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The best practice for framing encaustic paintings on cradle board, is to use a "floater frame." This is a frame that will protect the edges and corners of your artwork without touching the surface of your painting. There are many floater frame styles, materials and colors available.


Your painting surface remains exposed so that you can easily buff and lightly dust the edges. Always use a seamless, lint-free cloth to gently rub small circles across your artwork to brighten the shine.

The top surface of the frame should either be slightly higher or equal in height to the painting. If your painting sits above the frame's surface, the sides and corners of your artwork could get damaged.

Traditional frames that have a lip, or a curved edge that overlaps onto the surface of your painting, could potentially (over time) alter the surface of your painting.

A little artwork framed properly in a black floater frame. Best because they don't touch the edges of the painting.
Blue Heron painted with encaustic paint by Melissa Stephens. Painting is floating on archival linen matt board with a white frame.
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Matted and framed artworks witout glass. Another option for encaustic framing.

If you have an encaustic painting on a flat board or paper, you may choose to mount it on cradle board or another stiff substrate before placing it in a floater frame. Linen tape works well to adhere works on paper and a PVA adhesive is appropriate for works on board.


Another option is matting & framing the board or paper in a traditional frame. The same rules apply about not allowing the matt board to overlap or touch the encaustic paint. Acid free boards are a little more expensive, but worth the money because they will not brown or deteriorate over time.


The artwork is best viewed unrestricted, without glass or plexiglas. This way you can still buff it for a shiny surface.


However, if you prefer your artwork to be under glass, be certain that the glass or plexiglas is raised above your painting's surface. Fillets are used to raise the glass from your artwork. These are thin clear plastic rods that fit in the sides hidden by the overlapping section of the traditional frame.

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