How to Frame Watercolor Art and Paintings - Framing Guide

How to Frame Watercolor Art and Paintings - Framing Guide

Watercolor art and paintings offer striking visual transparency, radiance, and clarity of color that enhance the aesthetics of any space and add an inspiring touch. Framing provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your unique creative style and turn your watercolor painting into an eye-catching centerpiece. Framing your watercolor painting will protect and preserve it, ensuring many years of enjoyment.


Whether you're an amateur artist, a professional artist, or an art connoisseur, common questions arise. Which frames should you choose for watercolors, and how should you frame them?



Things to Consider Before the Framing Process


Watercolors are incredibly fragile and susceptible to various forms of damage, including dust, dirt, soot, and contact with pets or children's hands. Continuous exposure to harmful UV rays can also cause your painting or illustration to fade. Encasing your watercolor painting behind a glass or plexiglass frame provides protection from accidents, prevents moisture buildup, and preserves the paint's integrity, ensuring its longevity for years without unnecessary damage.


When framing artwork, it's essential to consider its practical and aesthetic elements, including size, color, style, setting, and where it will be showcased.


Finding a frame can be overwhelming, with so many options and styles. No need to worry!


Here are 8 simple steps for framing watercolor art and paintings to help you through the process, spark your creativity, and elevate your works of art.


Materials and Tools Needed to Frame Your Watercolor Paintings


Tools You'll Need


  • Measuring tape or ruler


  • Framer’s tape (if you're using a mat board)


  • Hammer


1. Measure Your Artwork: The most critical step in the framing process is proper measuring. Once you have the measurements, you can choose your ideal frame. Begin by measuring the dimensions of your watercolor painting accurately. Use a tape measure or ruler to ascertain the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the work.


2. Choose a Frame: When framing watercolor paintings or drawings, you have several style options to consider. Floating frames give the impression of artwork floating in mid-air. Gallery frames offer a contemporary and visually appealing display, while shadow box frames are ideal for creating a three-dimensional effect.


Consider adding matted frames to your watercolor creations as they add a decorative touch, create a focal point, and give them a polished and professional look. This is an optimal choice since it features a mat that provides space around the painting or drawing, enhancing the overall image and producing an inner frame effect.


Ensure the frame you choose is the appropriate size for the piece. An oversized frame may diminish the piece's impact, while a too-small frame can result in a disproportionate appearance, especially if you choose a mat board.


Consider using the one-third method if you need clarification on this sizing challenge. This widely used and successful technique suggests that the ideal frame size should be approximately one-third of the total surface area of the painting it encases.


3. Prepare the Frame: Follow the instructions to assemble the frame if necessary. Make sure the frame is clean and clear of any dust or dirt.


4. Choose the Right Mat Board: The most complementary mats are in shades of white, cream, and soft, light colors. If a substantial portion of your art includes white elements, consider using a double mat. You can select a light-colored outer mat and a darker inner mat that complements a specific shade within the illustration. This approach helps to create a cohesive look and directs focus toward the watercolor elements in the painting.


5. Add Your Backing and Mat: Use acid-free backing and mats. They help considerably to preserve and protect the color in your art and keep it from denigrating over time. Assure your mat is centered and the painting is securely in place, and add a backing board to the frame. This helps to protect the back of the piece and provides stability to the frame.


6. Secure the Art: Position the watercolor paper or painting on a smooth, clean surface. Use framing tape to affix the image to the back of the mat or directly to the frame, depending on your preference and the chosen framing style.


7. Install Hanging Hardware: Secure the hanging hardware, such as D-rings or wire, to the back of the frame. If the frame comes with pre-installed hanging hardware, ensure the attached hardware supports the frame's weight and artwork.


8. Hang Your Framed Creation: Choose a suitable location for your framed painting. Hammer a nail or hook on the wall and use a level to ensure the frame is straight and properly positioned. Make sure to hang the picture frame in an area that doesn't have too much light exposure.

Front Loading Kids Art Frame


Find Your Favorite Frames and More with Americanflat


Finding the ideal frame may require some experimentation. Be patient and embrace the journey. The satisfaction of achieving a harmonious piece that enriches your collection and unifies the space will be worth it. Every creation deserves a thoughtfully selected frame that enhances and transforms its appearance.


Whether opting for minimalist, modern, or frames with rustic charm, the possibilities for framing watercolors are limitless. The key is to strike a balance that highlights the artwork without overshadowing it. Take the time to explore various framing options and experiment with different styles and materials.


If you're looking for inspiration to improve and beautify your home, Americanflat has an extensive selection. From distinct photo frames to themed wall art, artistic shower curtains, and unique mirrors, there's something for every personality to uplift and expand your current decor.


While many of us focus on our main living spaces, it's essential to recognize the potential of your kitchen. Elevate your culinary haven by curating a thoughtful experience that brings it to new heights. Check out our blog post, Kitchen Wall Art and Décor Ideas: Tips on How to Style Your Kitchen, and discover how to infuse style and personality into this vital area of your home. Happy decorating!

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