Category Archives: Tips

How much does picture framing cost?

How much does picture framing cost?

This is likely the most common question we receive at SF Framing. The cost to frame pictures varies as much as the photos, prints, posters, paintings and collectibles these picture frames display. Frames are available in every color, style, size and decorative theme conceivable. Of course, basic picture frames can be bought at almost any specialty boutique, general merchandise, book or stationary store. However, to ensure a high quality custom presentation that matches your office or home’s decor and best complements the artwork itself, it is vitally important to ensure photos, prints, posters, paintings and collectibles – even shredded art like “The Girl with the Balloon” by Banksy – are professionally framed. Custom-framing shops like ours, as well as art & craft stores and a few big box retailers offer picture framing services. No matter where picture framing services are sourced, the aspects that most affect the cost of any custom picture framing project are the framing materials chosen, the specially-cut mats and small features that surround the artwork, and the quality of art design work involved in creating custom framing for particular artwork.

How much does framed art cost?

SF Framing can frame anything… even something shredded!

Frame materials

Picture frames have traditionally been made of wood, which is still the most common material. Other materials used include gold, silver, bronze, aluminum, and plastics. The simpler the frame, the less it will cost. Of course, the size and shape of the frame will affect the cost as well. Most professional frame shops like SF Framing have thousands of frame styles, textures, colors and finishes on hand to choose from. Most like SF Framing also offer different types of glass, from clear to ultra-violet protective, and a variety of museum-grade, acid-free archival mat materials to preserve artwork from indoor light and sun damage, acid damage, dust and moisture.

Services

Full-service custom framing shops like SF Framing provide in-store design consultation services and offer countless frame types, including shadow boxes and floater frames, to create a wide variety of the very best finished appearances. In addition to framing paintings and photographs, the framing professionals at SF Framing can create custom shadow boxes and frames for memorabilia such as collectibles, family heirlooms, fabric projects, and more.

Pricing

The price for custom framing varies, depending on size, and type of materials used. Almost all of the materials used in picture framing vary in price. The following are some cost examples of do-it-yourself framing. If the art measures 16″ by 20″, the starting price for a metal frame, clear glass, and backing, will be $29.95 + tax. The starting price for the same size in a wood picture frame will be $59.95 + tax. If the art measures 24″ by 36″, the starting price for a metal frame, clear glass and backing will be $79.95 + tax. The starting price for the same size in a wood picture frame, will be $129.00 + tax. The type of glass, matting, mounting, and picture framing material used, will all be determining factors in the final price.

The Very Best Framing Services

While we believe you will find no better source of framing services than those available from SF Framing, we thought you might like to read more about framing in general. Take look at our FAQ page for more information, or contact us today at 408-733-6060 or email us at sfframing@yahoo.com. We look forward to speaking with you!

Preserve and Protect your Summer of Love Memories!

It has been over 50 years since thousands of American teenagers flooded San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. If you were around back in those days, chances are you had a fun time… and now have lots of memorabilia just laying around in your attic or basement. If you have anything you cherish, SF Framing can help you celebrate the anniversary of the free-spirited Summer of Love in the proper way.

Best Picture Frame Special Promotion for Summer of Love 2018

Summer of Love 2018

The summers of 1967 and 1968 served as both the climax and the unraveling of a counterculture that had its roots in San Francisco. There’s no reason you should let time unravel your memories. Whether you have psychedelic posters, tie-dye shirts, or a Mamas & the Papas record, these memories are worth preserving correctly.

The crowds of free-loving folk may have long dispersed, but the spirit remains in your memories. Because of that, SF Framing is once again making it easier than ever to preserve your Summer of Love experience, and memorabilia. Mention this blog and we will offer you 50% off Museum Glass (for any size frame – yours or ours) until the end of the Summer of Love 2018 (September 22, 2018). We look forward to seeing you (and your groovy collectibles) very soon!

Treasured Memories… could light the corners of your life!

Framed Family Portrait

Custom Framed and Preserved Family Portrait with Acid Free Matting.

Exactly why custom frame anything?  Well, do you have an unusual item that has been inherited from friends or family, or a memento that you have had for years and cannot bear to part with?

From old postcards or photographs, to gifts from distant lands where relatives traveled to explore new adventures, keepsakes can be a reminder of a special moment, a time in our lives we don’t want to fade or a memory of a loved one we don’t want to forget.

An item passed down or collected over the years might seem unusual on the face of it, but could have a really special story behind it. Sadly, if not documented and well preserved, sometimes the origins of those treasures aren’t always clear.

Which well-dressed relatives are in that old black and white photograph? Which great aunt created that beautiful needlepoint? Exactly where was that stunning watercolor painted? Many people save special items that become treasured heirlooms, and heirlooms often carry treasured memories. If you have an unusual item that has been inherited from friends or family, or an item you have had for years and cannot bear to part with, it’s time to preserve that memory before it is lost forever. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, SF Framing can help you preserve and proudly display that cherished object.

Framed family heirloom

Family heirloom framed in conservation UV acrylic shadow box.

Family heirlooms are a wonderful treasure, but they can be easily damaged by light, heat, humidity, pests, and handling. Sunlight and fluorescent light fade and discolor most treasures, and are especially dangerous to fabrics, paper, and photographs. Historic objects can also be harmed by a variety of items including abrasive cleaners; glues, adhesive tapes, and labels; staples, and paper clips; acidic wood, cardboard, or paper; and pens and markers.

Heirlooms stored away in a box bring much less enjoyment! By choosing to frame and display your family treasures, they can bring you great joy as they benefit from the protection of ultraviolet light-filtering glass. Before those memories fade away, SF Framing is making it easier than ever to preserve and display your memories with custom framing. Mention this blog and we will offer you 50% off Museum Glass (for any size frame – yours or ours) until June 20, 2018. We look forward to seeing you (and your treasured possessions) very soon!

Shop Small… and Save Big!

SF Framing is the place to save big on custom framing! Whether you are a homeowner, entrepreneur or an artist, you know you have seen increasing choices about where you can frame your precious artwork, family heirloom or prized collectible – from nearby big box stores to Internet sites far away. With all those new choices, finding the right framer seems like a big challenge… but finding a framer in your area that has an artistic eye and offers great service is a very rare find. The good news is what you are looking for is exactly what we provide at SF Framing!

Shop Small and Save Big $ at SF Framing!

We know when you experience what we have to offer, you will agree that small independent businesses like SF Framing provide valuable hands-on shopping experiences and superior services, in addition to providing valuable revenue for our local community. Sales taxes from local businesses like ours provide many city and county services that we all rely on for a healthy community. So, as the holiday shopping season gets officially underway, we hope you will Shop Small and Save Big at SF Framing.

By shopping at SF Framing, you get the best picture framing services available anywhere and you continue to help our community thrive. With the holidays approaching, we invite you to celebrate with us and take advantage of some year-end savings – just in time for holiday gifting! Mention this blog and we will give you 50% discount off the moulding of your next frame purchase (maximum $50 per frame) and a FREE gift!

Don’t let those Summer of Love Memories Fade Away!

It’s the Summer of Love 2017 celebration at SF Framing in Sunnyvale!

As San Francisco celebrates the Summer of Love 50th anniversary in a big way this year, you might consider scouring your attic or basement for treasured memories of those wonderful days gone by. The reason? Here at SF Framing, we believe it is time for you to re-live the 60’s by bringing back those by-gone days… and we’re going to help you do that!

You’re probably thinking… “If only my walls could talk!” The good news is that they really can. Your walls have a story to tell when you can display your memories in beautiful frames… be those cool records, psychedelic concert posters, flowery prints, fab vintage movie posters, hot collector tickets or signed rock ‘n’ roll artist memorabilia – all things you have probably stashed away somewhere for far too long.

Framed Records

Memorable LP Record Jackets and Records Beautifully Displayed.

Whatever the reason, the Summer of Love ushered in an era of power for a younger generation – and with it ushered in a cornucopia of beautiful art, amazing music and wonderful memories. Before those memories fade away, SF Framing is making it easier than ever to preserve your memories. Mention this blog and we will offer you 50% off Museum Glass (for any size frame – yours or ours) until the end of the Summer of Love 2017 (September 22, 2017). We look forward to seeing you (and your groovy collectibles) very soon!

P.S. Believe-it-or-not, as we wrote this blog, we got in the mood by playing the “San Francisco” song, written by John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas and sung by Scott McKenzie. Yep, it was the very song that bolted up the charts and helped launch the Summer of Love, a crazy period when an estimated 100,000 young people descended on our treasured City-by-the-Bay!

Why have scattered pictures… when treasured memories can be proudly displayed?

Memories… like a photo of your parents, a prized newspaper article, a team sports jersey, or a child’s cherished drawing shouldn’t be left to fade away.  These are valuables -when properly framed and displayed – can bring an immediate smile to your face, joy in your heart and pride among your family and friends. Why leave these things in a box in the attic or in a drawer in the kitchen?

Framing a memento is a fun and unique thing to do.  The professionals at SF Framing are here to make creating personalized, heartfelt memory displays quick and easy. Here are a few ideas of how to capture your memories and turn them into professionally preserved keepsakes you will treasure forever:

Sports Jersey – Frame a team jersey in a shadow box! This is the perfect decoration for the den or basement where everybody gathers to watch big games.

Framed Records

Memorable LP Record Jackets and Records Beautifully Displayed.

Music Record or CD Cover– Put a special music record in a frame in a creative way – perhaps with a ticket to your favorite concert.  It could be an LP of a favorite musician, your “first dance” song or a valuable collectible. Get creative and you’ll end up with an art piece that nobody could buy in a store.

Achievement Awards – Protect and display your certificates, ribbons, medals and badges with specially designed frames. Those memories do not need to stay online where they will eventually be forgotten. These real-life awards when properly displayed will feel fresh and remind you of your hard work and accomplishment.

Children’s Art – Framing a child’s art makes a fun and whimsical decoration when highlighted with a nice frame and could make a wonderful gift for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and teachers.

Family Heirloom – Try framing a particularly meaningful piece of home-made art, a needlepoint tapestry, a poem or maybe an old family recipe to bring warmth to your home.

SF Framing Framed Picture Original

Treasured Famous Artist Original Signature

Famous Collectible –  Create a conversation corner in your home or office by stylishly framing and displaying a beautiful vintage photograph, a historical newspaper headline or a celebrated autograph.

SF Framing can help you preserve your most treasured memories.  Contact us today to provide you with a quote on professionally framing your family heirlooms and keepsakes.

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

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.

Exactly How To Hang Your Art After Framing!

Hanging Artwork by SF Framing Sunnyvale

Newly hung framed artwork by SF Framing.

After you receive your newly framed art from SF Framing, properly hanging the piece can be a challenge for many. If you are the type of person who wonders where you should hang your piece relative to furniture, what the proper position on the wall should be, and how to best secure your art to the wall… you are not alone!

The Eyes Have It!

As a general rule, framed art should be hung at eye level. But of course eye level varies from person to person. On top of that, you are probably wondering exactly what part of the picture is supposed to be eye level, the focal point of the art, the middle of the picture, or the top edge of the frame? If you are hanging your framed art in a public space in the United States, take into account the average height of the population is approximately 5 feet, 7 inches (170 cm). In this case, we recommend the focal point of the art (the part of the art that the viewer’s eye will discover first) should be approximately 5 feet (183 cm) above the floor.

Location, Location, Location!

Your next challenge will be to determine exactly where on a wall you might want to hang something. It isn’t difficult if you know you want to hang your art in the center of the wall; all you have to do is measure the width of the wall and divide it in half. However, if you want to hang your art in an open space between two existing pictures or between wall elements, you will have a choice of how you could approach it. Either measure the space between elements and divide it in half, or set the frame on the floor against the wall below where you’re considering hanging it and step back to get a feel for the positioning, and then measure up from the floor at that point to 5 feet and make a vertical mark in pencil on the wall.
When you are hanging art relative to furniture or to an architectural element like a fireplace mantle or a sofa, you will want to have the bottom edge of the framed art approximately 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) above a mantle or sofa regardless of ceiling height.

Picture Hangers

Picture Framing Hangers come in many shapes and sizes.

Hanging Around

Now that you know where you want your art to be positioned, your next task will be to determine where the hangers will go. Most framed art from SF Framing come with secure hanging wires in back of them. To hang these most efficiently, we recommend you ask a trusted friend to hold the framed art against the wall with the focal point at eye level. While they are doing this, make a very light pencil line on the wall at the bottom of the frame. Then set the framed art down and measure the distance from the bottom of the frame to the hanging wire. If, for example, it’s 18 inches (46 cm) from the bottom of the frame to the hanging wire, you will want to measure up 18 inches (46 cm) from the mark on the wall that indicates the bottom of the frame – that’s where the hanger will go! Of course, many people prefer to hang art using two hangers – specifically to help keep the frame level and very secure. To place two hangers, measure the width of the frame and divide it by four to get the distance from the center point to where the hangers will go. For example, if the frame is 40 inches (102 cm) wide, each hanger should be about 10 inches (25 cm) from the center point. To locate the position of each hanger you’ll need a carpenter’s level and a yardstick (or a center finding ruler often found at many local hardware stores). Place the yardstick at the hanger mark and place the level on top of it. Measure out from the center point, staying level, and make cross-hair marks on the wall. The distance from the bottom of the hangers (where the wire will actually attach) and the top of the hangers (where the nail will be driven) is typically one inch (2.54 cm). You can measure up one inch (2.54 cm) and make another mark above the crosshair mark, or you can simply place the bottom of the hook at the crosshair mark and drive the nail through the hole at the top of each hook. Lift the framed art and arrange the wire over the hooks. Then place the carpenter’s level on top of the frame and adjust it until its level.

Well Rewarded

When you have completed hanging your newly framed art, it is time to stand back and take a look at what you have accomplished. We are confident that you will like what you see, and will find many years of enjoyment from the work you have completed. When you choose to work with the professionals at SF Framing, you can be assured we will strive to provide you with the very best mounting, framing and hanging experience available today.

How is my artwork mounted and held securely in place?

What many “big box” and “chain store” framers call their “proven method” of mounting artwork is actually a procedure developed decades ago to mount processed photographs, lithographs, posters and other types of images popular at the time. This old-technology and the dry mounting materials used were once acceptable, but the heat and mounting time required in this old process can cause serious problems to contemporary images. Even if no damage is immediately apparent, the acid exposure, higher heat and longer mounting time of old mounting methods can alter the ink chemistry enough to create or accelerate color shift, bubbling and/or fading over time – potentially damaging your artwork.

Serigraphs, lithographs, monoprints and fine art are commonly mounted using a hinged tape method that dries out over time and can release the artwork from its original position. To prevent this from happing today, SF framing now uses an acid free four corner mounting method that secures the artwork for a lifetime.

Secure monting process.

New permanent mounting process used by SF Framing.

Recognizing new digital imaging technologies have been rapidly replacing older-technology image types, SF Framing now mounts all digital prints, inkjet, giclee, laminated charts and maps, posters and prints using a new high tech dry mounting adhesive process called Gilman MountCor. This new permanent adhesive process protects virtually all modern art images using low temperatures and fast mounting times to ensure your art is mounted safely and cleanly using a pH neutral and particle free process.

When you choose to work with the professionals at SF Framing, you can be assured we only use high quality materials, modern equipment and state-of-the-art procedures to provide you with the very best mounting and framing experience available today.

Choosing your Custom Picture Framing Material is Important!

NOT All Custom Picture Frames Are Created Equal… Choose Carefully!

Throughout history, frames have been made with varying techniques and inconsistent materials. As surprising as this might seem, this inconsistency has lead to the unintended deterioration or unanticipated destruction of many a collectible or family heirloom. Of the many elements to consider in determining how to best frame art, the one that is often most overlooked is the actual framing material chosen – yet the framing material is the most important element to consider carefully. With the confusing array of picture framing materials available to you at the ‘big box’ stores, you might ask yourself, “What picture framing material should I choose?” Before considering the framing material you would like to use, be sure to understand the various factors that are most important to you by answering these questions:

1. Preservation: Is the art piece you wish to frame, something that you would like to preserve for a long time?
2. Structural Integrity: Do you wish the frame to maintain its structural integrity over time (e.g. keep corners tight, etc.) despite frequent moves, sunlight exposure, etc.
3. Visual Aesthetics: What image do you wish your frame to portray? Is the color and/or texture of the frame appropriate for the environment where it will be displayed?
4. Environment: Are you interested in ensuring your frame is produced with environmentally friendly materials?
5. Health: Do you wish the frame to be free of potentially harmful chemicals which could potentially affect your household’s health?

SF Framing picture framing sunnyvale

Picture frame materials can vary – choose carefully to get the best results!

By carefully considering these factors, you will help yourself get a better idea of the picture framing material that will be perfect for you. SF Framing can then provide you with the added guidance to help you determine the best frame material to use from those available to you by showing you these options:

1. Plastic
2. MDF (Medium Density Fiber / Composite)
3. Photographic (soft wood backer with a thin photographic skin)
4. Veneer (soft wood backer with a thin layer of a premium wood finish)
5. Metal (aluminum, steel, etc.)
6. Solid hardwood

By choosing the most appropriate material to custom frame any piece of art, you will not only help preserve it, but you will ensure your framed art is greatly enhanced by the perfect framing material you have chosen.