How to Select a Metal Picture Frame

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With the huge selection and popularity of metal picture frames sometimes it can be difficult picking the one that is right for you. To help you narrow down your choices here are seven questions you should ask before you start searching for your frame and some tips to help make it easier.

#1- Frame Budget: How much do I want to spend?
If you're not sure how much you have to spend to get the type of metal frame you want here are some rough guidelines for different types of metal frames, based on a 4x6 size, that can help:

* Under $10 - basic aluminum frames, simple solid brass frames
* $10 and up - basic silver plated frames, decorative metal frames, steel frames.
* $30 and up - decorative silver plated frames
* $50 and up - decorative hand made solid pewter frames
* $100 and up - decorative solid sterling silver frames

#2- Keepsake frames: Do I want it to be a treasured keepsake?
If you're looking for a quality metal frame that you want as a keepsake, then there are three types of frames to consider: silver plated frames, solid pewter frames and sterling silver frames. These three types of frames are durable and made to last plus they have a distinct look of quality that sets them apart from other types of metal frames.

#3- Frame Style: What picture frame style do I want?
No matter what your style preference, there is a metal frame style to match. Here are a few examples of types of metal frames that have a distinct style. Just keep in mind that there is a huge variation in frame styles with different types of metal frames.

* Elegant: Silver plated frames, sterling silver frames, metal decorative frames, and metal jeweled frames
* Casual: Decorative metal frames or solid pewter frames.
* Professional: Aluminum frames, silver plated frames or sterling silver frames
* Modern or Traditional style: Almost any type of metal frame, including aluminum frames, steel frames, pewter frames, silver plate frames, sterling silver frames, fit into this style category.

#4- Color: What color of frame do I need?
Metal frames commonly come in various gold or silver tones depending upon the metal material. One thing to know about any "silver" frame is what it's made out of because it could be made out of an aluminum or metal alloy instead of being made out of a silver plate or sterling. So, the wording "silver frame" is describing the color, not the material it is made from. This is true for pewter frames as well. Unless it states "solid pewter" it is describing the color of the frame and not the material from which the frame is made.

Metal frames are also available in a wide variety of colors. You can get aluminum frames in colors like silver, gold, black, blue and copper or you can find metal frames with bright enamel finishes or decorated with beads or crystals.

#5- Finish: What type of metal finish do I prefer?
The most common metal finishes are shiny, matte/brushed and antiqued. Unless the finish is specifically called matte, brushed or antiqued, it will be a shiny finish.

#6- Engraved Frame: Do I want to engrave my frame?
If you want to engrave a frame, always check to see if the frame is identified as an engraved (or an engravable) picture frame. This means that the metal frame has the same color metal throughout the depth of the frame. It also has to have a smooth, flat surface for the engraving. Engraved frames are available as silver plated, solid pewter or sterling silver frames.

#7- Size: Do you need a specific frame size?
If you are framing a standard sized photo, you should be able to use a readymade frame. Readymade frames are the most convenient way to frame because there are many standard sizes from which to choose.

For a non-standard print or a piece of artwork, you'll probably need to frame it in a custom metal frame. How much you want to spend is also a factor that comes into play. You can either buy a custom frame and have it put together for you, or you can buy the size you need and assemble it yourself. Many metal frames are simple to put together by yourself, so this is a good option if you are handy at putting things together and you want to save some money.

Now that you've answered these seven questions, you should be able to quickly and easily choose the frame that is best for you.


Autumn Lockwood is a writer for and is passionate about taking pictures. Your Picture Frames offers a large selection of quality picture frames in a wide variety of sizes, color, finishes and styles. To get great service and find exactly what you want like a wooden or metal picture frame visit our website or call 1-800-780-0699.

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