How to build a floater frame #1 for framing canvases

Make your own a floating frame

To build this first frame is very simple. Canvas wood canvas floaterfloat frames are very popular as alternate framing treatments for contemporary paintings.

It particularly emphasizes the artworks painted out on fiberboards.

It is excellent to frame an oil or acrylic painted on stretched canvas but is not appropriate for the framing of drawings on paper... which require a moulding with rabbet and a glass pane.

 

Equipments needed :

Wood strips with rectangular section 1.5"x0.5" : you will find them in your local hardware shop or do-it-yourself shop.

if you are handyman, you can use wood offcuts or wood from handing pallets... If you have power tools, you can start with boards you length cut to obtain wood strips...

Dimensions given are not critical and you can adapt them according to the wood strips you will find in your store.

It will also be necessary to have a miter box, or better, a picture framer saw, wood glue and screw clamps… All that was specified in the material page.

 

The picture to be framed

It is a small oil artwork (1) of dimensions 18,5cmx14cm painted on a fiberboard.

woman with pareo on the beachl

 

Assembly of the wood strips

 

The wood strips are perpendicularly stuck one to the other. Paste the edge of the first strip with the wood glue then apply it on the second.

wooden floater frame moulding

Fix temporarily with screw-clamps or, better, with some little nails half-inserted which will ensure the tightening during drying.

Repeat the operation with other wood strips to have a sufficient length of mouldings for making your frame. Do not put too much glue : it do not overflow on each side of joining!

You must obtain a molding having the form you see on the diagram.

When the glue is dry, sand with a fine sandpaper to eliminate the possible defects. Scrape the traces of adhesive if there is.

* To calculate your lengths of moldings as well as possible, you measure the perimeter of your canvas and you add 10 times the width of your molding… For example, for a 6F canvas (16"x13") and molding of 2 inch wide, it will be necessary for you:

2x (16" + 13") + 10 x2" = 58" + 20" = 78"of moulding…

 

Cutting out sides

 

The inner opening of your finished frame must be slightly smaller than the painted-pannel to be framed so that this one can be posed on the body floor.

Cut the first bar of your frame with the picture framer saw by initially cutting out a 45° angle.

The small edge of each part constituting the frame will have 1" less than the dimension of the artwork you want to frame.

For example, if your painted art measures 6X8, then the small edges on the sides will respectively measure 5" for the two shorter components and 7" for the two others (see the picture below).

*

plan

 

Cut now the second angle to 45°. Use this first side of the frame like a gauge to cut the second side. Superimpose it with the 1st moulding and make a thin mark with a pencil.

Better, cut with the saw-stop .

It is the best for more accuracy !

While acting carefully you will have two sides having exactly the same length (if it is not, you will have insoluble joining problems during the assembly).

Continue in the same way to obtain the two others sides of the picture frame.

floater frame edges

ASSEMBLY OF THE FLOAT FRAME

When the 4 sides are cut up, paste the miters with Pattex wood glue, then maintain the frame on a flat surface and assemble it.

You can then put heavy objects or clamps to maintain your joining during the time of drying.

Obviously, it is better if you have a picture framer clamp ! You do not deprive of this useful tool which is not very expensive ! I found many models in AMAZON.com... This one for less $15

picture framer multi corner clamp
or this strong model sold $28

 

You can also improvise a tightening using 2 screw clamps laid out in cross.

how to tighten a floater frame

It is then necessary to tighten gradually and alternatively each screw clamp while checking that there is no shift with the angles.

If you're a handyman, you can look at this page... this handy and easy to make clamp for picture frames with mitered corners.

If you prefer buy it, click on the picture below.

 

picture framer clamp
Sold by Amazon

Do not be anxious… Pattex glue, once dry, will well maintain your assembly.

 If you do not have confidence in the assembly (you're wrong to do not !), you can consolidate it with some stapples on the back with a mural stapler.

SANDPAPERING AND PAINTING

When the glue is completely dry (30 minutes if you have a very fast glue or overnight depending on the glue) you can sandpaper slightly to smooth the surface of moldings. Possibly, mask the defects with wood filler and, after drying, sand again to remove any excess of it.

Choose a color for the paint which match with the colors used in the painting (it is better if you use a color -but not the dominant one- you find in the artwork). Think also about the colors of the wall where the frame will be hangeded. A white “broken” pearl color, a light grey or a glossed black are most of the time appropriate.

Gray floater frame

I prefer full-course glossed acrylic paints, very covering, which have the advantage of drying quickly and of not spreading solvent odors in all the house. Moreover, the brushes are cleaned easily...

Pass one or two coats of paint with a very light sandpapering between the coats.

When the paint is dry... put your artwork in its frame.

ASSEMBLY

If your picture is a canvas on frame : present it by front and fix it by the back with small screws which cross at the same time frame and canvas structure .

If your painting (as that presented against) is a bardboard painted Fiberboard or plywood), you can set up it with small bands double-coated adhesive on all its periphery.

 

woman with pareo framed

Essential Books

How to Make Your Own
Picture Frames

Ed Reinhardt, Hal Roger

 

Here is the most complete, practical handbook available on making and finishing over 60 frame styles...

The best book for the beginner. Clear and concise. Step-by-step instructions with photos for each and every step.

Covers all aspects of frame construction, painting, mats, glass-cutting and usage. A great book to trigger your own ideas to create custom frames.


Frame It!

by Tonia Davenport

 

Framing isn't something one has to leave to the professional.

With Frame It! readers will learn how to use ready-made frames and inexpensive framing materials to create frames perfect for their favorite photo, piece of artwork, canvases or souvenir.

 

 

Matting and framing made
easy

Janean Thompson

 

 

Since the cost of framing often exceeds the price of the artwork itself, it pays to know how to do it yourself.

Even if you're not ready to invest in specialty tools like a mat cutter or miter box, you'll find useful instructions on working with ready-made frames using simple tools (a ruler and utility knife)...

 

 

 

To be Continued :

To be continued float frame #3

How to build a floater frame #2