Framing Miniatures Made Easy

Being a routined miniature artist, you will be aware of the special requirements of framing for miniature art exhibitions. Starters in this beautiful kind of art – please see my little guide. This first part is about framing oil – and acrylic paintings.

First decision to be taken is the choice of the framing material. I used to order 5 or 10 frames of my favourite size in different colours to give me a certain stock to choose from. When deciding on a frame, I check which one would match with the colours of the particular painting.

My rule is – the frame should enhance the painting and should never be dominating – as this can kill the finest miniature. A wide and very ornate frame is often unsuitable.
Even if my painting is rectangular, I check whether a round or oval frame would be more favourable. Once I have chosen the frame I cut my painting to fit. Dura-Lar, Polymin and some other carriers to paint on are very thin. To support my painting I use tape to fix it to mounting board – all acid-free! To level the back of the frame I fill it up with further mat-board.
Finally I cover the back with paper-tape, bought from a framer, cut off overhanging tape with a ruler and a sharp knife as long as it is wet, add a self-sticking business-card holder and insert a printed card with my name, title of the painting and medium. 


As I paint mainly in oils I mostly do not use glass as it is not needed – this applies for Acrylics as well.

However – this is only my opinion. Sure I make exceptions – if the frame comes with a convex glass cover – like the one shown.

If a frame has no ring hanger as in my first example I use a fine wire and crimps – plus a triangular or D-ring which can be folded down. Those rings are required in several exhibitions.

The fine wire is of high quality and is available in craft shops – usually to create fashion jewellery. This material does not crinkle. To stop the wire from slipping I crimp the wire at the correct length and fasten it with tiny nails to the back of the frame – making sure that the loop in the wire is small enough and cannot slip over the head of the nail.

© Marion Winter – Text and Photography

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