Good Questions: Why Does Framing Cost So Much?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

A friend of mine told me a framing she had done at Pearl Paint cost her $300. Why does framing cost so much? I have a lot of things I need framed – should I get a mat cutter and learn to do it myself?

Thanks, Kelly

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Excellent Question, Kelly, but the simple answer is that proper framing takes

a. time
b. skill and
c. good supplies.

We used to be shocked too, but when we began to spend more on artwork and really wanted it to look good, we realized that framing was part of the investment. As for your friend, $300 is only a bit much if the picture is small. Most things that we have had framed cost between $150 and $450.

But we are talking about “proper” framing – the kind where your artwork is really protected from sunlight and elements and sits beautifully inside of a frame that just looks awesome on your wall. We have a good list of local framers here and Pearl is one of them. They are slow, but actually a bit cheaper than many others.

As for doing it yourself, go for it if you want to spend a little time figuring it out. Mat cutting is a pain in the ass. We frame our own work, but we don’t use mats at all and prefer to float the work on paper. If something is really valuable, however, it pays to get it professionally framed.

Anyone else??