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So here we are at the sixty-four thousand dollar question: what is this fabulous Picture Source custom framing job going to cost me? The three factors that most affect the cost are the size of the picture, the complexity involved, and the materials used. Complexity generally refers to the number of special-cut mats that surround the artwork. These are often referred to as “openings”. So for example, if you’re doing a collage of images, you would have multiple openings inside the picture frame. More openings and related mat-cuts increases the cost.

When it comes to frames, they can be as varied as the photographs and paintings they display. In general they are either made from wood, composites, or metal. Most good framing shops like Picture Source will offer numerous frame styles, colors and finishes to choose from. But that said, in our experience sometimes a simple black frame does the job just fine. And of course simple costs less. Most shops will also offer different types of glass, from clear to ultra-violet protective, and a variety of museum-grade, acid-free archival mat materials to preserve artwork from sun damage, dust and moisture.


Pricing Rule of Thumb - as noted, the cost for custom framing varies depending on the size of the image, the materials used and the nature of the project. However, as a general rule of thumb you can follow this guide: add the width of the picture (in inches) to the length (in inches) and multiply by 3.5. So a 20 x 20 inch picture would be (20+20) = 40 x 3.5 = $140. The multiple of 3.5 is a general guide as noted. It can be 2.8 or 4.0 depending on the materials and the nature of the job. But a multiple of 3.5 is usually a safe place to start.

We understand the trepidation when it comes to pricing because there are a few framing companies that charge what effectively amounts to 5 or 6 times the L+W. All we can say is shop and compare before you commit. If you have the good fortune to try us out at Picture Source we’re 100% confident you’ll feel you received far better value for your money than higher priced options.

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