How to become a Picture Framer

Picture framers make frames of all types and sizes and mount and display decorative items such as paintings, prints, etchings, tapestries and photographs.

Personal requirements for a Picture Framer

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Interested in the history and value of artwork
  • Aptitude for design
  • Appreciation of changing trends in colours and materials
  • Able to work neatly and accurately
  • Good hand-eye coordination.

Duties & Tasks of a Picture Framer

Picture framers may perform the following tasks:

  • Talk to customers about the style, size, materials and cost of their framing requirements
  • Help customers to understand the colours, design and layout of frames
  • Assess the value and physical condition of artwork to decide the level of framing required
  • Order the materials needed and maintain accounts
  • Cut frame pieces to size and prepare joints for corners
  • Join the frame with nails, glue or dowels and sand lightly
  • Mould and glue ornamental parts into the frame if required
  • Varnish, stain or paint the frame
  • Mount backing materials and the item for framing
  • Cut glass to size
  • Fit items to ready-made frames
  • Refer to specialists such as conservators to assess the physical condition of artwork
  • Assist in the preservation of historic artwork.

Working conditions for a Picture Framer

Picture framers use a variety of tools, including power tools, saws and pneumatic staplers and nailers. Specialist framers use the crafts of wood machining, wood finishing, French-polishing, cabinet making, woodcarving and gilding.


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