More Art, Less Footprint: How to Frame Prints Greener?
Original fine art prints are always an eye-catcher whether at home or in office. An environmentally conscious art collector will surely opt for prints on eco-friendly papers of museum-grade archival quality. But how to frame art greener? Here are some tips.
#1 Reuse the frames you already possess
Maybe you have some frames at home you could reuse? Or maybe your friends or relatives do not need some old ones anymore? Having some frames to reuse, you can purchase a customized print that some artists offer (for instance, on Etsy). Some online boutiques also give a broader choice of sizes practising a pre-order model and printing for you on demand.
#2 Refinish old frames
Your first choice among vintage frames should be the wooden ones, preferably unfinished, raw or a matte finish: they are the easiest to refinish. Always check the back of the frame and give priority also to wood as it is easier to add hooks for a wire. If you want to refinish a vintage frame with an old finish on your own, don’t forget to wear a mask as some older frames were finished with toxic or lead paints!
#3 Order reclaimed wood frames
Some woodworkers in your area (preferably), country or region might handcraft custom picture frames. Ideally try to find the one, who uses reclaimed wood and only the most natural and non-toxic products to finish the frames off. By doing this, you will not only substantially reduce your carbon footprint but also support an artisan in your home city, country or region. If for some reason, none of the tips above is an option for you, then:
#4 Carefully choose a new frame
Try to avoid:
• mass-produced picture frames of low quality, i.e. durability, with a plastic cover instead of glass (like the cheapest IKEA picture frames),
• plastic and heavy frames,
• wooden frames of non-certified wood, such as without an FSC label.
Don’t forget to share these tips with your friends, family and colleagues who love to decorate their homes or offices with art prints and do care about the environment! Thank you!
Photograph: by Jessica Ruscello, San Francisco flea market
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