Art Framing & Care Guide

Professional Framing

If you have opted to buy an unframed original artwork, I strongly recommend that you get it professionally framed.

For professional framing in Johannesburg visit The Picture Framing Studio.

For professional framing in Cape Town visit The Framing Place.

When you go to your local framing shop, it can feel overwhelming. The best way to approach this is to talk to the person working in the shop. They are experienced, professional and can give you excellent advice. Make sure you let them know the artwork is an original as this will affect your options. Non-reflective glass, ideally UV protected, is worth the additional investment for displaying and protecting your original artwork.


Pre-made Frames

For pre-made frames visit Country Road or Mr Price Home.

It’s important to note; while pre-made frames are the most affordable option; the mat board that comes with the frame (ie the cardboard that creates the white space) will most likely not be acid free and archival. This will effect your artwork over time. Always check on the pre-made if the mat board or mount inside the frame is archival acid free. If not; your artwork will get damaged or even stained over time.



I recommend taking your artwork directly to the framer in its packaging. However, if you want to unpack your original artwork at home, here are some general handling guidelines:

  • Use clean, dry hands at all times to handle your original artwork or even better, white cotton gloves, as skin oils can stain the paper.
  • Use two hands to support your original artwork so it will not bend as dents and creases in the print are also likely to be permanent.
  • Hold your original artwork only at the very edges of the paper to avoid finger smudges on the surface which will be very difficult or impossible to remove.
  • Lay out your original artwork face up on a clean, dry, flat, smooth and hard surface.
  • Keep your original artwork covered with the acid-free tissue paper in which it was packaged.
  • Do not use your hands to wipe off any dust as this can also damage the surface of your original artwork.

Flattening your artwork

With the tissue paper still covering the artwork surface, place a few clean, flat and heavy objects (like books, or a small flat heavy side table) on the edges and around the middle part of the artwork. Let this rest over night. If it is still not flat when you remove the heavy objects, repeat the above process for another night.


Hanging your artwork

Your original artwork should never be hung in direct sunlight or be in contact with moisture. Prolonged direct sunlight is likely to cause desaturation and discolouration.

High humidity, heat, airborne dust, solvents, adhesives, smoke and other similar contaminants can also damage your original artwork.

A general rule of thumb is to hang your original artwork so that the centre of the piece is around 1.5m above the floor. This allows it to be viewed directly at eye level.


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