How To Frame Canvas Art

We’re a big believer that a beautiful frame can make just about anything better. And canvas art is definitely one of those things. Though traditionally left unframed, you’d be surprised at how even a simple moulding can make canvas art more elevated and grown up.

That’s exactly what we helped a client do who brought a canvas to us that had some sentimental value. It was one of the first items she purchased for her apartment as a struggling 20-something in New York. Now well into her 30s, it was starting to look not quite as sophisticated as the other items in her home.

Though she contemplated just getting rid of it, looking at it daily was a nice reminder of life’s journey. She wanted to keep that sentiment alive, but with a new spirit.

We started by removing the old “frame” that was around the canvas. Cheap and beat up, there were no tears shed seeing it go.

We started by removing the old “frame” that was around the canvas. Cheap and beat up, there were no tears shed seeing it go.

Off to the wall we went to start pulling samples. She knew she wanted to stay within a few general thematic options: woods, whites or metallics - not knowing which would work best.

Off to the wall we went to start pulling samples. She knew she wanted to stay within a few general thematic options: woods, whites or metallics - not knowing which would work best.

Option #1. Gold and bold. But too much.

Option #1. Gold and bold. But too much.

Option #2. Lean and green.  She was initially hesitant to try this one but was shocked by how good it looked against the simple black and white. That’s why we often encourage clients to try things they may not have initially considered. You just don’t know until it’s staring back at you.

Option #2. Lean and green.

She was initially hesitant to try this one but was shocked by how good it looked against the simple black and white. That’s why we often encourage clients to try things they may not have initially considered. You just don’t know until it’s staring back at you.

We had to stand it upright to get another look. Viewing from multiple vantage points can also help better visualize what the end result will be.  Ultimately, though it was super fun and funky, it wasn’t going to sit right with the rest of the elements in the room where it would be placed.

We had to stand it upright to get another look. Viewing from multiple vantage points can also help better visualize what the end result will be.

Ultimately, though it was super fun and funky, it wasn’t going to sit right with the rest of the elements in the room where it would be placed.

Back to the drawing board. A chunky, distressed white wood is the right size to add some drama and looks great. But it wasn’t enough of a change from the original look, which was also encased in white.

Back to the drawing board. A chunky, distressed white wood is the right size to add some drama and looks great. But it wasn’t enough of a change from the original look, which was also encased in white.

Now we’re talking. This is the same line as the white frame, but in a natural color. It’s bold and a little rustic. Different, but not too out there. It contrasts nicely with the black and white and will provide a nice pop on the bright white wall where it will be placed.

Now we’re talking. This is the same line as the white frame, but in a natural color. It’s bold and a little rustic. Different, but not too out there. It contrasts nicely with the black and white and will provide a nice pop on the bright white wall where it will be placed.

She’s a beauty. And proof that when it comes to re-framing, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

She’s a beauty. And proof that when it comes to re-framing, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Have a canvas or a piece that needs a little something? We’re ready to help it get started on life number two at any of our Chicago or North Shore framing locations.