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What is a hand-finished or handmade frame???

The short answer is: a frame which has been made in plain timber first, and then finished as a single piece. There are no visible corner joins in a handmade frame, so even on â€œpristine finishes like Flat Colour, it’s obvious that the frame is custom-made for the artwork within. On the finishes with a varied surface, each frame is completely unique with a life that reflects the character of the art.

The alternative, which we refer to as Cut and Join , is where mouldings are pre-finished in a factory and the framer simply cuts the four frame sides to length and joins then together.

Obviously hand-made frames are more time consuming and therefore expensive to make, but the quality of the frame truly enhances the art within.


Traditional Gesso is a mix of animal glue and chalk. Sometimes called Stucco , Gesso is the base surface for water gilding and other traditional finishes acting as a grain filler and undercoat. It gives frames a fluid look and its unique properties can be used to create many beautiful finishes. We can supply any frame in Plain Gesso for artists to apply their own finishes. Any timber can be gessoed Obeche is normally first choice being the least expensive, particularly for large mouldings.

Flat Colour

We achieve our flat colour finish by spraying several coats of undercoat, followed by waterborne coloured lacquer onto the frame which has been made from the chosen tulip (T) moulding.

The final finish has a soft satin sheen similar to eggshell.


Similar to flat colour but no undercoat, so that the texture of the grain shows. Can be done on Obeche (O) or Ash (A) Ash has the more characterful grain.


Our range of wood-stains colour the wood while retaining the full beauty of the grain both its texture and colour variations.

Finished with a clear, satin sheen waterborne lacquer


Bole is the natural clay in various colours which is used in water gilding underneath the gold or other precious metal leaf. Our Bole Only finishes use bole over a gesso base to create coloured finishes with a unique natural character..


Nothing compares to water laid precious metals. The price reflects the time and painstaking care involved in this work, as well as the materials cost


A main section in coloured bole with selected beadings finished in water laid precious metal.


The worn, dented, scraped finish recreates the beauty of painted exterior woodwork that’s seen a bit of life

Unique to PictureFrames, these finishes are based on traditional Gesso and can be done in pretty much any colour.