New to Framing: Commercial Framing

What do I need to start framing for profit?

A picture frame is one of the few bespoke-made items that almost anyone can afford. Owning a picture framing business can be both a great way to make a living and an excellent outlet for your creativity. It is also a perfect additional service for a gallery, print or photography business.

Choosing Equipment

The right equipment is vital to a successful framing business – it’ll ensure you’re productive, profitable and across the full range of creative possibilities. The capital investment and up-front stock required to start a framing business is comparatively low.

We can offer advice based on the type and volume of framing you’ll be doing, the skill level of the operator, the space you’re working in and, of course, your budget. Make an appointment to visit our showroom either in person or virtually

If you’re thinking about buying second-hand equipment, we stock a wide range of spare parts for Morso, Alfamacchine, Inmes and other brands.

Processes & Materials

Watch this series of videos to understand the basic processes of picture framing and the type of equipment you’ll need.

- There are six basic processes:

  1. Cutting the moulding with a mitre guillotine, double mitre saw or ordering it on our Chop Service
  2. Inserting v-nails to join the moulding to make a frame using a foot operated or pneumatic underpinner
  3. Cutting a window mount using a mountcutter
  4. Cutting the glass or styrene using a sheet material cutter
  5. Cutting the backing board again using a sheet material cutter
  6. Assembling the frame and securing the back in place with a point driver

- Basic materials used include:

  • Moulding to make the frame.
  • V-nails and PVA wood glue to join the frame.
  • Mountboard is cut on a mountcutter to make the window mount and undermount.
  • Hinging tape to fix artwork to the undermount, or self-adhesive mounting board to stick down posters / photographs. This stops them from going wavy inside the frame.
  • Glass or styrene glazing. We don’t supply glass as we can’t despatch it.
  • MDF or fluted board for the back of the frame.

Watch a short video below on the anatomy of a frame.


Many framing businesses operate out of relatively small premises. You’ll need space for a workbench of at least 1 x 1.2m. If you’re going to be cutting moulding on a Morso mitre guillotine, you need one wall about 5m long to allow you feed 3m lengths through.

Moulding & Mountboard Samples

A wall of moulding chevrons is the distinctive sign of a framing shop. A wide choice of moulding styles is a key point of difference when customers compare with buying a ready-made frame.

  • We supply moulding chevrons with Velcro already applied and ready to go on your wall.
  • Speak to your Area Sales Manager for advice on choosing your range.
  • Brushed Nylon makes a great ‘Velcro receptive surface’.

Do you offer training?

We don’t offer training courses in the process of framing but listed below are some people who do -

The Art of Framing Training School

Through Paul Webb of Artwork Creations Ltd. Paul is a Guild Certified Framer (GCF) and accredited as a trainer by the Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG). He been running his own framing business for 15 years and framing for 30.

Paul offers 3 core courses:

• Introduction to Framing - one day course
• Introduction to Framing – two-day course with more hands-on practice
• GCF Preparation – one / two-day course as appropriate

Courses can also be tailored to cover particular techniques, such as advanced mountcutting or shirt framing. Students will leave with 1 or 2 items they have framed, a full set of course notes and a folder of useful information. Contact Paul on or visit

Easy to follow how-to videos, take a look.

Atkin Framers

Atkin Framers have been helping new and established framers for the last 25 yrs. All aspects of our exciting profession is explained, discussed and practiced in our workshops which is crammed with the most up to date framing equipment. We have developed long standing contacts with all the major framing suppliers not the least of which is LION Picture supplies having had a close working relationship with them since they opened in the mid 1970’s.

Located in Livingston, West Lothian just off the M8 motorway, close to Livingston North railway station and Edinburgh International airport we are ideally situated for UK and International enquirers to attend our courses. We are accessible by email, mobile phone or our web site, please do not hesitate to be in touch whatever your interest in learning the art of picture framing. / / 07821 918 476.

Jean at has been framing for 20 years and is a fully accredited Picture Framing Trainer and Examiner with courses endorsed by the Fine Art Trade Guild. In addition to picture framing experience, and experience of owning and running a successful picture framing business, Jean also has over 20 years' experience devising, running and overseeing training courses, from instructional techniques to senior management development.

Course content is based on each applicant's individual training needs. Typically, an introduction to picture framing training course is of 1 day's duration but courses can be as short as half a day or as long as 5 days - it's entirely at the request of the applicant.​

Contact Jean on 07495 000856 or to discuss your exact requirements and preferred training date(s).

Alan Carlisle - Custom Frames

For 30 years Custom Frames Ltd has offered framing solutions to the general public, Corporate and Trade as well as well known public galleries and museums. We have a wealth of knowledge built up over the years and are happy to share this with you through our one day training courses in our 4,000 square foot commercial workshop. They range from a half day introduction course to an advanced courses and for those wishing to make picture framing a careers an advance and business module is available. Visit

LION training videos

Also, we have easy to follow how-to videos, take a look.

Many framers choose to work towards the Fine Art Trade Guild’s Certified Framer qualification. Click here for more information.

Learning to use your equipment

Once you’ve got your equipment set up, our Area Sales Managers are always on hand to help you get to grips with it.

Our Technical Manager can advise on calibrating your equipment or you can visit our showroom to learn how it all works.

Other sources of information

Fine Art Trade Guild is a fantastic source of information for framers. The Frame Talk forum is a terrific resource when you have a tricky or unfamiliar framing job to tackle.

Can you install my equipment and show me how to use it?

We’ll include information about installation and training options with every equipment quotation.

Do you offer frame pricing and visualisation software?

Most framers find that a computerised frame pricing system makes their business more profitable and easier to run. Some systems also include ‘visualisation’, which allows the customer to see how the finished frame will look.

We don’t sell or recommend any one system, but we do support them all with material price data and images of our mouldings. Take a look at: