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A Man's Home

Sharper Walls

Whether you're settled into your home for the long run or still renting on borrowed time, it's never a bad idea to assert ownership over your space. At a certain age, that awesome concert poster thumbtacked to your bedroom wall with its edges curling deserves some renovation. We've talked before about the kind of artwork you should hanging. Give your walls the same stylish attention as your wardrobe by framing your pieces. It not only looks more grown up and polished but it protects your prints as well.

The Gallery frames from West Elm are excellent and affordable,
especially if you have several pieces to hang. From $16, at West Elm


Choose Solid Materials

Look for a simple, unadorned solid hardwood or metal frame that allows the emphasis to stay on the piece instead of what surrounds it. Dark colors pop against lighter walls and black is always a failsafe option. Try to avoid frames made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Though cheap, the acid in the material can damage the print over time. Speaking of which, if your print is going to be hanging near direct sunlight, consider opting for UV-safe glass to protect it from fading.


Check for Flaws

Wipe down the glass with a microfiber cloth and check for any imperfections that would compromise the frame's strength like unevenly joined corners.


Size Up

It's tempting to try and match your print to the exact size of your frame, but it's best to size up and buy a frame that's about 25% larger, leaving space for a mat to border the artwork.


Invest in a Custom Mat


Visit your local frame shop or art supply store with your frame and your artwork and ask for an archival quality mat. "Archival" in this case refers to acid-free and ph-balanced material that won't degrade the print's paper. This gives you a custom look and costs a lot less than having the entire piece professionally framed. And often, the framer will secure the art at a perfect setting inside the frame for a seamless finish for you. If you don't have local shop, you can order a custom-sized mat online at American Frame.


Hang It Up


Figure 1: Picture hangers, $7 for 20 at Amazon

A good rule of thumb is to hang artwork at eye level. If you group them together gallery-style, leave an equal distance between each frame. For smaller pieces, just hammer the picture hanger (figure 1) into the wall at a desired height. For larger and heavier pieces, stretch out a wire hanger taut across the center of the frame (figure 2) and measure on the wall where it will catch onto your fastener. Depending on the weight of the final frame you may need to find a stud within your wall to safely secure the frame to.

Figure 2: Stretch the wire between the D-rings, secured just below the three-quarter point so the picture hook can't be seen once hung.