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What is Custom Framing?


Whether we’re framing your great-grandmother’s evening bag, your collection of New Mexico maps, the newest Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Poster or your latest Andy Warhol purchase, High Desert Art & Frame takes pride in our design skills, quality of materials and your complete satisfaction.

We’ll guide you through the design process with options limited only by your imagination.

Fabric wrapped mats? Fillets? Custom mat design? Wood frames? Metal? We’ve got it all.

The Custom Picture Frame Package (or sandwich)


The most basic custom frame package consists of five elements:


Moulding - the frame surrounds the other framing elements

Glazing - glass or acrylic

Matting - window mat enhances and protects the art while providing space between the art and glazing

Art - centerpiece from which all design elements are drawn

Backing - secures and protects the art from the back



High Desert art & frame offers a wide variety of custom frames in both wood and metal mouldings. Selection will depend on the artwork, the location where the piece will reside and your personal taste. 



Glazing refers to the glass or acrylic on the front of the framed work.



 High Desert art & frame offers three glass choices with 99% UV protection.

- Conservation Clear  – provides 99% UV protection

- Conservation Reflection Control – provides 99% UV protection and is chemically etched on one side scattering light and reducing glare

- Museum Glass – provides 99% UV protection and is the best glazing option for most framed artwork. Museum Glass is the highest quality anti-reflective picture framing glass available in the industry. A special manufacturing process makes Museum glass virtually invisible.


All of the above contain UV coating to block UV rays. This coating is effective in filtering harmful UV rays and reduces fading, but does not completely protect your artwork. Care should be taken to protect your artwork from too much light exposure.



Acrylic can also be used for custom picture framing. Non-glare and clear acrylics are available as well as acrylic with UV protection. Acrylic is generally used with large pieces of artwork when weight is a consideration. It is also used when breakage is a concern and for shipping framed artwork. Acrylic is not suitable for some art, such as pastels, because the static electricity in acrylic may lift the media from the art. Acrylic also requires special care in cleaning. It scratches more readily than glass.



High Desert art & frame offers a large selection of matboard in a wide array of colors. Matboard used in custom picture framing is acid and lignin free. Matboard consists of three layers: an outer surface lining colored), a backing paper, and the core (may also be colored). Four ply is the most common matboard used in custom picture framing. (A buffered pH neutral matboard may be used for decorative purposes only. It is not suitable for conservation framing. It is referred to as regular acid-free matboard or non-conservation matboard.)



Art may be a watercolor, oil, pastel, giclée, drawing, acrylic, crayon, poster, print, photo, certificate, diploma, serigraph, animation cels, needlework, textiles, medals, christening gowns and the list continues. Almost anything can be considered a work of art and can be framed.



The backing is the framing element that supports the artwork. It too, must be acid and lignin free. The artwork is attached to the backing (mounted) using any number of mounting techniques that do not compromise the artwork. Care should be taken to use “reversible” mounting, meaning if the artwork is removed from the frame it will have no trace of the mounting method and the artwork remains in its original condition. If the artwork is mounted using a vacuum and/or heat press it may or may not be reversible. When considering this type of mounting, assume it will not be reversible.

Fitting the frame package refers to the assembly of all the prepared elements. A dust cover is added to the back of every wood frame. The hanging mechanism is attached and your artwork is ready to hang!

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