An exciting day today as I had a whole set of new frames delivered. Over the years I've made many mistakes when choosing frames or buying "bargains" that turn out to be costly failures. I have even bought some sale frames from a very reputable framer and then found to my annoyance that they had woodworm!
When I work in acrylic I tend to paint on MDF as I like the solid feel of the board rather than the springy feel of a canvass. These paintings only need to be varnished in the same way as an oil painting and so the frame is set simply around the artwork. However, for preservation/protection purposes, my watercolours, mixed media and sculpted paper artworks need to be mounted, set behind glass and framed.
The key things to look out for when buying a framed painting or indeed when buying frames are:
a) Corners - cheap or badly made frames always have corners that don't quite meet. They certainly don't enhance the artwork!
b) Mount Board - for glazed frames the quality of the mount board surrounding your artwork is also important The primary purpose of the mount board is to set the painting away from the glass but it also makes a huge difference to how the painting actually looks. My own preference is for a double mount - especially for my sculpted paper work which has a 3D profile.
c) Colour and Style- the choice is endless and whilst when I first started exhibiting I chose individual frames and mount board to enhance (in my opinion) each painting I then realised that this was both expensive and certainly not to everyone's taste. Also some galleries specify colour and type of frame before accepting artworks. So I now stick to a contemporary clean white fairly thin frame with a warm light-cream double mount.
I now buy my glazed frames from www.whistlefish.com - Their products are really good quality, stylish, competitively priced and with great customer care.