Preparation & Considerations


Custom framing a piece of art, or treasured picture or object, can be a seemingly daunting and difficult process. But we can turn that process into a friendly and fun experience through our highly experienced staff. Although the color selections should be chosen for the piece to be framed, there are some other considerations you may wish to take into account during this process.


Color themes and décor of where your piece will be displayed could be influenced sufficiently enough for you to bring in color chips, cloth swatches or digital images of the location.


The design process generally starts with the art piece, then the color and type of mat board(s) if desired, then the type of glass (if required), and finally the frame style and finishes.




Oil & Acrylic:

Both of these art forms require only a frame. If painted on a canvas or paper, stretching them onto stretcher bars will make them “frame ready”. Glass, mat boards, paper backing on the backside of the frame – all not required. These forms of art need to breathe over time. Giclee images printed on canvas also fall into this category and parameters.


Water Colors/Guache/Pastels/Etchings/Sketches/Giclees’ on Paper/ Serigraphs/Lithographs/Photographs/Posters/Other Multi-Techniques:

For these media, a frame and mat board(s) with glass is recommended. If a mat board is not desired, the use of plastic spacers will provide the air space necessary to keep the art piece from coming in contact with the glass. This will prevent it from adhering to the glass over time leading to degradation of the art. A mat board achieves the same purpose.


Glass & Plexi Glass



Also referred to as ‘glazing” comes in several varieties. Regular glass in both clear and contact clarity (reflection control) are generally not recommended for any form of art that can fade by both direct and indirect sunlight. We generally recommend either “Conservation” glass or “Museum” glass which both have 99% ultraviolet protection, even in reflected light. “Conservation” glass has a reflection quality similar to regular glass. “Museum” has very little reflection and is the highest quality of glass. There are many art pieces in this glass within the gallery for comparison.



Plastic has improved significantly in the recent years and can come in as many formats as glass. It is light in weight and can provide some great alternatives to large pieces where the weight of glass can be a concern.

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Fiber Art & Dimensional Work



These works can be framed with mat boards and glass, or without either. This media will not deteriorate if in direct contact with glass. Dust accumulation may be your primary consideration on these forms of work.


3-Dimensional Objects:

A deeper frame style can provide a shadow box effect allowing light to provide a 3-dimensional viewing of any object. Glass is optional. If you wish to easily remove it from the frame, glass is not recommended. Dust and pet hairs may provide a better reason for the use of glass. We have framed many different forms of 3-D objects.


Backing Boards & Mat Boards


Foam Board/and other backing boards:

These are the materials that can come in direct contact with pieces of art, generally on the back side of the art. They are not used with canvas or artist paper that need to breathe. They are used with most other forms of art. Originals and limited edition art should be used with “acid free” and “Lignon free” materials and are usually attached using museum or conservation techniques that allow the art to be removed at a later date with no damage. Other art forms, such as posters or photos, can be mounted directly, but in a more permanent form using adhesives.


Mat Boards:

We use only conservation and museum quality mats that are acid and lignon free for the best preservation of your art. Paper based mats contain acids which will tarnish and stain by leaching acid into the art, usually in a brownish color.




We have over 27 suppliers of frames which is our “point of difference” from many other framing locations. We carry only the most popular lines and can only make this frame selection an exciting one rather than a dull and less creative one. Most of these suppliers are located in the U.S., Canada, and Italy. We can provide affordable framing for all decors.

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Curtis Frame © 2018

Curtis Frame

Back Alley Gallery

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