DIY Floating Frame
In the past when entering one of my paintings into an art show, they have all been pieces painted onto stretched canvases. All that is generally required is some D-rings attached directly to the stretcher bars, some wire and it’s ready to hang.
Recently I wanted to enter a painting into an upcoming show that was painted on a canvas panel, so my dilemma came when deciding how I was going to hang it. Obviously I would need some form of frame and after a bit of web searching, liked the look of the floating style of frame where the image appears like it is floating within a surround, rather than being tucked behind a frame as you would normally expect.
However I couldn’t find any pre-made floating frames locally, and while some framing business I rang could offer a custom made frame like this, their stock of floating style mouldings were generally limited and was what I considered to be quite an expensive option.
Time to get my hands dirty and build my own.
- I picked up some 30mm x 12mm dressed Tasmanian Oak strips at the local hardware store which I thought would suit the job nicely.
- Next I glued and clamped two lengths together to form an ‘L’ shape (don’t mind my nice clean workbench).
- Using a mitre box and sharp handsaw (or in my case a compound mitre saw), cut the glued strips with 45 degree cuts into lengths where the inside edge of what will be the front visual surface of the frame is about 10mm longer than the panel you intend to frame (this will give about a 5mm gap all round the panel to achieve the ‘floating’ look. Measure twice, cut once at this stage and make sure that your mitres are going in the right direction.
- Using a corner clamp, framing clamp, or in my case a strap band clamp, glue and clamp the four sides of the frame together and leave to set. Make sure at these gluing stages that you clean up any runs or drips while the glue is still wet.
- Once dry, sand the frame to give a nice smooth surface.
- Seal the frame with varnish. I was after quite a dark looking frame so I chose to do 2 coats of Gloss Black Japan Stain and Varnish, sanding lightly between coats, and finished off with a single coat of clear varnish.
- I used a piece of 12mm thick plywood cut 10mm smaller than the canvas panel (5mm on each side) and glued this to the back of the panel with wood glue.
- Position the painting and screw through the back of the frame, into the plywood in four places to secure to the frame.
- Add D-rings and wire to the frame and you are done.
I was pretty happy with the result and it was a relatively simple process.
Now I have done it once I don’t need to agonise over how I am going to hang paintings done on canvas panels in the future.
Hope this process was of some help for anyone interested.