5 ways reframing can bring new life to your favourite pictures

We redecorate our homes regularly, as fashions and our tastes change, but why do we almost never get a favourite picture reframed? Maybe we should. Giving a much-loved work of art a fresh new look makes it stand out and be noticed once again. There are, in fact, lots of reasons why we should make a point of reframing our artwork – here are my top five.

  1. Damage or wear and tear

Time, ambient UV light and quality of materials used by some framers can all come to bear on a framed picture eventually and, once the frame and mount deteriorate, you run the risk of the artwork inside starting to be adversely affected too so it’s important to take a look at your pictures every so often to check they’re still in good condition.

Some of the most common problems are the presence of woodworm, damaged or worn frame corners. Anything with woodworm needs replacing as soon as you notice the problem as these insects can spread to other objects or structures within the home and cause a lot of damage.

Damaged or broken frames may be repairable, depending on the extent of the problem. A professional framer’s advice should be sought to see whether the frame can be clamped and re-glued. However, if the frame has been dropped, the damage may be too extensive, in which case it could be time to review the whole piece.

  1. On second thoughts…

Let’s face it, something we thought looked amazing 20 years ago might be showing its age in terms of style or you may even be moving your artwork around and find that a frame which looked great in one room is now clashing terribly with the décor. It’s amazing how much a new mount and frame can freshen up a painting. You’ll see the colours and details anew and it can completely change the feel of a piece of art if you change framing style. Try putting a more modern, simplistic frame on an old oil painting and see what a difference it makes.

  1. Something inside the frame is bugging you…

No, not the picture itself, instead what about those tiny black bugs that miraculously find their way inside your picture frame only to die where they are least wanted? These are thunder bugs – also called thrips – and despite only being about a millimetre long, can be really distracting if they lodge themselves somewhere on your picture. They often get inside frames which have not been sealed properly. If you look at shop-bought frames you’ll see they’re often just clipped into place. A Guild Certified Framer will always seal the back of a frame with tape to ensure no dirt, bugs or moisture can get in and ruin your picture.

  1. Something’s just not right….

If every time you look at a favourite piece of art, your eye is drawn away from it to something you can’t put your finger on, it could be that the mount the picture isn’t right. We often recognise subconsciously that something just doesn’t look right and it could be down to the mount being the wrong colour, or the wrong proportions for the piece of art it is meant to show off.

A strongly coloured mount can murder a delicate picture. Or the picture may have slipped slightly – this can happen if the wrong tapes have been used or if a picture is hung over a radiator or other heat source and the tapes dry out over time. Or, age may be taking its toll on a once-white mount. There are now ‘conservation’ mount boards available which will not discolour over time. If you do see this, it needs your attention because not only does it not look good, but a non-conservation mountboard contains acid which can actually damage the picture itself.

  1. Creating a brand, new piece of art

You might have a collection of framed items which have something in common. Things that show personal achievements, such as medals, sports shirts and pictures of events can look so much more impactful if framed together in a montage. If you’ve collected things over time and simply hung the pictures together in a group, why not think about reframing them into one themed grouping. This can make an amazing gift or keepsake for a family member and, by choosing a professional framer to do the work, you will be protecting the memorabilia against future wear and tear, fading or other damage by setting them safely inside a beautiful frame.

Hopefully, I’ve managed to get your creative juices flowing with the ideas above. Have some fun with your artwork – you look at it every day so it should make you stop and smile rather than frown and think “I really must get that picture sorted out”.

Professional Qualification Awarded to Jules Sainter

Bledlow Ridge / Chinnor based picture framer, Jules Sainter GCF(APF) has just qualified as a Guild Certified Framer, the professional qualification that distinguishes framers and provides consumers with a recognised way to find excellent craftsmanship and service. Over 1000 framers have achieved this qualification, and Oxon / Bucks  residents can take advantage of having this local expertise at Lovingly Framed.

Guild Certified Framers are awarded their qualification by the Fine Art Trade Guild, the international trade association for the industry. Framing skills and knowledge are examined rigorously by an independent Guild appointed tester.

By qualifying as a GCF, Jules has demonstrated that she understands the importance of conservation framing, the use of appropriate materials to avoid future problems and also the range of framing options her customers may require. Unprofessional framing may allow unsightly stains to appear, or gradually cause the artwork to go brown and the paper to weaken; eventually a picture may literally fall apart. These things can be avoided by choosing a qualified professional. Knowledge and technology are improving all the time and precious and valuable pieces should be checked by a professional framer who can take remedial action to protect works to be kept for future enjoyment. Jules Sainter GCF(APF) has proved herself able to advise on the framing of unusual objects and memorabilia.

10 Top Tips To Get The Most Out Of Framing Pictures Or Objects

Tip #1

You should avoid hanging pictures above a radiator or heat source. The temperature changes can cause problems to paper art causing moisture within the frame and cockling of the artwork. In addition, tapes used to seal pictures can dry out preventing total protection from dust and bugs.

Tip #2

Artwork should never be in contact with glass because of moisture that can build up within a frame. It is not unusual to find old artwork stuck to the glass, causing damage when it is removed. Therefore a single or double mount is always recommended to provide the necessary spacing, and of course to also make your artwork look amazing.

Tip #3

Many picture framers make a mount with a deeper base. This is so that the proportions look correct when the picture is hung at a certain height. However the illusion is negated when a wide mount is used with the same dimension all round.

Tip #4

Photos or posters on thin paper will often acquire a cockled effect due mainly to temperature changes within the frame (see #1 above). To prevent this, experienced framers can bond pictures to a suitable substrate to flatten the artwork permanently, but this should never be undertaken on artwork with sentimental or financial value. We will often ask you to sign a disclaimer if you choose this route when it is considered inappropriate.

Tip #5

If you want your pictures and artwork to look good for the long-term, choose a framer that uses conservation materials and techniques. Non-conservation materials deteriorate over time causing irreversible damage to artwork. It is easy to check the quality of mount board – if it is discoloured, e.g. yellow or brown this means that non-conservation mount board has been used.

Tip #6

There is a huge difference in types of glass that are available for framing these days. The best ones are almost invisible and the degree of UV protection can vary. For valuable, irreplaceable pieces, Choose the highest degree of UV protection which is over 90%. It costs more but is worth it in the long run.

Tip #7

Canvasses usually don’t need glass (if they are acrylic or oil paints).  However a ‘tray frame’ or ‘L-frame' can still do a really nice job of finishing them off.  If the sides of the canvas are unpainted or look untidy, this type of frame hides this and looks smart.

Tip #8

Fixings on the back of your picture used to attach the cord or wire to the frame should be attached to the frame itself and NOT to the backing board. This spreads the weight through the frame and reduces the risk of it falling off the wall.

Tip #9

Handling framed pictures: you should always carry pictures by their cord/wire or by holding the 2 sides. They should never be carried by grasping the top edge alone, thereby supporting the whole weight of the piece from one strip of wood, as this weakens even the most well put together frames.

Tip #10

Experienced framers will use ‘bumpers’ on the bottom corners of a frame. This not only protects your wall from scratches but also allows air to circulate behind the piece which, if not allowed to do so, could mean that the backing board gets damp over time.

Men and Colours

Men and Colours

I recently saw a sign in a paint shop that read 'Men choosing paint colours must have a note from their wives'.


Funny? Sexist? Or based on a truism that men can't see colour differences as well as women?


After years of dispute with my husband about the colour of top he was wearing in our first date (he says khaki, whereas I don't have one iota of doubt that it was mustard), I think there are differences.


Doing a quick count up of the number of men versus women coming to Lovingly Framed with their pictures to choose colours and styles, I find it is 76% women, 16% men, and 8% men accompanied by women (possibly to give men the illusion that they can choose but under the watchful eyes of their spouses.)


Certainly if we look at the statistics for colour blindness it does support a difference. 8% of men with Northern European ancestry have the common form of red-green colour blindness, versus only 0.5% of women.


But even taking out the issue of colour blindness in all its guises, it appears that there are some differences between the way men and women view colour which may be linked to the 'hunter gatherer hypothesis', which postulates that the sexes have developed specific psychological abilities in line with their prehistoric roles.


In tests, it emerged that women tend to better distinguish subtle differences between colour shades, whereas males show superior skills in tracking fast moving objects and discerning detail from a distance. According to the theory, men's vision has become honed to excel in ways that would have been most valuable in their roles of feeding and protecting their families, such as distinguishing and detecting prey from a distance. In turn, the vision of women, it is proposed, may have developed in order to help them recognise and catagorise near, stationary objects, such as wild berries.


Interesting stuff, but what does it tell us?


If we look out of the window of our semi-detached and see a lion peering at us over the recycling bin at the end of the cul-de-sac, call for alpha male. Or alternatively, ladies, perhaps pop out alone for a quiet moment with your friendly, local picture framer.

‘Dancers in the Sky’

‘Dancers in the Sky’ is the first published book of a young author from Bledlow Ridge, Anna Kate Fischer. Only 10 when she wrote it, the book is told from the perspective of one of the famous red kites, which were reintroduced into the Chilterns in the 1980s and 90s.

See the world through the eyes of a kite

Soar over the Chiltern skies with Kitty Milvus, a young red kite. Kitty and her best friend Azalea have started training for the Annual Airshow, a competition which tests a kite’s agility, speed, nerve and airborne skill. Both girls have been dreaming of victory their entire lives. However, on the day of the finals, Kitty’s plans are dashed, and she has to make a choice: save her sister or her victory. However, the choice is not as easy as it seems. There is a very high chance her sister is dead, and red kites do not have the same connection with their siblings as humans do.

'Dancers in the Sky' artwork framed in a chunky white frame| Framed by Lovingly Framed near Chinnor

Q. Who framed Carl Fogarty???

‘Carl Fogarty’ I hear you ask? Who’s he? Well, according to one of my clients and her proud son, he’s the most successful world superbike racer of all time. This was the shirt that the young lad was wearing when he and the family bumped into Carl recently. Thinking on his feet and keen not to miss an opportunity for a momento of his hero, he got the sports champion to sign his back and got a photo with him to boot.

And now I’ve framed the items together, he can recall this momentous occasion whenever he looks up at his bedroom wall!


The importance of glass

When you’re having a photo or picture framed, it’s worth considering the type of glass you  choose. The poster at the bottom is the  same as that at the top, but has been framed with standard glass. Of course, it has also been hanging in direct sunlight which is not advisable. However, a glass with  high UV protection (90%+) can help to protect  your valuable artwork from light damage, giving you years more to appreciate and enjoy it.IMG_0095