Framing a Canvas

ART on 5th favors framing canvases a bit different than your average frame shop.  Most people think that if piece of art is on canvas, you can only do a gallery wrap, which is nowhere near true. Some canvases are “stretched,” meaning the canvas is stapled on the sides of the stretcher bars.  Others are “gallery wrapped” with the image continuing on the sides or a border to wrap around the stretcher bars.

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Either way it can be framed! And believe it or not, there are plenty of options. One option is to frame it the traditional way with a liner, fillet and outer frame.

Liners are used for canvases or other three-dimensional pieces whereas mats are used for artwork on paper, photographs, diplomas etc.  What is the difference?  Liners have an inner lip called a rabbet that hooks onto the canvas or board to keep the matting in place.  Our hand wrapped linen mats use a sheet 3/16″ acid free foam core that have a beveled cut window.  If we used a linen mat on a canvas there is the potential for the mat to slide around in the frame.  Liners are custom cut and joined together, just like a frame would be, so they have the added support to keep the framing components together.

Flower Fish

A second option is to float the canvas on top of a mat. We use our hand wrapped linen mats underneath the piece as well as a top mat to add dimension to the framing. The double mat look gives a bit of breathing room between the frame and the piece so you aren’t overwhelmed with an ornate frame. The small inner component is called a fillet. Fillets are a great way to add more detail to a frame.  We love to use colorful fillets to highlight a color, black fillets to add contrast or an ornate fillet to dress up a simple black frame.

A canvas floater takes their name from how the art appears to float within the frame. A “canvas floater frame” does not cover the edge of the painting or canvas print. The entire front surface of the canvas is visible. We can show the sides of the canvas depending on how much space is between the frame and the piece.

canvas floater

For some clients who want the shadow of the canvas floater but the look of a frame we design what we call a “custom canvas floater.”   A custom canvas floater combines the floater frame with an outer frame for the design seen below.   There are no limitations to what we can do.  We love a framing challenge!

custom canvas floater

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