Sunday, October 23, 2011

Floating and Displaying Small Oil Paintings

7 x 7" frame from Art City Frames on Etsy
Click Here to View Listing for this Frame

Table Top Easel with a 5 x 5" painting
Click Here to View Listing for this Easel

This method of "floating a painting" is easy.
Floater Frames
"Floating" paintings within the frame opening is very practical and popular these days.  You can buy a specifically cut "Floater Frames" like these from King of Frames in CA.  They are still considered, for example, a 6 x 6" frame for a 6 x 6" painting.  However,they are cut to allow for the 6 x 6 panel to slip right into the front.

I order my frames from Art City Frames, because shipping is free and if I order in bulk the owner gives me a discount. For a 6 x 6" painting, I order one inch bigger frame.  As an example if I am framing a 4 x 4" painting, I order a 5 x 5" frame. This will give about a 1/4" space all around the painting. Instead of the cardboard backing that Linda (the owner) usually includes, I ask her to replace the cardboard with a black foam core panel, and to skip the usual plexiglas.  I use double sided tape to adhere the painting right to the black foam core panel.

The practical side of "floating paintings" when they are small is that you don't lose any of the painting surface to the lip of the frame.  This allows an artist to use the whole surface of the panel for their composition. 

Hope this has helped answer some questions about how to frame small works for the biggest impact.


Debbie Shirley said...

Thanks for the information about framing. Your work looks great in those frames!
I've always wondered about how people did the "floating" - what kind of double-sided tape do you use? I also wondered if it would be removable without damaging the painting if someone wanted to frame it differently?

Cindy Haase said...

Thanks Debbie, I'm glad you found my post helpful. I use an acid free double sided tape. It comes in a little dispenser and I put it on the back of my hardboard painting panels and then stick it on the black foam core. I've not had a problem with it destroying the foam core at all. I just use my fingers to rub it off the back of the hardboard panel. (I use Gessobord by Ampersand.)

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Visiting from Miss Angie's blog. Thanks for the tips about small paintings.....I always struggle with framing issues!