How to Use Floater Frames

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step 1

Floater frames may come with a step to ensure uniform spacing of the art within the recess of the frame.  When using a floater frame that doesn't have a step, proper spacing can be ensured by another means detailed ahead.

step 2

Begin by laying the frame on its face.  Measure down the back of the moulding and make a mark to locate the position of each screw or nail.

step 3

You can use nails or screws to hold the art in the frame.  If you are using screws, you may want to create a pilot hole, which can be made by using the tip of the screw, before drilling the hole.

step 4

Screws can be turned under hand-strength into most softwood frames, but for hardwood frames, or where you prefer a greater degree of accuracy, you may choose to pre-drill the holes.

step 5

After drilling the holes, turn the frame over so it's face up.  Unlike most other frames, floater frames are loaded face up.  Floater frames are cut to the size of the artwork unless otherwise specified. 

step 6

With standard floaters, to achieve the effect of the art floating within the walls of the frame, add 1/4" to the width and height of the artwork when determining the frame size. This will give you a 1/8" space between the edges of the artwork and the walls of the frame. 

step 7

When using a floater frame without a built-in step, uniform spacing can be acheived by making wedges out of folded paper and inserting them on each side between the edges of the artwork and the inside of the frame recess.

step 8

With the artwork loaded, turn the frame over onto its face and secure the artwork in the frame by screwing or nailing into the back of the frame.  Use a towel under the artwork to prevent damage to the face of the artwork during this part of the procedure.

step 9

One screw or nail on each side should be sufficient to hold the art in most frames.

step 10

In many galleries floater frames are the preferred method for presenting art on canvas or panels.

step 11

The quarter inch spacing between the edges of the art and the interior of the frame recess makes it appear that the art is floating within the walls of the frame.