How to choose a frame

A frame does much more than just enhance the image you have chosen. A good quality frame also protects your artwork, preserving it for many years to come. All of our products are displayed in our recommended framing and mount styles but we understand this won’t work for everyone so here's your step-by-step guide to choosing the perfect frame.

1. Choose a complementary colour

The colour and finish of the frame is a great way to emphasise the image it contains and compliment your interior style. Before you pick your colour, take some time to consider the overall look of your space and decide what aesthetic you want to achieve.

It is good to know all of our hand-finished frames have been carefully sourced from sustainably managed forests in the Northern American states, where the temperate climate ensures a slow growth rate. The resulting timber is ideal for picture framing, with a consistent colour and grain. The timber is milled in the UK and each frame is finished by hand in our own workshop.

Satin Black

The responsibly sourced, solid wood black frame is sleek and stylish - a classic choice for photography and graphic art prints.

White satin

The responsibly sourced, solid wood satin frame offers a minimalist look that is perfect for contemporary art, photography and prints with a neutral colour palette. The smooth white satin finish is applied by hand in our workshops.

Black stained ash

If you like to see the grain of the wood, our hand-stained ash frames have a beautiful artisan touch. They look great paired with a modern master or vintage poster. The responsibly sourced solid ash frame, with a black stain and hand polished coloured wax creates a deep lustre.

Natural oak

A natural oak frame is a classic and tasteful choice that works particularly well with paintings by museum masters. Oak also provides a beautiful surrounding for bright contemporary prints, giving modern pieces a timeless appeal. A finishing wax is applied by hand, creating a satin finish that emphasises the character of the timber.

Grey ash

Our cool grey ash frame is always a popular choice amongst interior designers as it ozzes Scandi chic. This versatile tone works with many colour palettes and is the best choice if you want a contemporary look and subtle frame. Grey paint and sealing wax are applied and finished by hand.

2. Consider a mount

Often an overlooked part of the framing process is the decision on whether or not to choose a mount which can have a real impact on the finished artwork. A mount draws the eye to the image and can enhance its appearance.

A simple frame with a neutral mount ensures your image is the centre of attention. This combination is often found in galleries and is popular amongst interior designers. Mounts create a gap between the artwork and the glazing which helps prevent damage from condensation or high-gloss prints sticking to the glazing. We only use acid-free mount-board which eliminates the risk of the print stains. Also, the white-core means the cut bevel-edge nearest the print remains crisp and white; lesser quality boards quickly discolour so you can see an unattractive yellowed edge.

We also bevel the edges on our mount board at a deeper gradient than many high street stores, making the mount-board appear thicker and your chosen artwork even more special.

Some prints look better without a mount. For example, large vintage travel posters and photographic prints have a slick finish when placed directly in a black or white frame. If you have a graphic or typographic print and want a polished and contemporary finish, again, opt for a frame without a mount.

Alternatively, you can choose a recessed box frame where the print is set back from the glazing and complemented by a border around the image instead of mount board. This style is becoming increasingly popular as it makes the print the centre of attention.

We also adopt the recessed box style when framing our very special Rare & Limited prints but we use the conservation framing method instead. This is when the artwork is ‘floated’ on conservation grade mount- board using archival tape (as used by the majority of galleries across the world) to protect the back of the print from damage over time. Using this tape means the print can be 'reversed' and easily reframed in the future, should your tastes change.

We are lucky enough to have our very own Master Framer at King & McGaw, Doug Constable. Doug holds his Guild Commended Framer accreditation from the Fine Art Trade Guild and works on our bespoke framing projects with many of our museum and gallery partners.

We ensure that all framed prints that leave King & McGaw have been quality checked by our talented team. Our framers even hand sign the back of every framed print that leaves our workshop.

A framed print from King & McGaw is a very special thing indeed.