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How Should I Frame My Original Oil Painting?

Framing Ideas for Gallery-Depth Paintings

Monday, June 16, 2014

Original oil paintings that are painted on gallery-depth canvas look beautiful hanging directly on the wall without a frame, especially if the painting is continued around the edges of the canvas, creating a three-dimensional illusion as you view the painting from the side.

To set off a gallery-depth oil painting, while still preserving some of this three-dimensional effect, you can use a floater frame. Floater frames come in many different colors and finishes which can set off colors within the painting or complement the furniture in the room. Here is an example of a painting that was framed in a metallic pewter floater frame to match the metallic accents on the fireplace.

An Erin Hanson painting on displayTo set off a gallery-depth oil painting, while still preserving this three-dimensional effect, you can use a floater frame.

A floater frame is a cost-effective style of molding to create an elegantly modern look to your artwork. Most frame moldings are designed for 3/4"-deep canvases (in frame lingo, this is called a 3/4" rabbet.) A gallery-depth canvas is at least 1-1/2" deep (sometimes 2" or 2-1/2" deep.) The selection of moldings with a deeper rabbet is both slim and costly. The floater frame is already designed for a deeper canvas, and you can even order them online from specialty websites such as

Here is another example (below) of a floater frame used as a contrast line around the painting, separating it from the butter-yellow wall color.

Whether or not you decide to frame your gallery-wrap oil painting, it will be a beautiful and eye-catching addition to your room, bringing in a breath of color that is a joy to design around.

 Erin's famous EH signatureAn Erin Hanson painting in a black floater frame

       Gallery-wrapped painting without a frame:
An Erin Hanson painting on display unframed

       The same painting in a floater frame:
An Erin Hanson painting on display framed


Erin Hanson ArtistERIN HANSON has been painting in oils since she was 8 years old. As a young artist, she worked at a mural studio creating 40-foot-tall paintings on canvas, while selling art commissions on the side. After getting a degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, Erin became a rock climber at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Inspired by the colorful scenery she was climbing, she decided to paint one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history. Erin Hanson's style is known as "Open Impressionism" and is now taught in art schools worldwide. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism.

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