How to Frame an Oil Painting on Canvas: Step-by-Step Guide

Reader, are you looking for the perfect way to showcase your oil paintings on canvas? Framing your artwork not only protects it from damage but also enhances its overall appearance. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of framing an oil painting on canvas, from selecting the right frame to hanging it in the perfect spot.

how to frame an oil painting on canvas

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner, framing an oil painting can seem like a daunting task. But fear not, as we have all the information you need to transform your masterpiece into a stunning focal point in your home or gallery. So, let’s dive in and discover the art of framing an oil painting on canvas!

Choosing the Right Frame

Select a Floating or Baguette Frame for a Minimalistic, Modern Look

If you prefer a sleek and contemporary aesthetic, consider opting for a floating or baguette frame. This type of frame creates an illusion that your painting is “floating” within the frame, adding a unique and modern touch to your artwork.

When choosing a floating or baguette frame, opt for neutral colors like black, white, or silver to allow your painting to take center stage.

Use a Traditional Frame for Classic Landscapes and Portraits

For classic landscapes and portraits, a traditional frame can be an excellent choice. These frames often showcase intricate detailing and embellishments, adding to the overall elegance of your artwork.

Consider selecting a wooden frame with warm textures such as oak, walnut, or mahogany to complement the traditional style of your oil painting.

Get an Antique Frame for High-end or Older Oil Paintings

If you have a high-end or vintage oil painting, an antique frame can add a touch of sophistication and authenticity. Antique frames often feature ornate designs and intricate carvings that evoke a sense of history and elegance.

Search for antique frames that match the period of your painting or opt for timeless designs that can enhance various styles of artwork.

Display Your Art Without a Frame if the Sides of the Canvas Are Painted

When your oil painting has beautifully painted edges, you may consider displaying it without a frame. This option works well for contemporary or abstract artworks, showcasing the entire composition without any distractions.

To achieve this frameless display, ensure that the sides of your canvas are clean and neatly painted, creating a polished and finished look.

Putting the Painting in the Frame

Measure Your Painting and Purchase a Frame for It

Before you begin the framing process, take accurate measurements of your painting. This will help you select a frame that fits perfectly, ensuring a professional and secure display of your artwork.

Once you have the measurements, visit your local art supply store or browse online to find a frame that matches the size and style of your painting.

Unpack Your Frame and Separate the Frame from the Backing

After obtaining the frame, carefully unpack it and separate the frame from its backing. Use caution to avoid any damages during this process.

Inspect the frame for any defects or scratches, and if necessary, exchange it for a new one to ensure the best presentation of your artwork.

Lower the Painting Face Down into the Inside of the Frame

With clean hands, gently turn your painting face down and lower it into the inside of the frame. Ensure that the painting is centered within the frame, allowing for an equal border on all sides.

Take your time to align the artwork properly, as a crooked positioning can detract from the overall appeal of your painting.

Place a Layer of Acid-Free Paper on the Back of Your Canvas

To protect your painting, it’s vital to use acid-free materials. Place a layer of acid-free paper on the back of your canvas, providing a barrier between the painting and the frame.

This prevents any potential chemical reactions between the artwork and the frame, ensuring its longevity.

Add Your Cardboard Backing and Press Down Lightly to Remove the Air

After adding the acid-free paper, carefully place your cardboard backing on top. Gently press down across the artwork, starting from the center and working your way outward.

This step removes any trapped air, preventing your painting from buckling or warping over time.

Fit Your Frame by Installing Your Points or Bending Them Back

To secure your painting within the frame, use framing points or flex-tabs. These small metal pieces hold the artwork firmly in place.

Depending on your frame, either install the points by pressing them into the frame with a point driver or bend back the flex-tabs using a flat-headed screwdriver.

Seal the Back of Your Painting with Packing Tape

Once your artwork is securely framed, seal the back of your painting with packing tape. This provides additional protection from dust, insects, and humidity.

Ensure that the tape is firmly pressed down to create a tight seal without overlapping onto the front of the painting.

Install Your Hanging Mount on the Frame If You Have To

If your frame does not come with a hanging mount pre-installed, now is the time to add one. Choose a hanging mount suitable for the weight of your painting.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the hanging mount securely to the backside of the frame, ensuring it is centered and aligned with the painting.

Use Offset Clips Without a Back for Pre-framed Canvases

If your oil painting comes pre-framed, you may need to use offset clips instead of traditional methods. Offset clips are specifically designed for securing canvases within pre-existing frames.

Attach the offset clips onto the backside of the frame, allowing the clips to grasp the canvas tightly, ensuring a snug fit.

Choosing the Right Place to Hang Your Painting

Avoid Hanging Your Painting Near Shelves, Doors, or in Tight Corridors

When deciding on the perfect spot for your framed oil painting, avoid areas near shelves, doors, or in tight corridors. These locations can increase the risk of accidental damage or bumping into your artwork.

Choose a space that provides ample room for your painting to be appreciated without the risk of it being compromised.

Hang Your Painting Away from Direct Heat, Moisture, or Sunlight

Protect your oil painting from direct sources of heat, moisture, or sunlight. Variations in temperature and humidity can cause paint and canvas to deteriorate over time.

Hang your artwork away from radiators, air conditioning units, windows, or areas prone to high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens.

Place Your Painting in a Highly-Visible Area Where You Think It Looks Good

Ultimately, the placement of your art should be guided by your personal preferences. Choose a highly-visible area where your oil painting can be appreciated and admired by both residents and guests.

Consider the overall aesthetics of the space and ensure that the colors and style of your painting harmonize with the room’s decor.


Congratulations, Reader, on learning how to properly frame an oil painting on canvas! By following the step-by-step instructions and utilizing the tips provided, you can create a visually stunning display that showcases your artistic talent.

Remember to choose the right frame that complements your painting and personal style, use acid-free materials to protect your artwork, and select an appropriate location for hanging. Doing so will ensure that your oil painting is not only preserved but also beautifully showcased.

If you found this guide helpful, feel free to explore our website for more informative articles and resources related to the world of art.

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