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Framing Watercolor Paintings

A Step-by-Step Guide

Framing your new watercolor is a crucial step in preserving its beauty and ensuring it shines when displayed. While there are no strict rules, these simple steps will help you create a harmonious and protective frame that complements your artwork.

Step 1

Measure Your Artwork

Before you begin, accurately measure your watercolor painting. Take note of its dimensions, as this information will guide your choice of frame and mat.


Step 2

Selecting the Right Frame

Choosing the perfect frame is essential. Keep in mind that an oversized, ornate frame can overwhelm the art, while a small frame might diminish its impact. Seek professional advice on the frame's thickness to ensure it balances your painting.

Don't worry about matching frames to others you have; focus on a frame that suits your artwork's style and colors. You can save money by purchasing a standard-sized frame and having a custom mat cut to fit.

Remember, when in doubt, simplicity often works wonders.

 Step 3

Choosing Acid-Free Materials

Preserving your artwork's longevity is crucial. Opt for acid-free mat boards and backings to protect your watercolor painting from yellowing and aging over time. Acid-free mats can be identified by their pure white beveled edges.

Step 4

Matting Techniques

Matting enhances your watercolor painting's presentation and prevents it from sticking to the glass. When choosing mat colors, consider whites that match the tones in your painting or neutral colors that complement them. Lay the mat next to the artwork to ensure they harmonize.


Step 5

Glazing Options

For watercolors, prints, and drawings, glazing is essential to protect your art from dirt and dust. There are two main options: glass and Plexiglas, each with its pros and cons.


Lightweight and shatter-resistant, Plexiglas is suitable for areas prone to earthquakes. However, it may scratch and is more expensive than glass.


Glass is more affordable and can be cleaned with glass cleaner, but it's heavier, especially for large paintings. It's often preferred for works in graphite, pastels, or charcoal due to its lack of static electricity buildup.

Both glass and Plexiglas can come with UV filters to shield your artwork from fading due to sunlight. Non-glare options reduce reflections by 85%.

Additional Tips

Properly secure your frame when hanging it on the wall, taking care to use appropriate hanging.


By following these steps and investing in quality framing materials, you'll not only showcase your watercolor painting beautifully but also ensure its preservation for years to come. Remember that the right frame is an extension of your artwork, enhancing its overall appeal.

Thank you for exploring the art of framing with me. I hope you found this information helpful in preserving and enhancing your artwork. If you'd like to discover pieces that might complement your collection, please feel free to browse here. Your appreciation of art is what keeps me inspired.