is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

A Guide on How To Frame Watercolor Paintings

how to frame watercolor paintings

Watercolor paintings are best displayed. And they are best displayed in frames. Framing is the plating of your artwork, the cherry on top of your presentation. The frame has to compliment your watercolor painting. It should cast the spotlight on the art instead of itself. Aside from display purposes, an artist should know how to frame watercolor paintings to protect and preserve them. Here is a guide on how to frame your watercolor paintings beautifully without compromising their safety.

Plan Your Watercolor Painting Frame

Before anything else, plan your frame. Imagine how you would like your watercolor painting to look on display. Will you use a golden, silver, or wooden frame? Do you want it with decorative carvings or with simple straight lines? Do you prefer your painting sitting in the frame close or far from the sides?

Avoid getting a frame that will not go well with your watercolor painting. You might see on the internet that most people prefer muted tones for their paintings. The reasoning is a bright-colored frame might be too much for a watercolor painting. But when all is said and done, it’s still your choice.

Knowing what your frame will look like is crucial for framing your painting. Whether you are doing it yourself or having a professional do it, know what you want it to look like. This part is where your framing begins.

Frame Kit

Once you know what sort of frame you want for your watercolor painting, it’s time to gather your materials. The first thing you will need is your frame. You will find these in your local store. If you do not see something to your liking, consider getting a customized frame.

What your frame should include:

  • Frame
  • Mat board
  • Foam-core backing board
  • D-rings with self-tapping screws
  • Nylon hanging string
  • Glass front

Other tools and materials you will need:

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Framing tape
  • Hanging or mounting tape
  • Scissors
  • Clean cloth

Step-by-step Framing

plan your watercolor paintings frame

Once you have all you will need, find yourself a clean, spacious area to work on. It’s best to work on a table or wherever you are comfortable. Get a clean sheet of paper or cloth big enough to protect your frame while you work. Now let’s get to each step of how to frame watercolor paintings.

Step 1: Clean the glass front

Wipe the front of the glass with a clean cloth (use a glass cleaner if necessary). Be very careful when handling the glass; you do not want scratches on top of your painting. Once done, flip the frame and, using the flat screwdriver, pull each flexible staple vertically.

Carefully remove the backing board and mat board, then set them aside. Wipe the back of the glass clean as well to make your watercolor painting will be seen clearly.

Step 2: Affix the watercolor painting on the mat board

Next, get your watercolor painting and a strip of your hanging tape. Lay the painting facing downwards. Securely adhere about two-thirds of the tape congruently on the top of your artwork. The remaining area of the tape is for your mat board.

Flip over your painting and get your mat board. Hold the mat board over the picture with the right side up. Make sure you get it in the correct position before pressing it down gently. Flip your painting and mat board over and securely press the hanging tape.

Step 3: Secure the painting in the frame

It’s time to put your watercolor painting in the frame. You might want to give the glass a quick clean before placing your artwork in it. Once you have successfully placed your artwork on the glass, place the foam-core backing board on top of it.

Hold both sides of the frame firmly and raise it. Look how your watercolor painting looks from the front and see if it’s satisfactory. Lay the frame back down and use your flat screwdriver to push the flexible staples flat on the backing board.

Let’s add a safety measure to your artwork. Using the framing tape, seal the back of the frame to avoid water from getting to your painting. Cut two strips of framing tape. The length should be a couple of centimeters longer than the backing board’s shorter sides.

Similar to how you attached the painting to the mat board, press half of the framing tape on the frame. Press on the tape’s surface that touches the frame, then press on the surface top of the backing board.

Cut two strips of tape for the other sides. Again, fix the tape on the frame first and not on the backing board. This time, cut the ends of the tapes diagonally, parallel to the corner of the frame. Make sure to cut only the tape above. Press down the rest of the tape on the backing board to finish it off.

Step 4: Hanging

Lastly, to hang your frames, get your d-rings with self-tapping screws. Measure where you want your d-rings to go on the top-back of the frames.

Make sure that your d-rings have the same distance from the sides with one another and are not close to the middle. Ideally, you want your d-rings placed one-third from each side of the frame.

Screw the d-rings in the middle of the molding and secure them with their self-tapping screws. When you’re done, you can tie each end of the nylon string to the d-rings and hang it on your wall. Use a strong knot; you do not want your watercolor painting falling from the wall.


After all of those colorful stroking to create the artwork. It’s befitting to house your watercolor painting in a frame that showcases your talent even more and protects it safely. You don’t have to have someone else do the framing and dread that it might get damaged or not be to your taste.

With this guide on how to frame watercolor paintings, you will be able to say you worked on it from the inside out proudly. From the first stroke up to the point that you display it. Do you see your painting hanging beautifully on the wall? Give yourself a pat on the back for your success.

Leave a Comment