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Monday, January 24, 2011

Frame Assembly

As I said in my last post, I've sold some paintings recently and have been painting, matting and framing some new "inventory". Thought I'd share how I frame my work.  Since I don't paint to conventional dimensions e.g. 8x10, 11x14, 16x20... (I just paint and then whatever size it matts out to is what I have to frame) I have to order custom frames.  It's WAY too expensive to have my things framed so I do it myself.  I found a great company online Documounts. They sell unassembled frames in lots of styles and in ANY size you need.  They give great discounts for multiple orders (like 5 frames...not necessarliy all the same size) so it comes out super reasonable.  It doesn't take any special tool (other than a $4 brad pusher) so anyone can do it.  You'll need:
the frame
the artwork
a ruler
a drill (for pilot holes) 
a screw driver
a piece of glass (hardware stores usually can cut window glass for you)
glass cleaner/paper towel
brad pusher
picture wire  

Begin by laying out the frame sections to make sure all the corners
meet each other and the dimensions are right.

Add a bit of glue to each end

press corners together (maintaining 90 degree angle)
and insert plastic corner key (provided by Documounts)

here's how it should look

be sure to wipe off excess glue from frame with damp towel

measure and mark 1/3 of the way down from top on each side piece

drill a pilot hole 

screw in the wire hanger (provided by Documounts)

drop in glass and clean THOROUGHLY 
(any lint or bits of stuff will SHOW!!!)
time to put in the artwork
turn it face down onto the glass surface. holding the assembly, flip over
and check to make sure there aren't any bits of dirt
showing between the glass and the matted artwork

this is the most important tool...a brad pusher.  It has a little piston inside
that actually pushes the brad into the wood frame 
(very cool and easy and only about $4 at the hardware store)

I use 2 brads per side (unless the frame measures more than 20" per side)
The brad goes in the pusher head first, then when you push on the handle
the pointy end of the nail goes into the wood (duh)

next, cut a length of picture wire about 4" longer than
the width of your frame. Loop one end through the hanger and 
twist it back on itself

then do the other side

clean the glass on the front...

and you have a custom framed piece

I have more matting to do...I'll show you how I do that
next time.

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