Is Custom Framing Worth It?

When it comes to protecting artwork, favourite photographs, and important memorabilia and mementos, there is little doubt that custom framing is worth it. For everything else, it all depends on the value of the picture or object to you. The very first piece of noodle art your children bring home from preschool might have no monetary value, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to you—or worthy of a custom frame.

Ignoring the benefits of custom framing for now, there are a few things you can do to help you decide whether what you want to frame deserves a custom frame. Because yes, there are times when a few ready-made frames will do just fine.

Think About Where the Piece is Going to Hang

Ready-made frames include either plain glass or a clear acrylic covering. If you aren’t concerned about the framed picture or object fading over time, ready-made frames can be the perfect option if you’re on a budget. They also work for pictures used in a space that doesn’t get much direct sunlight. But for valuable pieces and even cheaper prints and posters that you don’t want to—or can’t—replace, you want a frame that includes conservation-grade framing glass or even Museum glass. Both of these blocks up to 99% of UV rays to prevent fading, and Museum glass includes a coating that reduces glare and reflections. When you need to protect your artwork from damaging sunlight, custom framing is worth the extra investment.

Look at the Size of the Object Being Framed

Whatever painting, print, poster, or object you want to frame might be taller, wider, or thicker than standard. Ready-made frames are available in a variety of sizes, but these are still limited to standard and popular dimensions. Not only do we frame pieces to protect them but to also enhance them. And squeezing an overly large piece into a smaller frame or allowing a small piece to float inside an outsized frame and matboard could have the opposite effect.

Consider the Needs of the Piece Being Framed

Now you can include the benefits of custom framing. Because even if the piece is a standard size and doesn’t need protection against direct sunlight, it could still benefit from a custom picture frame. Almost any frame would do a reasonable job at keeping a picture, certificate, or photograph free from finger smudges and dust. But those aren’t the only hazards to consider. The matboard serves two primary purposes. The first is to prevent the picture or object from coming into contact with the glass. And if used correctly, it works with the frame to enhance whatever has been framed. Ready-made frames might not do either of these things, and they could even contribute to the deterioration of the piece, depending on the materials used. Hence, having your frames custom made can enhance the longevity and quality of the frame.

Get Professional Advice

Still not sure whether custom framing is worth it for the pieces you want framed? Get advice from a professional framer. They’ll be able to discuss the finer details of when a custom frame might be better than a ready-made frame. And they’ll be able to show you various options—from frames through to matboards—and demonstrate how each can influence the impact of the picture or memorabilia.


Not every picture you hang in your home needs custom framing. But for those special pieces that deserve a little extra enhancement or protection, the long-term benefits offered by a custom picture frame are worth the extra investment.

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