|Credit to Art Gallery Frames|
Pitfall #1- Mistaken Identity
Before you buy a wood picture frame it is essential to know the different types on the market: solid wood, composite and wood veneer. It's important to know what you're buying because the cost will vary depending upon the type of material.
Composite wood is the least expensive and it's made out of compressed wood pieces that are glued together with an adhesive. Composite wood is used to make frames with decorative or beaded borders or decorative round or oval frames. This is commonly done because composite wood is the most economical and quality conscious way to have a decorative wood edge or beaded border without hand carved or glued-on decorative ornamentation. Composite wood is also used in most cases where you see a super inexpensive frame that says it's a "wood frame."
Wood Veneer is used to give a frame a real wood look without having to use solid wood. Wood veneer frames use a thin sliver of real wood that is glued to a less expensive type of solid wood (or in some cases composite wood). Wood veneer frames are often used with high end woods like exotic or burl woods where you want the gorgeous look of the wood without wasting it where it can't be seen. A burl frame is a great example of when veneer wood should be used to make frames. This makes the veneer frames more economical and allows more wood frames to be made with a limited resource.
Pitfall #2- Wood isn't Perfect
Many people expect that when they buy a solid wood frame it will come without imperfections. This is puzzling because one of the beauties of buying a wood frame is its natural variation in color and wood grain. Nonetheless, people often complain about wood knots, wood grain patterns and slight color differences due to wood grain absorbing stain differently. Although high quality frame manufacturers minimize these variations significantly, it can happen so be aware of these possible variations before you buy. In my humble opinion, it's the natural variations in wood grain that I think make every wood frame uniquely beautiful.
Pitfall #3- Sensitivity of Unfinished Wood
If you've ever bought an unfinished wood frame then you may already know this important pitfall. Unfinished wood frames can be easily damaged by water or any sticky or oily substance if there is direct contact with the frame. Unfinished frames are exactly that- they are raw wood and have no protective lacquer or coating to seal the frame from destructive elements. That means a simple water droplet or greasy fingerprint can leave a mark on your unfinished wood frame that's difficult to fix. So, if your want an unfinished frame just know that you need to be extra careful to avoid touching the frame or having liquid around it otherwise
Pitfall #4- Misleading Colors
When it comes to wood frames, never think of the "color" as the type of wood. In most cases, frame manufacturers describe the frame by words like cherry, walnut, teak or rosewood. However, this doesn't mean that the frames are made from these types of wood. These terms are used to describe color because people relate to the wood colors using those traditional wood color tones. However, most frames these days are stained those colors and are rarely made out of solid woods like cherry, walnut, teak or rosewood.
Although it's usually safe to assume its never solid cherry, walnut or teak wood, the best way to be sure is to read the frame description carefully or to ask the frame retailer directly. In most cases, if it doesn't say it's a frame made out of "solid walnut" or "solid teak" you can be pretty sure it's simply stained that color. Another hint is that woods like walnut, teak, and cherry are going to be considerably more expensive than their stained solid wood counterparts and will have a distinct wood grain that's noticeably different.
By avoiding these four potential pitfalls when buying wood frames, you'll be sure to save time and money in selecting a wood picture frame that's perfect for you and your favorite photo.
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for YourPictureFrames.com and is passionate about picture frames, hiking and photography.
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By: Autumn Lockwood