When to Use a Custom Wood Frame vs Standard?

Framing is an art in itself. The right frame can elevate a piece of art, a photograph, or even a cherished memory to new heights, making it a focal point in any room.

But with so many framing options available, how do you decide between a custom wood frame and a standard one?

In this guide, we'll delve deep into the nuances of both, helping you make an informed choice.

Understanding the Basics

Custom Wood Frame: As the name suggests, custom frames are tailored to your specific needs.

They can be crafted to any size, style, or finish you desire, ensuring a perfect fit for your artwork. Custom frames are often made of high-quality materials and offer a unique and personalized touch.

Standard Frame: These are pre-made frames available in common sizes and styles. They're typically mass-produced and can be found in art stores, department stores, and online shops. They come in a variety of materials, but for the sake of this discussion, we'll focus on wood.

When to Opt for a Custom Wood Frame

Unique Artwork Dimensions: If your artwork or photograph doesn't fit standard frame sizes, a custom frame is your best bet. This ensures that your piece is framed perfectly without any awkward gaps or the need for excessive matting.

Preservationstandard wood frame: For valuable or antique artworks, custom framing offers archival-quality materials that protect against UV rays, moisture, and other potential damages.

Aesthetic Appeal: If you're looking for a specific style, finish, or wood type that isn't available in standard frames, customizing is the way to go. Whether it's a particular shade of mahogany to match your room's decor or a rustic barn wood finish, custom frames offer endless possibilities.

Professional Display: For artists showcasing their work in galleries, a custom frame can enhance the presentation, making the artwork stand out and potentially increasing its value. There are custom framing services specifically for artists list Frame Destination, Michaels Custom Framing and many others. 

Sentimental Value: For pieces that hold deep personal significance, like a family heirloom or a child's first drawing, a custom frame adds a touch of reverence and importance.

When to Choose a Standard Wood Frame

Budget Constraints: Standard frames are generally more affordable than custom ones. If you're framing multiple pieces for a non-professional setting, standard frames can be cost-effective.

Common Dimensions: If your artwork or photograph fits standard dimensions (like 5x7, 8x10, or 11x14 inches), you'll find a plethora of ready-made frames to choose from.

Temporary Display: For artworks or photos that you plan to switch out frequently, standard frames are practical. They allow for easy changes without the investment of a custom frame.

DIY Projects: If you're into DIY, standard frames offer a blank canvas. You can paint, distress, or decorate them to match your vision.

Immediate Need: If you're in a rush to frame something for a quick gift or an event, standard frames are readily available and convenient.

Things to Consider

Material Quality: Custom frames often use higher quality woods and finishes, ensuring longevity. Standard frames, especially those at lower price points, might not offer the same durability.

Environmental Impact: Custom wood frames often source sustainable and local materials, reducing the carbon footprint. On the other hand, mass-produced standard frames might not prioritize sustainability.

Craftsmanship: Custom frames are crafted with attention to detail, ensuring precise joins, flawless finishes, and overall superior craftsmanship. While there are high-quality standard frames available, the craftsmanship can vary.

Personal Touch: With custom frames, you can collaborate with the framer, ensuring that your vision comes to life. This personal touch is absent with standard frames.


Choosing between a custom wood frame and a standard one boils down to your specific needs, budget, and the importance of the piece you're framing. If you're looking for a unique, high-quality, and personalized framing solution, custom is the way to go. However, if you need a quick, affordable, and convenient option, standard frames won't disappoint.

Remember, the frame is not just an accessory but an extension of the artwork itself. Whether custom or standard, the right frame will complement and enhance the beauty of what lies within, making your cherished pieces truly shine.

Author - Nurlana Alasgarli
Nurlana Alasgarli           

Content Specialist

Nurlana Alasgarli is a professional copywriter with more than 6 years of creative writing experience. Having lived and experienced all over the world, there are many writing genres that Nurlana follows, including nature, arts and crafts and the outdoors. Nurlana brings life to content creation, captivating her readers.


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