I was recently asked about framing small panel paintings, specifically about 'floating frames' and how they work. A floating frame is designed to have the artwork installed from the front/finished side of the frame, therefore leaving the entire image exposed.
I think they're kind of ideal for small paintings made on panels.
(Disclaimer: None of this information is original to me, I've merely learned from others, especially Carol Marine, and adapted to my liking.)
Similar to regular install-from-the-back frames, floating frames come in a variety of finishes and profiles. I'm a simple girl, and I really like these straight, black floating frames from Franken Frame.
(This particular frame is item no. 2026 on their website. My panels are 6" x 6" so I order the frames at 6.25" x 6.25" to allow for the little space.)
(These frames come without any hardware, I added the wire and bumpers myself. Little known fact: one of my part-time jobs in college was a framing assistant at The Great Frame Up. :) )
Securing the painting to the frame couldn't be easier!
I use industrial strength self-adhesive black Velcro. It comes in rolls or sheets, and I've bought it at craft stores and hardware stores and, of course, it's available on Amazon.
I cut the appropriate length strips (1/4" to 3/8" wide), and attach the hook (rough) piece to the frame;
and the corresponding loop (soft) piece to the back of the panel.
To install, just put the two together! Easy as pie!
I usually put one hand up through the back side and lower the artwork with that hand so I can clearly see all the edges while lowering slowly onto the frame. A couple of firm pushes on the corners to make sure it's attached, and that's it!
Here's my little rotating display in our living room:
I love using the Velcro for a couple of reasons; one, it has some thickness so it lifts the panel away from the back of the frame a bit, and two, even though it's incredibly secure, it's not permanent! I can change out the art in my frames as often as I like, and have my 'For Sale' pieces displayed nicely.
How do you frame your small panel paintings? Share your tips!