How Much Does Custom Framing Cost?

The price of custom framing can vary considerably and is influenced by several factors. Having a piece custom framed can cost less than $100, or rise to hundreds of dollars. And while the size of the piece is a significant factor, there are other factors that are often overlooked.

The Frame

There are not only different styles of frames—each suited to specific works being framed—but also a variety of frame materials. When looking at style, you have decorative and ornate frames through to traditional and minimalistic. Mouldings can be wide, thin, deep, or shallow. The most popular material used in custom frames is timber, both softwoods and hardwoods. But metals, polystyrene, and bamboo could also be used depending on what is being framed and the style you want. With custom framing you can also be sure that the assembly of the frame uses better techniques than that of mass-produced frames.

The Glazing

Glazing is an important part of framing, and although some artworks benefit from not being covered by a sheet of glass, most pictures and objects benefit from it. The glass can enhance the piece, but more than that, it helps conserve the piece and keep it free from dust and dirt. However, depending on the level of conservation needed, and the amount of light the piece is exposed to, standard glass may not be perfect depending on your project. Non-reflective, Conservation Clear, and Museum Glass all offer increasing levels of UV protection, along with better clarity. This helps ensure that valuable pieces are not only protected from fading, but that they are also clearly visible regardless of viewing angle or the amount of light in the room. They do also increase the cost of custom framing, but it is a worthy investment for irreplaceable pieces.

Mats and Backing

A mat—or border—is not necessary for all pieces being framed. Mats add an extra level of protection when framing delicate pieces by ensuring the glass does not touch the picture. Used correctly, matboards can also enhance pieces, though this is often achieved through using more than one mat or having a mat custom cut. And even though the backing is something most people won’t see, it can play a significant role in protecting the piece, with Foamcore or paper being better than plastic or MDF for valuable pieces.


What all of this means is that the level of customisation that your framing needs play a significant role in the overall cost. Using an online custom framing service can be more affordable than traditional custom framing. This is because, aside from the size and style of frame, other customisations are more limited. This is a great option when you are framing odd sized pieces, want a better quality frame, or are framing your own photos or a digital print. But if canvas stretching, custom matboards, or a higher level of protection are needed, a consultation with a specialist framer is more appropriate.

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