, liners, enhancers or fabrics) we try to choose design elements which will bring out the inherent beauty of the work while being careful not to overpower the art. Properly designed, the frame is the “icing on the cake” complementing and enhacing the beauty of the art while harmonizing with all the other design elements to create a tasteful as well as a personal package of beauty for your home’s walls. We have over 1,000 samples of frame mouldings including many variations of woods, metals, and even our new line of environmentally friendly ‘Green’ frames.

What is Matting?

Quite often matting a work of art is considered to be only for aesthetics or an element of design. While this is true the primary function of a mat is to protect the art by keeping the glass from being in contact with it. No matter how clean, all of our homes have some level of indoor pollution, dust, airborne grease from cooking, humidity from baths, showers and cooking. Without a mat (or spacer) these will over time collect between the glass and the artwork potentially damaging the art and lowering its attractiveness as well as lowering its value.

How do I protect my art?

Glazing or Glass also plays an important role in protecting your art. Ultraviolet rays, invisible to the eye, will fade most printed images over time and can discolor many papers and make the paper brittle. Direct sunlight is not necessary for a harmful level of UV waves to be present. A bright room with indirect light can cause fading over time (think about light’s effects upon spines of books and upholstery). “Regular” glass absorbs about 40% of UV light waves. Conservation and Museum Glass filters 98% of the UV rays. Reflection control may also be a consideration. Regular and Conservation Glass are available with a non-reflective finish. Museum Glass is non-reflective due to its optical clarity as well as a coating on the inside of the glass.

Although aesthetic considerations are vital to any piece of art, conservation is of utmost importance when dealing with a work of any monetary, historical, or personal value. First and foremost framing protects the artwork from dust, dirt, insects and indoor pollution. For proper framing of fine art and to give the highest level of protection and conservation, we suggest Preservation Plus Framing or Museum Framing.

What is Preservation Plus?

FastFrame’s exclusive treatment for preserving artwork. We use only the highest quality, museum standard materials to ensure total protection for your artwork.

What is Shadow Box Framing?

The technique of framing 3 dimensional objects using extremely “deep” frames.

What are Multiple Openings?

Displaying multiple images within a single matboard.

What is Floating Art?

Technique giving artwork the appearance of freely floating on top of matboard.

What are Fillets?

A small decorative frame available in many styles and colors. Commonly used on the inside edges of mats.

What are Decorative Mats?

The art of cutting specialized designs into matboard to enhance the artwork being framed.

FastFrame Blog
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