How Much Does Picture Framing Cost?
A question that I am often asked is “How much does picture framing cost?” and the best (and only) way to get a definitive price for bespoke framing is to make an appointment with me to come in for a free consultation where I can guide you through the important choices that you need to make to protect your artwork, and assist you through the design options to ensure that the result will delight you for years to come.
All of the frames at Pure Framing are made to measure and custom built for you to provide exactly the frame you want. Therefore, the answer to the cost of framing a picture depends on a number of variables which include
- What it is you are having framed
- The size
- The level of framing you need to protect your item
- How you would like it mounted / displayed within the frame
- The type of mount board you select
- The type of glazing you choose
- The frame moulding (surround) that you would like
- Sundries to finish the frame off
Just to give you an idea of the price variations I am talking about:
A 500mm x 500mm photograph with a 50mm mount border all round could range from around £60 for the most basic package up to around £450 depending on the design, materials and mounting methods you choose.
A 600mm x 700mm sports jersey shadow box could range from £180 for a simple stitch-in over a shirt card, up to around £550 depending on the number of items to mount within the frame, the design and the materials used.
What are you having framed?
Flat, paper-based items for framing (e.g. photographs, prints or original art on paper) are usually straightforward to frame using standard techniques. Fabric and textiles need to be supported and sometimes stretched using an appropriate method before they can be mounted and framed. Canvasses will need to be stretched onto support bars (if they are not already) before framing. Three dimensional objects (3D) will need to be fixed to the backboard appropriately so that they can be displayed effectively. The time required to correctly present your item in the frame will have a bearing on cost. All the items I frame will be mounted using reversible techniques so that the artwork or object can be removed unchanged from the frame in the future unless the customer specifically instructs otherwise or there is a reason that it is not possible.
What size is the piece you are having framed?
As a framing package increases in size, greater quantities of materials will be required which will have a bearing on cost. However, this is where the “bigger costs more” logic stops. The process for producing a standard-type picture framing package is the same whatever the size. This means that the labour for producing for example an A3 size frame, will not be twice that of an A4 frame which is half the size. Customers are often surprised when they visit with a large piece and a smaller piece to be framed similarly that the larger piece isn’t significantly more expensive than the smaller one.
I would define a “standard frame” as one made with four pieces of moulding, glazing, backing board and the mounts/spacers, plus the fixings to hang or display the frame and finish it off. A “non-standard frame” would be one that has to be specially designed and constructed for the item to be framed (e.g. a deep box frame) or a moulding with a build-up on the back to add depth. Construction of a non-standard frame will require more time and materials which will add to the price.
There are several grades of mount board available and your choice will depend on what you need from the framing package.
- Standard board (not used at Pure Framing as it discolours and fades more easily over time).
- White core board (classed as a standard board, but the backing and core of the board are conservation standard. The facing paper is not)
- Conservation board (chemically purified and buffered to prevent acids forming within the board and attacking your artwork) and with good levels of colourfastness.
- Museum board (naturally pH neutral cotton board with high levels of colourfastness).
There are many colours and finishes to choose from so that we can come up with the ideal combination to meet your needs and present your artwork nicely. As with all materials, the price increases as the technical specification increases.
Depending on how you would like your artwork or object presented there are a number of design options for the mount which can be used either on their own or in combination including:
- No mount (“close framed”)
- Single window mount
- Double window mount (or more) where mount boards are layered to give a border of a different colour from the main mount around the artwork and / or more depth.
- Multiple aperture window mount (to display more than one piece within the same frame)
- Decorated window mount (options include wash lines, wash panels, v-grooves, marbling etc.)
- Float mount (where the artwork is displayed on top of the mount board to see the whole piece)
- Shadow float mount (as above, but the artwork is raised above the mount to give a sense of depth and “floating”)
All require different processes and amounts of material, so the prices will vary.
Some subjects for framing do not require glazing at all (e.g. oil or acrylics on board or canvas). Others require the protection of glazing. The most commonly used types of glazing in framing are:
- Standard 2mm float glass
- Anti-reflective glass
- Conservation Glass (99% UV blocking)
- Museum Glass (99% UV blocking and Anti-reflective)
- Any of the above options in specialist acrylic glazing where size/weight or safety may be an issue.
Sundries to finish the framing package
These are fairly standard for most frames and include a backing board which is taped around the edge of the frame, appropriate hanging hard-wear and cord or wire and bumper pads to provide an air gap behind the picture to prevent build-up of condensation.