What To Do When A Picture Doesnt Fit A Picture Frame

Custom picture framers make frames to fit all sizes of pictures but what can you do when you have a frame that doesn't fit your picture?

People often end up with a frame that doesn't quite fit the picture they have. This can be because they have bought a cheap frame that is just a little bit bigger or smaller than the picture they have. Sometimes it can be when you are recycling or reusing a frame that was made to fit a different sized picture. Whatever the reason there are a few solutions to fix the problem.

The two easiest solutions, if the frame is larger than the picture being framed, is to either break and cut down the frame to fit or insert a mat border to bridge the difference between the picture and the frame.

If the picture being framed requires glass and when the wrong size frame already had glass that fits the frame, the best solution is often to cut a mat border to make the picture fit the frame rather than to cut both the frame down as well as the glass. When the picture doesn't require glass because it is an oil or acrylic or some other item to be exposed then it may be best to cut down the frame to fit the picture.

Breaking and cutting down the frame is fraught with risks.

If the frame is timber it is a safer option to break the frame and rejoin it than if it is a synthetic molding. Synthetic frames tend to come apart poorly and will often fracture and chip away at the miter joint.

When breaking a timber frame that has been glued and V nailed or V pinned you should first break the glue join by either forcing the joint apart by twisting or on occasion it may require a sudden forceful pop by tapping the corner on a firm surface perpendicular to the joint. If you are cutting the frame down by more than a few inches or any amount greater than the width of the V nails you can just roughly cut through the frame with a hand saw to get it into separate pieces and then re-cut the frame with a new miter making it the correct length. It is then a simple procedure to join the frame again and re-assemble the picture.

The other option of cutting a mat board to bridge the gap between the picture and the frame is a simpler process. Just calculate the difference between the frame and the picture and work out the widths of matting required to make the picture fit the frame. After you cut the matting, the picture can be hinged to the border and refitted to the existing frame.

In some instances the frame is smaller than the picture and this presents another set of challenges.