Why does custom framing cost more than ready-made picture frames?

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picture framing

We work with our clients to carefully understand their artwork and project scope.

SF Framing receives this question often from clients who visit our Sunnyvale store and we are more than happy to help them determine the best framing method based on their personal needs. Ready-made frames are mass produced in standard sizes using low cost, often less durable materials, while custom framing is designed and crafted to meet each client’s unique specifications, using frame styles, colors and long lasting materials best suited to display, preserve and protect artwork for many years to come.

Carefully We Proceed!

When we begin to help our clients, we work with them to understand the artwork medium, carefully measure the artwork size and determine the overall level of conservation that is desired. Based on these factors, we help our clients determine if a ready-made or custom-made frame option is best for them.

picture framing materials

The framer carefully chooses each component of a custom picture frame individually.

Custom framing costs more than ready-made picture frames because the framer carefully chooses each component of a custom picture frame individually, and every aspect of the framing project can be customized in many ways. The choice begins with the frame molding, which can be wood, metal, metal clad wood, and extends to the matting, glazing, backing, and hardware. Glazing can be purchased in several varieties including conversation (ultra-violet light blocking), anti-glare, museum glass and acrylic. The backing materials, which are the materials that the artwork is mounted on, are available in acid-free foam core and Mountcore neutral pH mounting board. As for matting, not only are there hundreds of colors, acid free materials and conservation grades to choose from, but a custom framing project can use two or more mats to give a truly distinctive look.

You Get What You Pay For… And We Believe You Will Love It!

Since custom made frames are made to a client’s unique specifications, custom frames are more expensive than ready-made frames and often require a week or more to make. Also, since every component needs to be selected individually, the dedicated time required to design and build a custom picture frame package is unique to each project – it can easily take up to an hour or more to complete the whole process.