With the huge selection of metal picture frames available, sometimes it can be difficult picking the one that’s right for you. To help you narrow down your search, use these helpful tips and questions to help you find the right frame quickly and easily.
#1- Frame Budget: How much do I want to spend?
If you’re not sure how much you have to spend to get the type of metal frame you want here are some rough guidelines for different types of metal frames, based on a 4×6 size, that can help:
* Under $10 – basic aluminum frames, simple solid brass frames
* $10 and up – basic silver plated frames, decorative metal frames, steel frames.
* $30 and up – decorative silver plated frames
* $50 and up – decorative hand made solid pewter frames
* $100 and up – decorative solid sterling silver frames
#2- Keepsake frames: Do I want it to be a treasured keepsake?
If you’re looking for a quality metal frame that you want as a keepsake, then there are three types of frames to consider: silver plated frames, solid pewter frames and sterling silver frames. These three types of frames are durable and made to last plus they have a distinct look of quality that sets them apart from other types of metal frames.
#3- Frame style: What style of frame do I want?
No matter what your style preference, there is a metal frame style to match. Here are some examples of metal picture frame styles to consider. Just keep in mind that there is a huge variety of frame styles within each grouping of metal frames.
* Elegant: Silver plated frames, sterling silver frames, metal decorative frames, and metal jeweled frames
* Casual: Decorative metal frames or solid pewter frames.
* Professional: Aluminum frames, silver plated frames or sterling silver frames
* Modern or Traditional style: Almost any type of metal frame, including aluminum frames, steel frames, pewter frames, silver plate frames, sterling silver frames, fit into this style category.
#4- Color: What color of frame do I want?
Metal frames commonly come in various gold or silver tones depending upon the metal material. One thing to know about any “silver” frame is what it’s made out of because it could be made out of an aluminum or metal alloy instead of being made out of a silver plate or sterling. So, the wording “silver frame” is describing the color, not the material it is made from. This is the case for pewter picture frames as well. Unless it’s specifically identified as “solid pewter,” it’s most likely describing the color of the frame instead of the material.
Metal frames are also available in a wide variety of colors. You can find aluminum frames in colors like gold, silver, copper, blue and black or you can find metal frames with brightly colored enamel finishes or decorated with items like crystals or beads.
#5- Finish: What type of metal finish do I like?
The most common metal finishes are matte, shiny, brushed and antiqued. Unless the finish is specifically called matte, brushed or antiqued, it will be a shiny finish.
#6- Engraved Frame: Do I want a frame that can be engraved?
If you want to engrave a frame, be sure to choose a frame that is identified as an engraved frame, or an engravable frame. This means that the metal frame has the same color metal throughout the depth of the frame. It also has to have a smooth, flat surface for the engraving. Engraved frames are available as silver plated, solid pewter or sterling silver frames.
#7- Size: Do you need a specific frame size?
If you are framing a standard sized photo, you should be able to use a ready made frame. Ready made frames are the most convenient way to frame because there are many standard sizes from which to choose.
For a piece of artwork or non-standard picture size, you will probably need a custom metal frame. Your budget comes into play in this area also. You can either buy a custom frame and have it assembled for you or, to save money, you can buy the size you need and assemble it yourself. If you’re handy at putting things together and have some extra time, you can always try assembling a metal frame yourself to save money.
Now that you have answered these 7 simple questions you should be able to easily and quickly choose the frame that fits your needs.