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Floater frames are used when framing canvas art. The first step in framing canvas art is to stretch it over a wooden frame, often called a stretcher bar. This is shown in the image below where the canvas is being wrapped around, and stretched over the wooden frame.

Depending on how the canvas was printed, you can have two end results when it is wrapped around the wooden frame: if the image goes right to the end of the canvas, then it’s possible that the four outward facing edges will simply be a continuation of the image. This look is known as a “gallery wrapped” canvas as shown in the picture below.

A canvas being stretched around a wooden frame,
called a stretcher bar.


Gallery Wrapped Canvas









If the canvas had a white border on it, then the four outward facing edges will just show a white face all the way around. In either case, the canvas can then be further enhanced through the addition of a second external frame called a floater frame. In this case there is a small gap between the stretched canvas and the external frame as shown in the picture below.



A stretched canvas with an external floater frame added.
Floater frames come in many colours to match the canvas image.

A floater frame creates the illusion that the artwork is ‘floating’ within the frame instead of being covered by it. It also gives the art a completed look and a sense of space.  It no longer looks lost on the wall or just ‘missing something’. This can be a great solution for those who want an elegant minimalist or modern look for their gallery-wrapped art.  More floater frame options are available than ever before, and that go beyond the traditional very slim, wood stain to include metals in gold and silver.  The frame widths of some floaters have grown to accommodate large-scale artwork, and new frame styles have angles or curves that really make the canvas shine.

A stretched canvas with an external floater frame added.

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