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McHardy's Art and Framing

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McHardy's Art and Framing
Regional Framing Award
South of Scotland 
Regional Framing Award
South of Scotland 2008

Fine Art Trade Guild Commended Framer

Bespoke Picture Framing

All work is carried out on site by a guild commended framer. Not only do we offer our customers advice on the choice of frame and mount for their pictures, we also advise the best way to conserve their artwork and ensure it remains in optimum condition.


We frame a wide variety of pictures, including:

  • oil paintings
  • watercolours
  • drawings
  • photographs
  • certificates
  • tapestries
  • embroidery and other needlework
  • medals
  • sports shirts

It is important that you know the proper materials and procedures for framing. Frames are used to enhance a work of art aesthetically, as well as to protect it from dirt, dust and handling, while maintaining a controlled setting essential for the life of the piece. There is more to framing than just four bits of wood around a picture.

In terms of aesthetics, you should choose what pleases you and what works for the picture. The framed artwork will become part of your everyday environment, so be sure to choose a frame and mount that you will enjoy. If you don't know what you want ask for guidance; your framer probably has seen many different types of art, and knows what works well, and what doesn't.

One piece of advice: Don't frame the art to match a room in your house. Choose picture frames and mounts that will enhance the work of art itself, so that if you move, redecorate, or decide to hang the piece in another location, it will always look appropriate. Avoid framing that overwhelms the artwork. Remember: the art work is the star - the mounting and framing are supporting players.

If possible, consult the artist or gallery regarding their intentions for displaying the piece. This input may contribute to a more meaningful presentation of the piece.

Before taking the art to your framer, a little background on proper framing materials and procedures is useful. Using the correct materials will help keep your print or drawing safe and guard its value, now and for years to come. Needlework, this includes tapestries and embroideries, should be stretched and laced traditionally, on top of conservation barrier board. Traditionally needlework was placed into a frame, this does however require a spacer between the material and the glass.

The whole array of art works on paper - drawings, watercolours, gouaches, pastels, etchings, engravings, woodblocks, lithographs, silkscreens and photographs - are almost always put behind a glazed surface for preservation. However, the work should NEVER be placed directly against the glazed surface.

This leads us to another issue: glass or acrylic?
Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Glass is cheaper, easier to clean, and more resistant to scratches. However, it is heavier, more breakable, and sensitive to variations in temperature. Acrylic is lighter in weight but can scratch very easily, but would be recommended for bigger pictures. There are also options of using ultra violet filtered glass, this greatly reduces the fade of the image and can also come with very low reflection, but it comes at more of a cost. All artwork should be hung out of direct light!!

Works on paper are some of the most vulnerable art objects, and need the protection of mounts and frames.

The mount provides a rigid support for the work of art, to prevent bending and folding and other damage that might occur to paper when being handled and touched. It separates the work of art from the glazed surface, creating a "breathing space." In addition, mounts are used for their aesthetic properties, often strengthening features already present in the piece of art. Nielsen Bainbridge Artcare Mount boards also contain Zoelites; these are microscopic particles which scavenge all the harmful chemicals contained in the atmosphere of a home or office, trapping and locking them up.

Whichever way you decide to mount your piece, the bottom margin is generally slightly wider than the top and the sides to give the entire image a visual weight, however the size of the mount will increase or decrease proportionally according to the size of the work of art.

All materials used in the mounting and framing should be archival. This basically means that mounting boards are acid-free. Any reputable framing store will use archival materials. The paper should be "hinged" to its support with archival hinging tape. Hinging is like taping, but the acid-free materials used in the process ensure no damage will be caused to the artwork. (Masking tape and "Scotch" tape are harmful and should be avoided completely.) Any original work on paper or limited edition print should be hinged to guarantee the value of the work of art, and prevent it from being ruined. Never paste the sides or the entire back to a support - a process known as dry mounting. This technique is almost always irreversible and should only be considered when framing posters with no value.

It may seem overwhelming, because there is a lot to know regarding framing artwork. But it is essential for the protection of the piece, and can add another pleasing dimension to your artwork. So don't procrastinate! Be sure to get your art framed right away so you will be able to enjoy it for years and years to come.

1 Biggiesknowe, Peebles, EH45 8HS | Tel: 01721 720246 | email:
© McHardy's Art & Framing 2006 - 2015