How to Frame a Painting on Paper

There are many techniques for framing a painting on paper. This blog post will show you some of the most common ways to frame your artwork, including creating a custom mat with your own dimensions and design. 

The most common form of framing is matting, which consists of two pieces of cardboard with fabric glued in between. However, if you want to be more creative and crafty, you can use old books or magazines cut into squares for the backing material. To learn how to frame a painting on paper, keep reading!

How to Frame a Painting on Paper

5 Reasons Why You Should Frame a Painting on Paper?

1. Painting on paper is a great way to experiment with new techniques and styles without committing to a more permanent piece of art

2. The possibilities formatting are virtually limitless, allowing you room for creative expression

3. Framing a painting on paper allows you to have your artwork displayed in an archival-quality shadow box frame, so it lasts a lifetime

4. It’s a relatively inexpensive option for displaying your artwork

5. It’s always nice to have the option of switching out your pieces if you change your mind about how it should be Formatting

How to Frame a Painting on Paper

Step 1: Determine Your Dimensions

To find the right frame size for your artwork, measure the inside of the mat board and add at least one inch on each side. For example, if your artwork is 6×8 inches and the inside measurement of the mat board is 6 1/2 inches, you will need a frame that is 7×9 inches.

Step 2: Determine Your Dimensions for the Paper

Measure the paper’s widest dimension if you are painting on regular presentation-weight paper. For example, if your painting is approximately 8″x10″, you need to give yourself room on both sides of your image formatting. You can give yourself a full dimension or 5 x 7 or 8 x 10.

Step 3: Determine Your Image Dimensions.

If you are painting on watercolor paper, this is an important step. Watercolor paper is not the standard 16 x 20″ that most people work with for paint. It shrinks when it dries, causing you to lose some of the dimensions of your painting.

For example, if your painting is 8×10″ when it dries, it can be anywhere from 5.5 x 7.5″ to 6.5 x 8.5″, (depending on the paper). You will need to consider this shrinkage when determining your image dimensions and ensure they leave enough wiggle room.

Step 4: Add the Appropriate Mat Board Thickness

Most framing stores will have a chart displaying how thick to make your mat board for various paintings. One inch is usually acceptable because it does not add too much weight to the finished product. However, if you are working with a large painting or want to give your piece added protection, one and one-quarter-inch matboards are a good choice.

Step 5: Allow for Your Desired Framing Material.

Choosing how to frame a painting on paper is really just the first step of the process. You will also need to decide what type of matboard, frame style, and glass you want for your piece.

Your choices include shadow box frames with no exterior mat board (which is best for preserving the current painting), custom framing with a matte that matches your painting, or traditional matting with an actual mat board.

Step 5 Allow for Your Desired Framing Material.

Step 6: Give Yourself Room for Hanging Hardware.

If you plan on hanging your framed painting, you will need to allow space for the installation. Many traditional frames have a “drip” or batten hook that is mounted on the back.

If so, measure this drip and add it to your outside dimension, as well as allowing an additional one-half inch on either side of the drip. If you cannot find a hook, add one inch to your outside dimension on either side.

Step 7: Allow for Glass and Backboards.

You should always ask what type of glass is being used when framing a painting on paper. If the customer selects acrylic glazing, there will be less reflection than if they Determine what type of glass they want to use when they frame a painting on paper. They can choose regular glass, UV-coated glass, or non-glare acrylic glaze.

Step 8: Have Your Piece Finished by a Professional

Once you have all of this information in one place, determine the best way to layout your image for framing. If you are doing this independently, make sure to use high-quality paper. Consider using a printer if you want the perfect matting to frame a painting on paper or traditional framing.

The last thing you want is to have an amazing piece framed only to find that it was created with low-quality materials. A printer can help you determine what works best for your piece.

Some Tips and Suggestions:

1. Use a soft brush with long bristles to remove dust from the exterior of your painting.

2. To protect the surface of the paintings, cover them tightly with plastic after they have been dried.

3. When storing your work, avoid direct sunlight and heat as they can cause damage to the paper.

4. If you want to hang your work, take one of the wires from a dustbin and attach it to the back of your painting using an iron.

5. To frame your work, cut out a piece of cardboard measuring 2″ wider all around the painting than its frame is wide.

6. Choose a piece of mountboard or masonite that is slightly larger than your cardboard.

7. Turn the painting facedown on the work surface, position the mounted board on top (the right side of the mounting facing down), cover it with wax paper, and place books on top of it to hold it down.

6 Things To Consider When Framing a Painting

1. Consider the size of the painting in relationship to its support, making sure that even if it is supposed to be “off-center,” there are still enough mat board elements included around it.

2. If possible, leave a 1/4″ gap between the painting and the frame’s outer edge so that light can enter from the back. This will ensure that the painting always appears vibrant and fresh.

3. Think about whether you want a certificate of authenticity with your painting. If yes, then specify that to your framer before they frame it. If no, don’t include one, as it can detract from the piece itself.

4. Always ask about UV-protective glass. If the framer says it is unnecessary, consider getting a UV-protective coating on the regular glass to prevent your piece from fading over time.

5. Think about whether you want a mat with your frame or whether there should be a 1/4″ to 3/8″ space around the painting itself.

6. If the edges of your painting are not pre-pasted, then consider getting them pasted by a framer before you get it framed.

Things To Consider When Framing a Painting

Should Acrylic Paintings on Paper Be Framed Under Glass?

Suppose your painting on paper has any value. It should be framed behind acrylic glass or conservation-grade UV filter glass. Acrylic paintings on paper can be damaged by moisture entering the back of the frame when placed under glass. Glass traps humidity against the painting surface, which causes damage.

As acrylic paintings are on paper, they are hydrophilic, meaning absorbing moisture from the air. The more humid the ambient environment, the more quickly this can happen. This can cause mildew or a bubble in your painting.

It is tough, if not impossible, to re-treat a painting that has suffered from this damage. If your painting is precious, you should consult a conservator before framing it to avoid hidden dangers.

How to Choose a Frame for a Painting?

You don’t always need a frame for a painting on paper, but it can provide extra protection. Choose a frame that best suits your artwork, since cardboard or recycled paper can give it an additional layer between the painting and the world, especially if the piece is displayed outside.

It will also give your artwork more depth and character by adding a window in the back, which provides an interesting stage for your painting.

A glass or plexiglass cover is essential to protect your canvas from dust and fingerprints. However, when placing the finished art in a frame, you must take care not to put too much pressure on the corners of the board since they will warp.

To create a frame, use an inexpensive molding material such as hardboard or foam board and wrap it in cotton batting to give the impression of depth and dimension. Then, place the artwork inside and put it on Plexiglass for protection.


If you want to give your artwork a professional and finished look, framing it is best. There are many ways to frame artwork, but we’ve found that using one of these methods will make your framed piece stand out from the rest. We hope this post has helped you learn how to frame a painting on paper or any other type of artwork for sale!

You may read also – How to Make a Fake Waterfall Out of Paper

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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