Picture Framing : How to finish the back of a picture frame

Picture Frame Back CompletedThis how to guide shows how you seal and finish the back of a picture or photo frame prior to hanging or selling.

The purpose of finishing the back of a frame is to –

  • Seal it to prevent dust, mites and damp from entering the mount/artwork/under the glass
  • Make it appear professional and neat to the eye
  • Provide hanging points to hang the picture
  • Provide stability from motion and wall protection

The assumption in this article is that you already have a picture frame either custom made or pre-made with glazing, mount and backing board cut to size and attached. The backing board should also be able to provide some degree of moisture protection eg aqua board or similar.

Equipment Required –

The methodology for finishing the back of a picture frame is as follows –

Step 1 :

Secure the backing board, mount, artwork, and glazing ‘sandwich’ in to frame rebate with flexi points, semi rigid points or other similar framer’s points and tabs. these can be fired in with a tab gun or manually pushed in.Picture Frame Back Finishing with Points

Step 2 :

Use a picture frame backing tape like self adhesive ECO-15 or ECo-25 tape on each edge to make the dust seal. Trim the tape with a craft knife after completing each side, being careful not to damage the side of the frame.Picture Frame Back Finishing with TapeAfter taping and trimming the tape edge on all four edges it should look like this –

Picture Frame Back Finished with Tape

Step 3 :

Measure the sides of the frame 1/3 of the way down from top edge, mark with a pencil or bradawl, then create a shallow starting hole in the frame with the bradawl. Repeat on other side of frame so you have two matching holes for starting a screw thread on each side of the frame moulding.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-ring Measuring

Step 4 :

Attach a D-Ring to each side of the frame using a pan headed screw to hole it in place.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-Ring Attachment

The frame should now be ready to attach picture cord or wire.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-Ring Attachment

Step 5 : Attach cord to each d-ring and secure in place by use of a knot. Preferably one that tightens on itself under tension. Details of one picture framing knot can be found in this article.Picture Frame Back Finishing with Cord

Step 6: Attach two felt or other similar bumper pads to each lower corner of the frame. This will help stop the frame moving on the wall as well as help prevent the frame from marking the wall. It will also create an air gap and allow air to circulate behind the frame.

Picture Frame Back Completed

The picture frame backing process is complete and it’s time to hang your picture on the wall!

 

 

 

 

 

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Picture Framing : A Picture Cord Knot

A commonly asked question is what picture cord knot works best for hanging a picture frame? To answer this we first have to ask what are the desirable features of a picture cord knot?

The following are some desirable features of a picture knot –

  • Won’t untie (self tightening)
  • Won’t sag (so you can hang several pictures simultaneously in a line)
  • Will look neat and tidy (for a professional finish)
  • Won’t fray at the ends

Sagging can be minimised by using low stretch picture cord, you can then decide on the choice of knot.

One knot that meets the above criteria can be achieved as follows –

  1. Attach D-Rings to back of frame (1/3 way down each side)
  2. Cut cord to 3 x the width of the frame and feed cord through D-Rings as shown below –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  3. Position the cord as follows –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  4. Arrange the cord like follows –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  5. Loop the right hand side back under to the left side as shown below –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  6. Feed the right hand end through the loop that you just created as shown below. Pull either ends of the cord  away from each other until knot tightens, change directions of pulling by 1800 and pull again in opposite direction to tighten –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  7. The knot and the cord should  be tight, and not able to slip out or slacken –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  8. Tie a few ‘granny knot’ L over R, then R over L to secure the underlying knot –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  9. Secure by wrapping small piece of ECO-15 tape around the tied ends –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  10.  Use a craft knife to cut through the cord wrapped in ECO-15 tape –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  11. The finished cord/knot combination should have a nice clean looking finish, and should provide a tight and  secure cord to hang the picture via a picture hook on the wall –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot

 

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How to Hang a Picture Frame : D-Rings

brass single d-ringPictures are most commonly hung using a pair of D-Rings screwed onto the back of the each side of wooden (or plastic) picture frame. They provide attachment point loops that picture cord or wire can be then be strung between. The cord or wire can then be used to hang the frame from a picture hook (nail, screw or similar) that is attached to the wall.

Single hole D-Rings are the most basic form of hardware for this purpose.  They are useful for most frames up to about 0.5m wide. Wider than 0.5m  but < 1m or when using a heavier frame/moulding, then double D-Rings are advised, they are more robust than single D-Rings and have two screw holes.

The Procedure for attaching D-Rings to a picture frame –

How To Use D-Rings to Hang a Picture FrameHardware required –

Procedure

  1. Apply frame backing tape around each back edge for the frame/backing board to seal the frame from dust mites and dampness.
  2. Measure approximately 1/3 of the distance down on one side of the frame and mark with pencil/pen. Measure down the other side the exact same distance and mark again.
  3. Use a bradawl to poke a small hole into the frame backing at this mark on each side, this will provide a start for the screws.
  4. Line up the D-Rings and screw with the pre started holes and screw the D-rings into place. The D’s (loops) of the D-Rings should be facing each other.
  5. Tie a cord between each D-Ring and secure with a knot. Alternatively, wire and ferrules can be used instead.
  6. Finish the cord ends off with a bit of frame backing tape to stop them fraying.
  7. You picture is ready to hang on a picture hook.

 

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Quality X Picture Hooks now in stock

We are now stocking a quality ‘X’ Picture Hook range. The hooks are a strong grade steel, brass plated, and come supplied with quality knurled brass headed hardened pins. They come in four sizes –

 X-Hooks No 1 Picture Hooks X Picture Hooks No.1 (single pin)
 X-Hooks No 2 Picture Hooks X Picture Hooks No.2 (single pin)
 X-Hooks No3 Picture Hooks X Picture Hooks No.3 (two pin)
 X-Hooks No4 Picture Hooks X Picture Hooks No.4 (three pin)

We have pack sizes ranging from 2 to 100 hooks per pack.

The following link shows our full range of Picture Hooks

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New Website & Branding

Website Redesign (2017)

Ten years on  from starting our e-commerce site in 2007 and we find that the way people access the internet has evolved with many (if not the majority) now using mobile devices (smart phones, ipads, tablets etc). We have released a newly redesigned website along with new branding to reflect this change. It has a more modern look, easier navigation and includes both mobile and desktop versions which are designed with user experience on touch screen devices in mind. We hope you like the changes and hope they help with your shopping experience.

UK Picture Framing Supplies New Website

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New Picture Framing and Picture Hanging Products – February 2017

UK Picture Framing Supplies now has the following new products in stock for 2017 –

Hand Tools for Picture FramingHand Tools for Picture Framing

Some workshop hand tools at low prices including steel rulers, tape measures, bradawls, staple guns, screwdrivers, hex keys pliers and more.

 

Heavy Duty Safety Hook Zinc PlatedHeavy Duty Safety Hook Zinc Plated

A a heavy duty picture hook that limits quick removal of a frame. the hook allows the wire or hangers on the picture frame to slide into the hook. The clip then resists removal unless it is lifted and pulled at a certain angle.

Magnetic Picture Hooks and HangersMagnetic picture hooks and hangers

Some magnetic picture hooks, magnetic picture hangers and magnetic self adhesive tape for lightweight hanging applications on metal surfaces.

 

Gloves and Hand Protection Gloves and Hand Protection

Gloves and Hand protection, including disposable latex gloves and heavier duty gloves for tougher tasks around the workshop. Very useful when handling paint, dyes or inks.

 

Rubber Dust BlowerRubber Dust Blower

A rubber dust blower/puffer which can greatly help the removal of dust on a picture mount under the glass. Slightly lift the glazing and blow the dust spec away.

 

Staple Guns and StaplesStaple Gun

Some staple guns and staples which can be used for a variety of tasks, but are commonly used to attach a canvas print to a wooden stretching frame.

 

Parcel Tape Dispenser GunParcel Tape Dispenser Gun

A handy dispenser for parcel tape. Takes 50mm wide parcel tapes (both clear and brown). The end is always ready to use. As you finish your dispensing stroke a sharp serrated blade cuts the tape.

 

Plastic Cutting MatsPlastic Cutting Mats

We have a selection of cutting Mats available. The smooth surface allows fine blades to penetrate without blunting. It is ideal when trimming prints. Small cuts almost disappear.

 

corner clampClamps

Some general purpose workshop clamps. Very useful fro a variety of workshop tasks.

 

Resealable Poly Grip Seal BagsPoly Grip Seal Bags

A selection of general purpose poly grip seal bags.

 

 

 

 

 

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New Picture Framing and Picture Hanging Products – March 2016

New Picture Framing and Hanging Products 2016

 

 

We now have the following new picture framing and picture hanging products in stock –

High Quality Masking Tape 25mm x 50mHigh Quality Masking Tape

A quality masking tape, which tends to be thicker than most masking products currently used. Cream in colour, with an aggressive white adhesive system. This Masking Tape is ideal for wet painting and spray painting. It is used quite often as temporary tape during the creation of double mounts. Dimensions : 25mm x 50m.

Fillet TapeFillet Tape

Fillet Tape is a polyester double sided archival tape which acts as an acid barrier between the two surfaces it bonds. This Fillet Tape has a strong acid free adhesive which has very high tack making this a permanent tape which does not yellow over time. This Archival Tape is designed to attach the fillet or slip to the picture mount in the framing industry. Also works very well attaching and holding slips firmly to a frame. Not compatible with tape guns, but very easy to use. Dimensions : 6mm wide by 50m long.

Linen Hinging TapeLinen Tape

This is a white, gummed, acid free (pH 7 neutral) tape. This high quality textured Linen Tape is backed with water activated gum. The high thread count of the linen cloth gives this tape its strength. Gummed archival linen hinging tape is mainly used to hinge mounts(mats) to backing boards and is used widely in the framing and art conservation industries. Our Gummed Linen Archival Tape has a pH neutral, starch based adhesive which sets flat and has high tack. Size: 24mm wide, 20metres long.

Ph7-70 Double Sided ATG TapePh7-70 12mm ATG tape

Permanent adhesive, Ph neutral double sided tape 12mm x 30m. Conservation Ph neutral double sided tape ATG tape gun compatible although a tape gun is not required to use it. 12mm wide by 30m length. Ph neutral tapes are acid neutral, they use a water based acid neutral acrylic adhesive system which will not react with board or papers and can hence be used for conservation purposes. Will fit most Automatic Tape Guns (ATG) dispensers.

Double Sided ATG Tape 19mmDouble sided 19mm ATG tape

Double sided roll of adhesive tape. Suitable for ATG tape guns, although a tape gun is not required to use it. Size: 19mm wide by 33m long. Non acid free adhesive. We now stock both 12mm and 19mm versions.

ECO-25 Frame Backing Tape 38mm x 50mECO-25 38mm frame backing tape

A self-adhesive flexible sealing tape is used by many framers. It gives a cost effective yet attractive finish to the back of the frame. The flexibility of the ECO tapes, allow them to be easily shaped over the rebate steps at the back of the frame. ECO-25 tape is similar to ECO-15 tape in almost every aspect except that it is thicker, stronger, and more opaque, but also a bit more expensive.

Angled D Ring Hanger Bronze PlatedAngled D-Ring Hanger Bronze Plated

The Angled-D-Ring Hanger (one pair L+R) gives you the security of a two-screw fixing on all types of moulding, including narrow patterns. The D-ring is angled to give the correct alignment of the cord or wire, minimising stress in the frame.

Stretched Canvas Frame Picture StandStretched Canvas Frame Stands

A canvas frame picture stand for small stretched canvases up to around 300 x 300mm (12” x 12”). The stand fixes with one screw and is easily bent to make the stretched canvas print stand at any chosen angle. It is designed to fit into the hollow back of the canvas frame. Dimensions: 75mm x 15mm, zinc plated steel. Included with bumpers and screws.

Flat Graphics Panel Picture StandGraphics Panel Picture Stands

For making small and medium sized flat graphic panels of Aluminium, Acrylic, Di-Bond, Glass, Steel and similar free stand on a surface. The panel stand clips into the supplied steel self-adhesive base plate stuck onto the back of the panel. The stand is easily bent to fine adjust the standing angle. Dimensions: panel stand 75mm long, base plate is 80x40mm.

Frame Packaging, Cardboard Corners, Handy WrapHandy Wrap and Cardboard Protective Frame Corners

Packaging for picture frames, including handywrap, handy wrap handles, cardboard picture frame corner protectors and packaging tape. Useful for the packaging, protection and transportation of picture frames safely. Also useful for presentation of completed frames when ready to return to customer as it can create a professional touch.

Picture Perfect Magic Marker Frame Hanging SystemPicture Perfect Wireless Magic Marker Hanging System

Picture Perfect Wireless Magic Marker Hanging System™. Picture frame hanging made easy. Hang your picture frames quickly and easily with these benefits –
– Pictures are hung exactly where you want them, the first time and level
– No more measuring or marking, no pencils, tape measures, wire or calculations needed
– Eliminate guesswork and trial-and-error measuring
– Reduce wasted time
– No D-rings, saw-tooth hangers, picture cord or wire is required
– Position the framed art exactly where you want it
– Your framed artwork will remain safely and securely in place and permanently level
– Fits most wooden or plastic frames of => 16mm (5/8″) width

 

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Lightweight Self Adhesive Hangers for Mounted Prints and Photos

mounted_print_hanger_max_250g_1Lightweight self adhesive plastic hangers can be used for displaying mounted prints or mounted photographs eg during an exhibition. We currently have two hangers rated at 250 grams and 500 grams load –

Self Adhesive Plastic Hangers for Mounted Pictures – Max 250g

Self Adhesive Plastic Hangers for Mounted Pictures – Max 500g

These hangers are suitable for most hanging and displaying most mounted prints. The self adhesive pad stick onto the rear backing of a mounted print, and provides a loop that can be used to hang over a nail, screw, picture hook etc for display purposes. The hangers work well sticking to a cellophane wrap on the backside of the mounted print.

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New Products May 2015

We have started to add some new products to our range.

Self Adhesive Metal Plate Hangers for panels and boards

Self Adhesive Metal Panel HangersSelf Adhesive Metal Hangers for PanelsSelf adhesive metal plates for hanging graphic panels these come with the option of white or black adhesive, and can hang panels up to 2kg. These hangers usually work beast as a pair. Each hangers comes with 2 foam bumpers to allow the panel to sit parallel to the wall.

 

Security Hangers

T Screw Security Hanger  Kit for DrywallWe also now have T-Screw Security hangers for 12mm plasterboard (drywall) and T-Screw Security hangers for 24mm plasterboard (drywall). This adds to the already popular standard T-Screw Security Hanging Kits.

 

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Picture Frame Construction – Corner Joining With An Underpinner

A stack of joined framesPicture frames require precision cutting to achieve 45° mitred edges. This process is usually achieved by using a guillotine, which leaves perfectly smooth 45° edges.

The next step is to accurately join the four equal mitred edges together to form the frame.

Traditionally, this used to be done by hammering picture framing pins in from the sides of the frame and was not the most efficient way of creating perfect joins. You sometimes come across very old frames that have been joined this way and, although they have lasted a long time, their corners usually show gaps. Sometimes those gaps can be large as well as dangerous looking!

V-nail

V-nail

The industry standard method for joining picture frame corners these days is to use V-Nails (“V” shaped nails) to join the 45° corners together.

The V-nails have one sharp ‘V’ and one blunt ‘V’ end. The sharp end gets pushed into the 45° mitre wood corners. They are also designed to pull the joints together when inserted.

The industry uses underpinners to insert V-nails, and smaller types of over/under pinner are available for the hobby/enthusiast markets which do an equally good job, albeit perhaps at a slower pace.

V-nails themselves are made of hardened steel (for hard woods) and softer steel for soft woods. They come in a variety of heights to reflect the wide variety of moulding thicknesses available. They commonly come in 7 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 15 mm heights.

The strength of a picture frame joint comes from two main factors – the choice of V-nail size and also the adhesive that holds the join together. It’s really a combined effect.

glue on mitred joints of picture frame

PVA glue squeezed onto mitred joints of frame.

Wooden mouldings use PVA wood adhesive. Other types, like plastic mouldings, use other types of adhesive, eg fast bonding super glues.

To join a wooden frame moulding, the PVA glue is squeezed on to the mitred faces of wood. If these faces were joined like this, the glue would likely be squeezed up and onto the wooden face which is not desirable. This is especially so if you are using wood stains as the PVA leaves areas which resist wood stain penetration.

glue on mitred joints of picture frame

Smoothed PVA glue spread evenly on the surfaces.

To prevent this, and to create a nicely bonded joint, it is best to spread the glue out smoothly and thinly on each face you are about to join, working the glue into the grain. You should also make sure to wipe any excess glue off before joining. This ensures an optimally glued joint and reduces the possibility of the PVA creeping onto the face of the frame.

The mitre joints are now ready for the insertion of V-nails.

V-nail size is usually chosen based on the thickness of the moulding being used. A good rule of thumb is to choose a V-nail that goes somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the depth of the moulding being used. If shorter V-nails are used, the joint may fail and start to open. If longer V-nails are used, you may actually punch through the front face of the frame, rendering it useless.

It is sometimes possible to use several different V-nail heights on one corner depending on the profile of the moulding. It is also possible with an underpinner to stack V-nails one on top of another, eg 2 x 10 mm V-nails go in to a 20 mm depth. This can provide some uses when you encounter deep rebate mouldings.

In this example I am using an Alfamachine minigraf underpinner to do the job. The V-nails are pushed up into the underside of the frame by a hardened steel head that is operated by a foot pedal. The upper cushioned pad descends and presses down firmly from above.

This process is repeated around every corner until the frame is completed. If  you don’t have an underpinner, the hand tool pinners/underpinner versions can be used in conjunction with clamps or strap clamps to do the same task.

A pile of underpinned, assembled wooden frames can be seen in the first image of this page. For this particular moulding, I used single 15 mm V-nails at three spacings along the mitre.

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