Welcome to our Knowledgebase. We really hope this is helpful for you, if there are any questions that you have that we havent covered, please contact us via the comments section below and we’ll answer them and add them to the site if appropriate!
1. Ordering and customer service (8)
Our standard lead time is 2-3 weeks.
As all of our materials are ordered in specially for each order we have to allow time for the delivery, which can take over a week, before we can start work.
However if you have special requirements such as a present or other time critical orders, please let us know and we will help you select options which will be available within your timeframe.
For an estimate please use the Price Request form. We are also very happy to give you one over the phone or via email.
It is very difficult to give accurate frame cost due to almost every aspect of the frame you chose having an impact on prices. When you come in to the shop we will be happy to help you choose something attractive and within your budget.
We are happy to negotiate a discount for large orders depending on the work involved.
Yes, We run discounts and promotions at various times throughout the year. We would love to keep you informed of them, so please join our mailing list to be one of the first to know.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of a specific discount for your requirements, please give us a call or email and we will be happy to discuss that with you.
We are very happy to replace broken glass in your frames. The frames need to be either made by Cupola Framing originally or of high quality from another picture framer.
Poor quality frames cannot always have the glass replaced as the glass is often glued in and the frames cannot withstand the use of professional tools.
If the frames are not originally made by Cupola Framing, we reserve the right to refuse fitting the glass into the frame, as some cheaper frames may be damaged by professional framing methods.
At Cupola Framing we specialise in Picture Framing and Hanging.
We can however recommend you to a suitable professional who may be better informed to help you with your restoration work.
We often cut single or multiple window mounts for customers.
If we have the mount board colour that you require, we may be able to do it ‘while-you-wait’. If not, we would have to order the materials and the standard 2-3 weeks would apply at busy times.
If you would like a large number of mounts, contact us regarding possible discounts.
We can also sell single sheets of uncut mount board to artists who may require it.
We can, and do, frame pictures that are very large. We can advise you on various types of framing and hanging methods that are suitable for oversize artworks. We are only limited by getting the work out the door when it has been completed!
We can also arrange collection and delivery of oversized work and may be able to advise you at home or on site to evaluate your needs before transporting large pieces.
Please contact us before bringing in extremely large pieces so that we can clear some extra space to serve you!
2. Basics (4)
Picture frames are assembled from 3 main components:-
Moulding – the frame itself. Can be made from wood and metal and even sometimes plastic!
Mount (sometimes referred to as ‘mat’) – the ‘border’ cut from special card (mountboard) to add to the look of the artwork.
- standard mount 1.6 mm (acid free & PH neutral) – large number of colours
- conservation mount (acid free & bleed proof) – limited number of colours
- museum mount (100% cotton rag) – very limited colour choice
- double thickness mount card ~ 2mm-3mm – limited colours
Glass – Protects your artwork from the elements. There are numerous types of glass available including but not limited to:
- Standard 2mm float
- non reflective glass (etched)
- anti – reflective glass (treated)
- UV filter glass
- plastic glazing
- museum glass (a combination of UV filter and anti – reflective)
Some types of work, like oil paintings, may not require glazing at all.
The components that make up a picture frame are discussed individually, to give you the information you need to choose the correct frame.
Picture frames are cut from long lengths of ‘moulding’. This is a length of wood that has been shaped (on a spindle moulder) to have a desirable shape to suit your artwork. Of course all of the wooden mouldings we use are FSC certified.
Frames can also be made of metal, more specifically aluminium extruded profiles. These allow for an increased variety of frames and can safely hold larger artworks with much thinner frames which can look extremely good in a modern environment
Frames are now made from a plastic composite (think of a plastic ‘Wispa’ bar). These are new to the market and are generally found on low-cost factory produced frames. We do have a few of the best plastic mouldings available, but we generally avoid them as a general rule as their longevity is still debated.
The materials and quality of picture frame mouldings varies enormously as does the cost of producing them. At Cupola we know that the cheapest mouldings often used in mass production are not suitable for high quality framing, so we only use high quality mouldings from some of the best suppliers, to ensure your frame looks great and last a long time.
There are a number of different options when choosing which type of glass is most suitable for your picture frame. The type of artwork, environment and cost are the major points to consider.
Artwork- some types of artwork (such as watercolours and older prints) may fade under the UV in light. Other types of artwork (for example, oil paintings) are very robust and may not require glazing at all.
Environment – Some places are more suitable to hang artwork that others. Places to avoid include:
- Direct sunlight
- Kitchens – near working areas affected by either heat or steam
- Bathrooms – near splash risks & areas of changing humidity
- High traffic areas – where items might be knocked or bumped
- Above radiators or other direct heat sources
The choice of glass should reflect these decisions, children’s rooms may be best with plastic glazing, however a modern home with a lot of natural light may require frames to have UV protective glazing to stop your irreplaceable artworks from fading.
Cost – Unfortunately most of us need to have a budget in mind when making any purchase and picture framing is no different. However, we would recommend that people consider the increased cost of glazing (as with all conservation) as an important way to protect their artwork for future generations.
Don’t forget: a stitch in time saves nine!
The hardware provided for your picture frame will depend on the size, weight and environment in which your frame will hang.
The 3 most common options are discussed below.
D-ring and String – This is by far the most popular and most common type of hanging used in domestic environements. the low-stretch nylon we use today far outperforms the older steel wire which had a tendancy to work harden over time and then snap! String is suitable for most frames until they get large and heavy, at which point one of the other options below may be safer and more convenient.
Mirror plates and Security Fittings – Mirror plates are connonly seen in glaareies and public spaces as it doesnt allow the frame to be knocked off the wall or stolen. In the domestic environment these problems may be less accute. Mirror plates are used in the ome for large pictures as the load can be spread over a larger aree which is better for both the frame and the wall!
Specialist hanging – We can provide a large selection of specialist hardware for more specific needs. Security fittings are popular for public buildings as they reduce the chance of theft. For very large oversize frames we often use strap hangers. these heavy duty habgers are extremely strong and allow very heavy frames to be safely hung.
3. Conservation levels (1)
There are four levels of protection that we can provide for your artwork. A combination of financial and sentimental value, current condition and type of artwork can all effect the choice of conservation level. an explanation of each level is below to help you decide what is best for your artworks.
- Best protection available for displaying your artwork
- museum mountboards are made from cotton, are ph neutral and will stay that way indefinitely
- great care must betaken with artworks of this value, luckily we’re trained in artwork handling
- again choice of materials is reduced but the frames can still enhance the artworks.
- lifetime of frame: 35+
- High level of protection for valuable or sentimental artworks.
- Choice of materials reduced, particularly darker coloured mountboards – see blue wool test
- frames may be sealed to help reduce the risk of airborne contamination
- all materials are both acid free and lignin free.
- lifetime of frame: 20 years+
- Some protection from physical and airborne damage
- Widest range of materials and techniques, lending itself to more interesting framing
- ideal when looks are more important than long term protection
- lifetime of frame: 5 years+
- Looks good but offers no real protection for artwork.
- suitable for commercial replaceable prints of low cost
- probably better than blu-tak
- We don’t normally frame pictures like this unless specifically requested