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Wooden photo frames can be found in every home in the world; There are many advantages to using wooden photo frames over metal frames or (God forbid) plastic photo frames.

Wood frames offer much more in terms of aesthetic appeal than their metal or plastic counterparts.

Wood frames definitely have a more “rustic” warm feel than cooler metal frames made from materials like aluminum.

These days, you can get what is known as a “composite” wood frame. These frames are made up of thousands of small pieces of wood glued together with a special adhesive (very similar to MDF and often referred to as MDF picture frames or ‘paper wrap’ frames) The MDF type trim is covered with a paper wrap They may have hundreds of different wood effects printed on them.

The advantages of using these composite frames are that they are cheaper than using a real solid wood photo frame, they are more environmentally friendly (although the glue used is not particularly good) as they are often made from recycled wood.

The disadvantages of composite materials are that it is much more difficult to achieve a good joint at the mitered edges. Because the moldings are made of glue and wood rather than real solid wood, they are often more brittle and the pressure of firing the wedges at the miter joint can often cause gaps to appear. Over time, they become more brittle and often expand and contract more than solid wood frames. The same goes for plastic trim.

With solid wood frames, this is less likely. All types of wood are designed to expand and contract by nature, but the moldings used by most reputable picture framers have generally been dried for a long time (either naturally in the open air or in huge giant ovens, depending on the country of origin).

Wood frames come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, widths, colors, and finishes. There are hundreds of wood moldings manufactured around the world. Some of the best wood molding for picture frames comes from Italy and Spain (trust the Italians for the right style and sophistication!). Many of the cheaper wood trim are manufactured in the Far East and Eastern Europe is another cheaper alternative to mass produced picture frames.

Wood picture frame trim comes in a variety of shapes known as profiles. From simple ‘padded’ profiles to elaborate hand-carved wooden frames, there is a frame design for everyone.

When choosing your wooden photo frames, be sure to always check the corners for gaps, and when in doubt choose solid wood photo frames rather than composite ones.

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