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Old 03-12-2003, 08:19 PM   #1
Chuck Yokota Chuck Yokota is offline
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question Drying time before framing?




How long should one wait for an oil painting to dry before framing it? I've seen everything from artists who make the presentation of the painting with it framed to recommendations to wait six months. How much effect do things like paint thickness, direct vs. layered painting, mediums, and so forth make?
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Old 03-12-2003, 09:56 PM   #2
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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Dear Chuck,

You can use the "search message" button at the top of any page - your question has more to do with varnishing, I think, than with framing. Try this to start
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:24 AM   #3
Chuck Yokota Chuck Yokota is offline
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Actually, my question is about framing rather than varnishing, I did perform a "search messages" before posting my question, and I am still in search of an answer.
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:30 AM   #4
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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When to Frame

You can frame a painting any time. Some artists even put the painting in its frame while they are still working on final touches so they can see how the piece looks in its frame. I usually order the frame as soon as the final size of the painting is agreed on.

As for the final framing, it can be done as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. I say wait until it dries simply because you do not want the wet paint smudged.

But if you want to wait until the final varnish is applied then you would have to wait a few months, even up to six months or more depending on how thick the layers of paint are so that you do not varnish over paint that is still curing.

As a side note, the reason you must wait to apply final varnish is because oil paint shrinks as it cures and the varnish would crack if applied too soon.

So you can put a canvas in a frame at any time even before the final paint dries if you are careful.

Hope that answers your question.
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Old 03-13-2003, 12:42 PM   #5
Chuck Yokota Chuck Yokota is offline
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Chris, Michael,

Thanks for your responses. The reason I had asked the question was that, while browsing the websites of various professional portrait artists, I had come across three that stated they would not frame their paintings for either three or six months. This was definitely different from varnishing, e.g. one said he would frame at six months and varnish at one year. So I wondered if there was something I was missing.
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Old 04-01-2003, 12:53 PM   #6
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Either or

I'm one of those who will finish a painting in the frame but by the time I do this I'm not usually working on the outside edges. I have no problem framing a painting very quickly.

However, it really does take oil paint at least six months to "dry" completely (maybe longer) and the danger of framing too soon may cause the frame to "mark" the painting's surface. I personally do not worry about this as any marking would not show as long as the painting sits in its frame.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:55 AM   #7
Richard Budig Richard Budig is offline
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Framing too soon . . .

The only problem I've had by putting a recently painted picture into a frame is that, if the paint around the edges isn't quite dry, it tends to "grow" to the frame rabbet. I've had to pry (gently, of course) to get the canvas out of the frame for it's final varnish a few months later. This is the only problem I've had by framing "soon."
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:28 PM   #8
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
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Buttons

If you guys need to frame work early place little stand-off buttons on the rabbet so that only a few points actually touch the work. You only need about 1/8 of an inch to make a difference.
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:27 PM   #9
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Good idea Tim. Thanks.
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