How to Care for Framed Art

There’s more to caring for your artwork than picking the perfect frame. From limited edition prints to original paintings, framed art needs special care and professional quality materials.

framed-art-2Properly caring for your framed art helps maintain its value and original vibrancy for future generations.  Before, during, and after framing, we recommend the following guidelines when caring for your artwork:

Cleaning Your Framed Art

To clean your framed print, remove it from the wall and place it flat on a table or other stable surface.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth or a soft brush to clean your frame. Harsh chemicals like ammonia, alcohol and other types of cleaners can damage fine finished gold-leaf, acid wash, lacquer and other frame finishes.

Clean glass by spraying cleaner onto a soft cloth and then wiping the glass. This helps prevent liquids from seeping into the frame and making colors bleed or paper buckle.

Clean Plexiglas or other acrylic-type glazing with special Plexiglas cleaner, or with a mild detergent solution, and very soft cotton cloth. Glass cleaners that contain ammonia will cause acrylic glazing to turn yellow and improper wiping will scratch most acrylic coverings.

For your convenience, we recommend and sell Ultra Lite glass and plastic cleaner.

Bring Your Artwork to the Gallery for a Checkup

Framed art should be inspected for wear and damage every few years. Over time, your frame may have scratches that need a touch up, new dust covers, adjustments to the picture wire, or similar simple repairs.

When you bring your framed art into the Gallery, we will inspect for hidden damage and clean it. That’s one “window” you don’t have to wash yourself.

Here’s what we’ll look for when you bring it to us:

  • framed-art-1CRIMPING: Prints are most vulnerable to damage in the unframed stage. Removing it from its storage tube or rough handling when trying to uncurl the print can cause dents and creases. Grasping the print too hard can also cause crimps or dents. It is best to minimize handling your art prints. When you must handle it, wear gloves.
  • TEARS: Rips or tears in the print, no matter how small should be handled with care, even in border areas that would be covered by the frame. Insignificant tears can turn into gaping holes over time.
  • ACID BURNS: Acid burn is caused by wood pulp contained in commonly used matboard. Wood pulp contains acids that cause the matboard to turn brown, become brittle and even disintegrate when removed from the frame. We can quickly evaluate the type of matboard your artwork is framed with and discuss the impact it will have on the artwork over time.
  • DRY MOUNTING: Prints need to be properly adhered to a backing board. Adhesive residue from improperly mounted prints can cause permanent damage. In most designs, secure mounting of the artwork can be accomplished on acid-free materials with non-toxic, reversible adhesive. However, many art mediums and papers are too fragile and must be hinged using the appropriate techniques, pastes, and papers.
  • MILDEW: Mildew or moisture damage occurs when a print is not kept in a climate controlled area or is exposed to areas with excessive amounts of heat. However, minor condensation can form on glass simply by moving a piece of framed art from air-conditioned coolness to a hot car or display window, for example. This will usually dissipate without damage to the artwork, if the proper spacing between the glass and artwork has been provided by your framer. Otherwise, the print will likely attach to the glass.

The negative impacts on treasured artwork that has been improperly framed, cleaned, stored, or moved are usually permanent and irreversible. That’s why we are so committed to following the highest quality preservation practices and teaching you how to avoid these types of deterioration and damage.

Transporting Artwork

When transporting your art, make sure it is protected from the elements and from damage.

Wrap your art in plastic to prevent water damage and use towels or blankets to cushion it. Using protective frame corners or wrapping the art completely inside cardboard and taping it closed will assure safe transport.

Unwrap your art pieces as soon as possible. If leaning against a wall or storage space, make sure they are upright and face to face if there is more than one so the hanging hardware does damage the front of the other frame.

Remember: The safest place for your framed artwork is on the wall.

Whether you have an original painting, fine art print or treasured keepsake, if it needs to be framed, we will design a beautiful display tailored to the piece and your décor to protect and enhance the work for years to come.  Stop by the gallery with your artwork and questions. We will be happy to evaluate your artwork and recommend the best framing options and solutions for you.  The staff of Village Frame and Gallery has over 28 years combined experience framing, preserving and protecting artwork for display in your home or business.

Featured Artists John and Elli Milan

Image of floral painting by John and Elli Milan

Internationally collected artists John and Elli Milan have a unique creative process. They create their paintings together.

IMG_1756_Milan_600John and Elli met in Hawaii when they were young. They both wanted to be artists, so attended Savannah College of Art and Design, then University of Georgia, where each received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. Soon they were working independently, developing their personal styles, and showing their work in local galleries, but they dreamed of working together.

Today, that dream has come true. Collaborating, they create art neither could create alone. John and Elli explain, “The Spirit of God inspires our work and allows us to create together and maintain a unified vision.” The end result is aggressive and spontaneous layers of paint which create a bright and playful scenario that is interwoven with hints of narrative.

They travel often to Greece, which inspires their artwork and life. Contemporary buildings built around old ruins, and the visible layers of history, have become a metaphor for how the Milan’s see spiritual transformation within themselves and the people around them:

Like these ancient cities, our lives are complex; as we grow and progress the new slowly replaces the old, yet we are often nostalgic for our old self, rather than looking forward with great expectation to our destiny.

The Milans and their four children live in Queen Creek, Arizona, where they have a home studio that is open year round. They are exhibited in galleries and private collections in Canada, Europe, the United States, Philippines, and Dubai.

Village Frame & Gallery is proud to offer works by John and Elli Milan in our gallery. To see these works in person, visit the Gallery Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., or by appointment.


April Art Sale at Village Frame & Gallery

Save 25% Off All Art in the Gallery in April

Welcome spring with a new piece of art. It’s the perfect way for art lovers to celebrate the return of light and color to the Pacific Northwest. In April, every piece of artwork at Village Frame & Gallery is on sale. Stop by with the April Word of the Month, RABBIT, and save big.

Here’s a very small sample of artwork available now:

4 Reasons to Have Textiles Framed by a Pro

Are textiles your chosen art medium? Or do you have heirloom pieces handed down from your grandmother? Here are four reasons you should be working with a professional framer:

To Preserve Your Fiber Arts for Future Generations


Any needlepoint, quilt, or textile piece created today has the potential of becoming a treasured heirloom in the future. When you want a handcrafted keepsake to take its proper place in your family history, it is important to consult a professional. Seek a business that is knowledgeable about the specific care and requirements for preserving, repairing, and displaying textiles. From framing and mounting, to the location and method of display, every textile piece deserves the same time and care that went into creating it.

Textiles Require Special Framing Materials and Techniques

When it comes to choosing appropriate framing materials, special consideration must be given to the textile itself: the materials, weight, size, age, and general structure of the piece. Also, you must evaluate where the framed art will hang, including room environment, light exposure, and temperature fluctuations.

Skillfully framing needlework requires correctly blocking the piece and securing it with lacing, never adhesive, so it is flat, secure, and square. Glazing is highly recommended to prevent fading of fibers. In addition, adequate space must be created between the textile and glazing for ventilation. The art must always have room to breathe!

Time and the Environment are Not on Your Side

fanNatural fibers enhance the beauty of textile pieces, but are particularly delicate and perishable. Organic fibers, such as cotton canvas, silk thread, and wool yarn, need special care to ensure their longevity. Ultraviolet rays from both sunlight and artificial lighting can weaken fibers and fade fabric dyes. Fibers can also be dust magnets. That’s a great quality in a dusting cloth, but not for your precious textile art.

Framing provides textiles with physical protection from dust, pollutants, accidental soiling, and direct handling. Quality design will also enhance their appearance.

Previously Framed or Stored Textiles are Already in Trouble

Most embroideries, lace, and even small quilts, can be safely framed. However, problems can occur with textiles that have been glued to acidic paper, mat board, and cardboard. Items that have been in storage may also develop issues. Cloth kept in plastic or folded in the bottom of a trunk may have spots of decay, especially along the folds.

Textiles that have mold, stains, broken fibers, rips and tears, or insects, have special issues that should be referred to a professional conservator prior to framing.

Village Frame & Gallery is Portland’s Trusted Resource for Textile Framing

To preserve needlework, your great-grandmother’s wedding veil, or any precious textile, bring it to Village Frame & Gallery for an expert consultation. We will help you preserve and proudly display your priceless keepsakes to their best advantage.

Don’t Miss the Savings on Surplus Framing Material

Do you ever get to the point where you just can’t stand your overflowing closets anymore? We’re there and we’re doing some pre-Spring cleaning, so take advantage of the big savings right now on surplus framing material.

What’s that, you ask?

Max-Hayslette-Autumn-Memories-FM365-2When we order material for a custom framing job, we have to buy minimum lengths of moulding, often more than we need to complete the job. It’s the same with mats. There is often “fall out” or extra after we cut what we need.

These are beautiful, top-quality materials, so we store the excess until we have another, smaller project for the same moulding or matting. Of course, you know what happens, eventually the storeroom starts to bulge at the seams. That’s why we’re selling our surplus materials at huge savings during to anyone who tells us the Word of the Month.

March Word of the Month

In case you missed the February eNews, the Word of the Month for March is LION.

“The early bird gets the best selection,” so don’t delay.

Take advantage of this opportunity to properly display those small art treasures collecting in your closets, drawers and shelves. While supplies last, we will help you create a lovely space for just about any project, 16″ x 20″ or smaller, using significantly discounted, high quality surplus moulding and matting. What could be better for chasing away the deep winter blues than finally getting to enjoy artwork you love?

If you have questions or a project in mind, please give us a call at 503-245-8001, email Deann, or visit the Gallery Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm or by appointment.

First Friday Message from Kaye Synoground


kaye_synogroundI am pleased and honored to be the latest Featured Artist at Village Frame and Gallery!

Since coming to the Village in 1987 I have found both home and endless inspiration in this quaint and friendly environment. Many of you may remember the little studio I maintained here for 16 years in what I always thought of as “the heart of the Village.”

I hope you can drop by and say hello this Friday evening when Village Frame and Gallery will be displaying some of my more recent work as well as some “Village art.” I’ll be at the Gallery from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Below is a sneak peek of some of my artwork. You can enlarge the images by clicking on them. I hope they inspire you to attend my First Friday exhibit.

Warm regards,

Kaye Synoground

Two Persimmons by Kaye Synoground

Two Persimmons

Blue Nude by Kaye Synoground

Blue Nude

Drifters by Kaye Synoground


Our Starbucks by Kaye Synoground

Our Starbucks

Did You See Our New Video?

Did you spot some of your neighbors in it? Thanks to Elizabeth Nichols, Matthias and Jennifer Merkel, Amy Henderson, and our very own Deann Holtz and Labrynt McLaughlin for making this project a big success.

Prefer to have your news delivered to your inbox?

Subscribers to Village Frame and Gallery News got their their copy of the February edition delivered this morning. If an e-mail digest of our blog posts and upcoming events suits you better than watching a blog or Facebook feed, grab  your free subscription right now. Every month we deliver some background on one of our favorite artists, professional framing tips, and opportunities for big savings with the Word of the Month. Click the button below to get started and we’ll send you the February edition right away.


Group-web-158Our Pledge to You: We appreciate your business and take your privacy seriously. We will never share, sell or rent your personal information without your advance permission unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you.

Restoring Priceless Works of Art

Refinish, Restore and Revive Confidently with Preservation Artisans Guild


Artwork’s value increases with age but so does its wear and tear. Thanks to dedicated and professional preservation artisans, the beauty never has to fade.

And now, thanks to the newly-formed Preservation Artisans Guild, no guesswork is required to find the best professional to repair or restore your artwork.

We are excited to introduce you to the Guild’s preservation and restoration artisans. Whether you want to give the sparkle back to your antique mirror, or freshen up a masterpiece that’s grown dull, Preservation Artisans Guild has a specialist in the area you need. The Guild is a professional network of highly skilled craftspeople, artisans, art historians, and other people who are passionate about preservation and conservation.

As a member of the Preservation Artisans Guild, Village Frame & Gallery is increasing our ability to provide you the best art ownership experience. Guild members network and exchange information among multiple disciplines and areas of expertise. This exchange of ideas, knowledge and insights provides an opportunity to expand our breadth of knowledge about preservation and restoration processes. Guild members meet regularly to share information, learn from each other, and work collaboratively on restoration projects.

The Preservation Artisans Guild was born in response to the need to differentiate those who claim to be experts in the preservation field from those who really are. The Guild provides an opportunity to connect art lovers with true restoration professionals who are skilled in, and passionate about, preserving and conserving period architecture and fine art.

Village Frame & Gallery is proud to be a member of the Guild, working to provide the Pacific Northwest with the best art collecting, sharing, and owning experience.

Visit or contact us to get started on your art restoration adventure today!

Learn More About How Village Frame & Gallery Frames Your Precious Art

Village Frame & Gallery, 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219 ● (503) 245-8001
Open Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 5pm, and Saturday 10am - 4pm, or by appointment.