How much does it cost to frame a picture?

Updated: Nov 14

How many times have you bought a piece of artwork, only to have it sat on the side for months on end, if not years?


I understand that one of the biggest barriers to buying my linocut prints and other artist artwork can be the unknown cost of the framing.

  • How much will it cost to frame my picture?

  • Will I be able to buy an off-the-shelf frame that will fit the picture?

  • Will it take a long time and be inconvenient to get my picture framed?


Framing doesn't have to be expensive. When framing pictures, there are two main options:

  • Frame the piece of artwork yourself, using a ready-made picture frame or a made-to-measure picture frame.

  • Go to professional framers and have it framed for you.


I’ll go through these in a little more detail, explaining the pros and cons, links to places to buy them and a guide to how much they cost.



Professional framing

Using a professional framing service is usually the most expensive option. However, they often cater for different budgets and by having options for framing materials.

Pros
  • More choice of frame styles and colours.

  • Choice of better quality frames.

  • Sealed back to the artwork so that dust and insects such as thunder bugs don’t get under the glass.

  • Acid-free materials.

  • Better quality hanging system.

Cons
  • More expensive to buy

Frame it yourself with made-to-measure frames

Many professional framers will also offer a made-to-measure service so that you can frame your print yourself.

Pros
  • Cheaper to buy.

  • Bespoke sizing.

Cons
  • The artwork isn’t sealed and protected.


Frame it yourself with readymade frames

Widely available across the high street and online. Look for solid wood frames which are better quality than the cheaper MDF frames.

Pros
  • Cheaper to buy.

Cons
  • Limited colours and sizes are available in stores. (Often more are available online)

  • The artwork isn’t sealed and protected.

  • Be aware of very cheap MDF frames. I've found that the coating can delaminate the frames come apart at the mitred joints over time.



Where to buy frames and which framing companies do you recommend?


Professional picture framing


York - Steve Garnett Picture Framing

Steve frames my local customers. Steve frames for many of my local customers. He has over 40 years of experience framing from his home-based workshop in Acomb, York.


Ilkley and Skipton - Dalesway Picture Framing

A family-run picture framing company, established in 1985. They have a retail shop in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, which sells bespoke picture framing and handmade readymade frames, and a workshop and retail shop in Skipton, North Yorkshire.


Otley - The Artworks

Recommended by a friend who's a professional artist.


Professionally framed print back - Steve Garnett Picture Framing
Professionally framed print back - Steve Garnett Picture Framing


Made-to-measure picture frames


Tadcaster and online shop - Skelf Frames

A family-run picture frame manufacturer in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, who have been making frames since 1990. Readymade frames and made-to-measure frames.


Ready-made picture frames

Below are some off-the-shelf frames that I have spotted.


Ilkley, Skipton and online shop - Dalesway Picture Framing

Pick up in-store or order online. At the time of writing, they sold 12x12" frames which fit all my large square prints. See the pricing guide below for details.


12 x 12" solid wood readymade frame - Dalesway Picture Framing
12 x 12" solid wood readymade frame - Dalesway Picture Framing


How much does it cost to frame a picture in the UK?


The following framing price guide is intended as a guide to the costs involved in framing one of my linocut prints or a piece of art.


Professional framing


York - Steve Garnett Picture Framing

Black frame - 20mm wide x 20mm deep

  • 12 x 12” picture frame with standard glass - £52*

  • 12 x 12” frame with AR 70 glass, non-reflective, super clear - £64*


Ilkley - Dalesway Picture Framing

Black frame - 18mm wide x 14mm deep

  • 12 x 12” picture frame with standard glass £32*

  • 9 x 9” picture frame with standard glass £27.50*

Black frame - 20mm wide x 20mm deep

  • 12 x 12” picture frame with standard glass £32*

  • 9 x 9” picture frame with standard glass £27.50*


Made to measure picture frames


Tadcaster and online shop - Skelf Frames

Black frame - 22mm wide x 22mm deep.

Look for ‘Smooth Black’ (20mm) in the ‘made-to-measure’ section.

  • 12 x 12” picture frame with standard glass - £29*

  • 12 x 12” picture frame with non-reflective glass - £32*

  • 9 x 9” picture frame with standard glass - £25*

  • 9 x 9” picture frame with non-reflective glass - £27*


Readymade picture frames


Ilkley, Skipton and online shop - Dalesway Picture Framing

Black frame - 18mm wide x 14mm deep

  • 12 x 12” picture frame £16*

  • 7 x 5” picture frame £8*

Dalesway Picture Frames - Black frame - 18mm wide x 14mm deep


Black frame - 20mm wide x 20mm deep

  • 12 x 12” picture frame £17*

Dalesway Picture Frames - Black frame - 20mm wide x 20mm deep


*Prices were estimated by the individual retailer or supplier in October 2022 and are subject to change. Michelle Hughes Design is in no way affiliated with any of the suggested retailers or suppliers.




Do you offer a framing service for your linocut prints?

I stopped offering a framing service in 2021, so that I could focus on making prints. Outsourcing framing and adding on my time for doing would make the framing costs to you more expensive than going directly to your local picture framers.


When I sell my prints in galleries I have to allow for the 40-50% commission that the majority of galleries charge on the framed print. This means I either double the cost of the frame or make a loss.


Some of my linocut prints are framed for exhibitions and art galleries, so I usually have a few prints professionally framed available. Please email me at michellehughesdesign@outlook.com to enquire. Framed prints are available to pick up from my York studio only.



What materials are used for framing?


Frame moulding

A wide variety of style are available. I prefer solid wood frames to MDF frames. Coated pine solid wood frames are cheaper than oak or hand painted hardwood frames.


I use a 22mm wide and 22m deep matt black solid wood frame to frame my linocut prints. Some of my customers have used oak or grey picture frames which work well. The paper I print on and the mounts I use are soft white, so on the whole don't work as well with bright white ready-made frames.


Glass glazing

Most readymade frames are made with standard glass which will be slightly reflective. Made-to-order and professional framing can be done in standard or non-reflective glass. which is more expensive.


Plastic acrylic glazing

Frames can also be glazed in acrylic or plastic Styrene. It can be very refeclive but is used to reduce costs, breakages and weight. This also has a non-reflective option. I've noticed that many ready made frames in high street retailer have moved to this.


Mounts

I recommend using acid-free mounts. These will protect your artwork and not yellow over time.


My linocut prints are sold with acid-free mounts and backboards, except my 5x7" mini print range which are sold with acid-free backing board only.



What size frame do I need for your linocut prints?

Below is a guide to frame sizes for my linocut prints.

Large square linocut prints

For example: Littondale

Image size 160 x 160mm

Mount outer 305 x 305mm

I recommend a 305 x 305mm (approx 12 x 12”) picture frame.

Medium square linocut prints

For example: Moon Gazing Hare

Image size 125 x 125mm

Mount outer 205 x 205mm

I recommend a 205 x 205mm (approx 8 x 8”) picture frame.


Portrait linocut prints

For example: Holgate Windmill

Image size 125 x 175mm

Mount outer 255 x 305mm

I recommend a 255 x 305mm (approx 10 x 12”) picture frame.

Panorama linocut prints

For example: Millington, Yorkshire Wolds

Image size 250 x 100mm

Mount outer 400 x 250mm I recommend a 400 x 250mm picture frame.


Mini series linocut prints

Each design fits into a 5 x 7" frame or can be framed with the complimentary designs as a triptyque. Paper size approx 130 x 180mm. The image size varies per design. As a guide for mounting, the image will be within 70 x 120mm.

Mini series linocut prints as single prints

For example: Yorkshire Coast linocut print, roof tops - blue

I recommend a 130 x 180mm (approx 5 x 7") frame.

Can be framed with or without 100 x 150mm (approx 4 x 6") aperture mount.

Mini series linocut prints as a set of 3 prints

For example: Yorkshire Three Peaks, set of 3 linocut prints

I recommend mount apertures of 100 x 150mm (approx 4 x 6").


Examples of my framed linocut prints

Below are a selection of my prints framed for exhibitions.



Gallery my of customers' framed prints

Below are some photos from my customers, showing how they have framed my linocut prints. I love seeing photos of my prints in their new homes. If you'd be happy for me to include a photo in this blog email me at michellehughesdesign@outlook.com.


Do you use a local picture framer that you can recommend in other parts of the UK? I'd be happy to add them to this blog.


If you have any other questions please do get in touch.


Michelle

 

About the author


Michelle Hughes is a North Yorkshire linocut artist. Much of her work depicts the Yorkshire landscape and Yorkshire coast, including the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.


Michelle loves exploring the British countryside by bike or on foot, camera in hand, capturing ideas for her next linocut prints. Back in her garden studio, Michelle creates simple but stylised silhouettes based on her photographs, and hand carves these shapes into lino. She hand prints with an etching press, using oil-based inks to create tonal blocks of colour. Michelle’s original linocut prints are limited editions.


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