Listen, framing art can be a real pain. And if you just plunked down a lot of money for a piece you love, the less-crafty among us might be reticent to attempt matting something ourselves. That's where the pros come in! We asked our wonderful and stylish readers what their favorite local frame shops are and here's what they said.
The Art Department: "They are a really busy frame shop and usually have great prices on select frames because they do so much volume. Terry has been in the industry for ever and has really impressive designs! They are only open during the week but well worth finding time in your schedule!" — DryHeat
Frame Monster: "I use Frame Monster in the Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles for all the art I exhibit and sell at Good Eye Gallery. We offer mobile curating services that includes custom framing and installation for clients who are too busy or feel they need a designers eye when choosing the frame that best compliments their artwork" — goodeyegallery
Anthology Fine Art: "Excellent quality work and they frame many unique items, not just artwork! Family owned and operated, they care about their clients. Best framing in Denver!" — Kelly Pete
Lloyd's Custom Framery: "Lloyd's Custom Framery in Ft. Collins is the best! Alan Kinney and his team make your frame part of the art. Alan's eye for showcasing interesting pieces and his care for conserving special mementos is beyond any framer I've worked with! I ship my things from CA to CO because he's worth it!" — BJMinSA
"Lloyd's Custom Framery is the best! Skilled and outrageously creative, the custom frames they create are works of art in themselves. They are so knowledgeable, helpful, and easy to work with. You know that you're going to the right place when the Colorado State University Art Museum AND the Center for Fine Art Photography trust them with their priceless pieces! Be sure to ask for Alan when you pay them a visit...he's like some sort of framing wizard!" — Vania Marie
Farrell's Frame and Design: "Amanda does amazing work! She has framed several pieces for us (one of which was HUGE & complex) and they all are beautiful! We receive compliments on her work all the time & never hesitate to let folks know who is responsible. She has a very artistic eye and is a doll to work with." — RevDeanna
McGuire Fine Art: "It's hard to walk past McGuire's without stopping in to see what's new. David has framed several pieces for me and I am very happy with all of them. I don't even know where to start choosing the right frame, but he is so creative and patiently guides me through the process. He never rushes customers and always points out the merits of various possibilities. You don't have to worry about them trying to steer you toward the most expensive products either. Don't even bother with those national chain stores or fall for their too good to be true discounts! You get so much for your money here and you will make a new friend too!" — Twinkie1
Oliver Brothers: "This magazine editorial from 2016 says it all: 'It's rare to find framers working side by side with art conservators, but that's exactly what you'll get at Oliver Brothers. In business since 1850, Oliver Brothers' fine art expertise extends to its framing, which is critical for the attractive presentation and critical preservation of art. Because of Oliver Brothers' deep awareness of the fragility and delicateness of antiques and fine art, the expert framers not only know how to appropriately handle the artwork that's been entrusted to them, but also how to use the most beautiful and suitable materials and methods for framing." — 011
Framers Workshop: "They recently changed locations, so heads-up to anyone who goes by the old one and mistakenly thinks they went out of business. You can do it yourself there or have them do it for you." — foogiefive
Mac Galleries and Frames: "We moved away from Detroit a few years ago, so you would have to confirm he's still in business, but the owner is truly an artist. I brought him really unusual things to frame and gave him free reign, and he did the most beautiful custom cutting, selection of mats and frames, all at a very fair price for the beautiful, thoughtful work, much better than anything I could have come up with myself. He sells a small selection of African art in his gallery, as well. Just a great, super talented person. I wish I had someone like him in my current city." — ceevans
LaFontsee Galleries: "I recommend LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids, MI for anyone in West Michigan!!! Their frame department has been around since the '80s. The staff is very skilled and friendly! They have the capacity for large-scale projects but are able to do very personal and custom work." — k8creates
Stomping Grounds: "They took the time to hear what kind of look I was going for, and asked questions about placement and mood of the piece. Then they recommended something I never would have found on my own and it was a total home run. They intuitively know what suits the art best. And though I've described this as if I'm some high falutin art person, the fact of the matter is that this was just a special picture and they made it look amazing at a price point that seemed supremely reasonable!" — JGeneva
Yesterday and Today Frame Shop: "Excellent, quality work every single time. Stunning designs and only the best materials. I am always overjoyed to pick up my pieces and see what amazing work they do. In business for over 40 years!" — RoseHPU
Jerry's Artarama: "They are the best there is; I only go there and I have a LOT of framing projects. The staff is top notch and have done some complex work for me. No one better anywhere I have lived." — kflo818
Salt Lake City
Signed & Numbered: "Owned by a local artist, Leia Bell, this place does custom and pre-made, all sustainable wood frames. They also stock work by local artists so you can browse for your next wall piece after dropping off a project." — AnnaHeirmart
And some great general advice about deciding what framing options are a good fit for you from Miranar:
Former framer here: Framing at a shop is always going to be expensive because the materials are expensive. Especially true wood frames (not composite) with detail and UV protection glass or plexi.
Picking up a pre-made frame is cheaper, but the materials are literally THE WORST. The corners are awful, the glass isn't UV protective, the points fall out...the wire falls off... Basically only use pre-made if you #1 Don't care about preservation of the work #2 Know enough to supplement the failings of those frames (replace glass, points, etc.)
Frame shops in big box stores: Cheaper because they buy materials in bulk and supplement sales with the store overall, but the training of the staff is a mixed bag. Could be amazing, or could be people you'd never want to hand your art to. Start out with cheaper pieces here, and if all goes well, trust them with more. Big box stores always farm out some or all of their framing process so they can have a slower turn-around.
Local frame shops: Almost always more expensive BUT typically well-trained AND they can move mountains to do what you need. Cool framing techniques, more selection, more care, more personal attention, and can rush a job if needed.
Need to get some pieces framed by would rather do it from the comfort of your home: