When you’re framing original art on a budget, it can be easy to selectively ignore the obvious:

Ready-made frames typically DO NOT come with UV-protection glass.

We want it to be easy. We just want to go to TJ Maxx, find a frame / mat combo we like & not have to THINK about the details.

But… if we’re buying ORIGINAL art, there’s a bit of responsibility that you’ll want to take in the beginning, to ensure you set up your artwork for life.

Once you have your “To Do” list down, it is really not hard to do, and it is MUCH LESS expensive than a 100% custom framing job could be (depending on what you decide to spend if custom framing), while STILL giving you a bit of “custom” perks, and GREAT protection for your art!


The “To Do” list…

• Find a ready made frame you like for your piece at store of your choice. (I got this frame shown above for about $11 at TJ Maxx).

• Take your frame with your art to your custom framer.

• Have a custom mat cut for your art in the frame. This step is totally optional. Ready-made mats are usually acid-free (do check the package, though) so in terms of longevity only, this is not integral. However, there’s plenty of great reasons to get a custom mat cut for your special piece. First, in terms of price: You can go as cheap or as spendy as you want. The key is, YOU get to choose the color, the thickness, the finish, and the size of the opening. Second, you can have it cut EXACTLY to the best view of your art. Custom opening (window) size can make an absolutely HUGE difference in the display of your work. I cannot overstate this, it is WORTH it. Ready-made mats off the rack are very limited in all of these factors. Now, if your art DOES actually fit 100% perfect in a standard sized, ready-made mat window, and you can find a ready-made mat you like, skip this step. If this is your case, always bring your original art with you when shopping for a ready mat to ensure a perfect fit.
Shout out to Custom Art Framing who cut this custom mat, above! ⤴️

• Have your custom framer cut you a piece of UV protection glass. Replace the glass that came with the frame with this new UV glass.
There are many types of Tru-Vue protective glass, all with different properties. This glass is not inexpensive. It will depending on the size of your frame, and type of glass you select. But, for the life and protection of your art, it’s TOTALLY worth the added investment.