If you’ve ever suffered sticker shock from the cost of having an art piece matted and framed. . .this blog’s for you. Turns out there’s a simple, inexpensive, and much more creative alternative for showcasing your favorite artwork: “faux framing” with interior paint.
Faux framing – in which you simply paint borders on the wall around your artwork to create the illusion of matting and a three-dimensional frame – can be every bit as effective in highlighting your art as encasing it in a wood or metal frame.
Like traditional framing, the faux variety draws one’s eye to the artwork and, when done skillfully and creatively, can greatly enhance it. What’s different about faux framing is that it’s totally unexpected, startling even. Plus, it very much “involves” you with the art by melding your own creativity with that of the artist. In short, it’s a clever way to make any work more uniquely “your own”.
If you want to try your hand at faux framing, begin by deciding whether you want to paint just a frame around your artwork, or add faux matting, too. Painting a frame alone usually puts maximum emphasis on the art; however, adding one or more painted borders as matting allows you to make the framing part of the art statement.
Your decision on how to proceed may well depend on the quality of the art itself. If you’re working with an impressive piece of original art, why risk diluting its impact with too much embellishment? Go with a frame alone. Conversely, if you are displaying a numbered print, store-bought item, or a very small piece, you may be able to elevate its stature by trumpeting it with a tasteful surround comprised of both frame and matting.
Before committing to a color scheme for your framing, test the appearance by cutting apart color cards and taping them to the wall around your artwork. Be sure to experiment with various widths, too. This is especially important if you’ll be painting both a faux frame and mat. Either way, you’ll want to strike a balance between the “weight” of the frame (and mat, if there is one), and the artwork itself.
Once you’re happy with your design, make a trip to the paint store to purchase the colors you need and some painter’s tape. Carefully measure, mark, and tape off the outline of the frame. After painting it in with a brush or roller, allow the faux frame to dry completely, then repeat the process one or more times, depending upon the number of mat borders you have.
If you really want to dress things up, you can even embellish the frame or mat in any number of ways – decorating one or the other with a pattern, for example. As with so many interior painting projects, you are limited only by your imagination.
It goes without saying that faux framing is a great way to use paint left over from an earlier project, especially if the color was used in the same room where the artwork is displayed. The various elements will harmonize perfectly.
If you are buying new paint for your project, consider selecting hues that appear elsewhere in your décor, perhaps on upholstery or in your accents or furnishings. Using the same tints and shades in your painted frame will do wonders in pulling together your entire interior color scheme.
Regardless of whether you’re driven by cost savings or a penchant for creativity, you’re sure to have fun when doing faux framing. And don’t be surprised if your handiwork gets as many compliments as the art itself!