framed portrait painting

To Frame a portrait painting = Perfection!

Portrait paintings depict human subjects and inspire realistic and expressive portraits. Before learning how to do a particular thing, you should know the intent behind doing it. Only then you’ll do full justice with its working. Hence before assimilating how to frame a portrait painting, you should perceive the rationale behind framing it.

Why frame a portrait painting?

However, there are certain specific reasons behind the framing of a particular type of portrait. But some of them are common and put in the picture as to why you shouldn’t leave your portrait painting unframed.

1. To steer clear of dust, children and other possible mishaps that could tear down the physical charm of your portrait painting. Frames provide covered protection to your portrait paintings and ward off such physical mishappening.

2. Frames with decorative edging enhance the beauty of a sober portrait painting and thus enriches the face value of the painting.

3. You can’t leave one of your kids without the common present when you’ve bestowed your other kids with certain gifts. Similarly, if all your portrait paintings are framed, then you can’t just leave your other painting unframed. It may look odd among the framed ones. Hence it becomes a necessity to frame your portrait paintings at that time.

4. Most of the painters frame a certain number of portrait paintings with similar frames to manifest that these paintings belong to a particular set.

5. If you find a frame that adds to the meaning of your painting and has eventually become a part of it or is either a work of art in itself.

Selecting the best frame

Selecting the best frame

Selecting the best frame

Framing is a work of art in itself and highly determines the appearance of your portrait painting. You should be well aware as to what type of frame would suit your painting and what type would deplete its worth. Hence, deciding the ideal frame for your portrait painting has a lot to do with its worthiness.

There’s no cast-iron rule-book that you need to follow while choosing an ideal frame for your portrait painting. You just have to keep some basics in mind as to what type of frame would look good with the painting. It should physically fit with it not hiding away the borders or other contents of the portrait painting. And if the selected frame would go with the decor of the room your painting would hang in?

Portrait Painting and the linen liner

Although there’s no hard and fast rule, a painting and its linen liner shouldn’t be of the same width. Usually, the frame is wider than the linen liner.

Is your Frame style in consonance with the portrait theme?

It would give an amazing look if the frame style complies with the theme of the portrait painting depicting the painting style of the painter. For example, transitional frames being used for the paintings that are a mixture of traditional and contemporary. Or black painted Danish frame used for a portrait painting of a mighty ruler, gold-leafed or wood frames used for the classical subject matter, etc.

Sizes- big or small?

If you don’t want to give a bigger outlook but your painting is bigger in size, then you may use floater frames. Whereas if you want to give a bigger picture and the size of your painting is small, then you may go for over-sized multilayered frames. They also give a decent finishing to your portrait painting.

Does your frame contradict your painting?

You should never go for loud frames when your painting depicts a soft image and vice versa. Don’t use frames that compete or overshadow your painting. The painter may try to give a message through his painting. But an extremely different frame may catch the viewers’ attention, ignoring the message of the painting. You may use hit and trial methods while deciding the accurate frames for your painting and experiment with one another to select the best out of rest.

Enhancing the worth of portrait paintings

There are several examples of the paintings in the past which show that your ideal selection of frames may increase the worth of your painting to a tremendous level. A small nontraditional painting may be sold to a million dollars when ornate in a bigger ethnic frame. While selecting the perfect color of frames, make sure it’s not too similar to the color of the painting. A bit of contrast in the colors should always be your go-to choice. A-frame with an amazingly unique color would differentiate your painting with the rest of the decor of the room and catch the viewers’ attention in a single go.

Frames for selective portrait paintings

1. If you wish to get a dark image portrait painting framed, then beyond the shadow of a doubt, go for earthy wood frames or the frames with no border because your painting itself gives a unified appearance. You could select frames that are resonance with your painting colors.

2. If you got a soft image portrait painting, unequivocally select a white wood frame with white borders.

3. If you have got a cool portrait painting, then go for neutral or dark wood.

Framing of different types of portrait paintings

Different kinds of portrait paintings have different framing needs associated with them, and it also depends on the medium the portrait is painted in.

Watercolor Portraits

A framed watercolor portrait


A watercolor portrait painting is required to be protected behind a mount card or a mat. This is due to the delicate nature of the drawing sheet. They are then further placed behind glass as they are too fragile. They are framed in such a way with an aperture to reveal the painting and put the viewers’ attention on the central painting behind the glass.

Pencil and Charcoal Drawings

Framed Charcoal sketch

A Framed Charcoal Sketch

In the case of Pencil Sketches or Charcoal Drawings, the mount becomes an essential ingredient of framing to keep the painting away from touching the glass to prevent the image from splotching.

Oil Paintings

A framed Oil Painting

A framed Oil Painting

It is not necessary to frame Acrylic or Oil paintings behind a mount or glass. You could although do it for better protection but it ain’t going to harm if you skip this step.


Pro tip :

If the oil paintings are painted on canvas, then there is no need to frame them under glass. But if you use glass for protection, then make sure to introduce a framing mount or a mat to add space between the glass and artwork to prevent smudging.

Using mount and glass


Image result for mount and glass

Using Mount And Glass

If you’re adding mount, then you should use a thinner frame because the mount itself acts as a frame, or else use a thicker frame when no mount is used. You should also note that though glass protects your painting from the external environment, it also obscures the painting. It hides away the details displaying a hazy picture. Hence using a glass or not should always depend on the type of portrait painting. Don’t use glass if you take a fancy to show every small detail of the painting to the public.

Hanging of the portrait paintings


Image result for hanging of portrait paintings

Hanging of Portrait Paintings

Beautiful paintings when hung in your bedroom or drawing room give an appealing appearance to the place. They beautify the atmosphere of the room with the intense interaction of the colors of the painting with the walls of the room. Hence, you need to know what type of painting would suit best with the walls of your room. You don’t have to make your home a museum by randomly placing various traditional paintings to give a historic and vintage look. Neither you have to make it a flea market by hanging a lot of paintings.

Hanging them the right way

Hanging a portrait painting at an ideal position

When you’re done with the framing of paintings, you can’t stay oblivious about the basics regarding the hanging of paintings, or else things would straightaway go in vain. A well-framed painting when placed in an accurate position would never serve the purpose you wish it to. So when picking up a hammer, don’t try to line everything up.

Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of your painting in context with the measurements of the wall. Let your eyes guide you with your best interests. Stay focused on the shade of colors your painting exudes and make sure it matches with your bedroom. Your painting ought to match with your decor.


Bringing up the rear, the most important factor that you need to keep in mind is the costing factor. Always try to choose the best while keeping yourself in the budget. Getting expensive frames from overseas is of no use when your painting can’t convey its story. The best framer will be the one who renders you the most consummate option of frames realizing your budget issues.


We all want our paintings to provide a talking point for visitors over a coffee. When you make a painting or buy one, you always have emotions attached to that one painting that you bought with immense enthusiasm. You would always want it to receive applause from your friends and relatives.

The factors that you should keep in mind while framing a painting are mentioned above. While framing your portrait painting, all that you need to give a thought is whether it will breathe in your bedroom or not? Or will the sole purpose of the painting be rendered to the audience or not? Frames although are not always necessary in a painting. Such as that in the case of a canvas painting, but needless to say, they enhance the worth of your painting if selected in the best possible manner. So are your frames serving the purpose of your paintings?

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