Canvas Framing Guide
How to Choose a Frame For Your Canvas
Standard Canvas or
These are the most frame-friendly canvases, allowing for the greatest number of canvas frame choices, with a depth of 5/8" to 3/4".
- 100s of our wood and eco-friendly frames, with a frame depth (rabbet) of 3/4" or greater. What's a rabbet?
- Wide frames (2 1/2" and wider), no matter the frame depth
- Metal frames with a frame depth of 1" or greater.
or Gallery Wraps
These are canvases with a depth of 1 1/2" or greater.
- Extra-wide frames (3 1/2" and wider), no matter the frame depth
- Wide frames (2 1/2" - 3 1/2"), with a frame depth of 1" or greater
- Frames with an extra-deep frame depth of 1 1/2" or greater
Frames for a
Floater frames create a stunning and gallery-ready presentation, making your art appear suspended in the frame.
1. Consider Canvas Depth
Knowing the depth of the canvas you're framing will help you determine the kind of canvas frame you'll need.
Common Canvas Depths:
There are a variety of canvas depths but the most common are:
- 3/4" Stretched Canvas
- 1 1/2" Classic Depth Gallery Wrap
Of course, many people stretch their own canvases on homemade stretcher bars, so canvas depths can vary widely beyond these two, but these will be the most readily found.
- The depth of a canvas depends on the type of stretcher bar (a wooden frame over which the canvas is stretched and stapled) used in its construction
- Heavy-duty stretcher bars are deeper and wider, to provide needed extra support for very large canvases
- Gallery wrap canvases also use deep stretcher bars and are specially wrapped to provide clean edges suitable for display without frames, or in canvas floater frames which show off the edges of the canvas
(NOTE: All our Gallery Wrap canvases over 36" in any dimension are reinforced with internal support bars at no additional charge)
2. Consider Frame Depth
To a great degree, desired frame depth (or rabbet) is a matter of personal taste, though there are some things to be aware of.
Choosing a Frame Depth to Equal Your Canvas Depth
- This is a personal choice for those who want their artwork to be flush with the back of the frame
- This provides the fewest numer of framing options
Choosing a Frame Deeper Than Your Canvas
- This provides a wider array of canvas framing choices for every style
- Filling in the extra space with any workable backing material will be required (as passionate recyclers, we recommend using the cardboard boxes in which your canvas frames shipped, but you may also choose foamcore or another material)
- The free retainer clips provided will secure the piece into the canvas frame
When Your Canvas is Deeper Than Your Frame
- This is a completely acceptable choice, as even the finest art museums in the world have framed canvases that "stick out" past the back of the frame (press your cheek up against the wall next time, and see for yourself!)
- You will want to ensure you are working with a wide or extra-wide moulding, so the canvas protruding out the back is not apparent
- You will want to purchase canvas clips, to secure the artwork into place
Canvas Framing with Metal Frames
- The rabbet must be deep enough to accommodate the entire depth of your canvas, because Metal frames typically have closed channels, in which to place your art
- The large profile in the Metal Backloader collection, which has an open back, like our Wood and Eco-Friendly frames, is the exception to this rule
3. Consider Moulding Width
- Moulding width is only a major concern in canvas framing when you have a shallow rabbet and expect your canvas to protrude out the back
- Wide frames can be used for canvas framing, regardless of rabbet, because they will conceal the edges of the canvas behind the frame
- When selecting a narrower frame, be sure that its rabbet will accommodate the depth of your canvas
And remember though – these are merely recommendations for canvas framing – your personal taste is the final word for selecting the perfect canvas frame.