Wooden photo frames can be found in every home across the globe; there are many advantages to using wooden picture frames instead of metal frames or (god forbid) plastic photo frames.
Wooden frames offer so much more in terms of aesthetic appeal than their metal or plastic counterparts.
Wooden frames definitely have a more ‘rustic’ warm feeling about them than colder metal frames made out of materials such as aluminium.
These days, you can get what is known as a ‘composite’ wooden picture frame. These frames are made up of thousands of tiny bits of wood glued together with a special adhesive (very similar to MDF and often referred to as MDF picture frames or ‘Paper wrap’ frames) The MDF type moulding is covered with a paper wrapping which can have hundreds of different wood effects printed on them.
The advantages of using these composite frames are they are cheaper than using a real solid wood photo frame, they are more eco-friendly (although the glue that is used isn’t particularly great) as they are often made from recycled wood.
The disadvantages of composite materials are that it is a lot harder to get a good join in the mitred edges. Because the mouldings are made from glue and wood rather than real solid wood they are often more brittle and the pressure of firing the wedges into the mitred join can often cause gaps to appear. Over time they get more brittle and often expand and contract more than solid wooden frames. The same is true for plastic mouldings.
With solid wood frames this is less likely to occur. All kinds of wood is designed to expand and contract by nature but the mouldings used by most reputable picture framers has usually been dried for a long time (either naturally in the open air or in huge giant kilns – depending on country of origin)
Wooden frames come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, widths, colours and finishes. There are hundreds of wooden mouldings manufactured all across the globe. Some of the finest wooden picture frame mouldings come from Italy and Spain (Trust the Italians to get style and sophistication right!). Many of the cheaper wooden mouldings are manufactured in the Far East with Eastern Europe proving another cheaper alternative for mass produced picture frames.
Wooden photo frame mouldings come in a variety of shapes known as profiles. From simple ‘cushioned’ profiles to elaborate ornate hand carved wooden frames there is a frame design to suit all tastes.
When choosing your wooden photo frames be sure to always check the corners for gaps and if in doubt choose solid wooden photo frames over composites.