Our Framing

The SWA Picture Framing Service ...

Frame your treasured artwork to enhance appearance and conserve it for future generations.
Do you have a one-off artwork to be framed, or maybe you’re preparing for an exhibition?  
Do you have photos or memorabilia that you would like to be able to see but still keep completely safe?
You’ll find a friendly, knowledgeable team at South West Art. We offer free, no-obligation framing consultations.
Discover what our customers say about our framing service:
“A huge thank you to Graham at South West Art for doing such a fantastic job framing a special memento (a cork!) for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. He couldn't have taken more care, been lovelier to deal with, or created a better-finished result: they were thrilled with it, and I know it will always stay in the family proudly displayed. Thanks so much! Thanks so much, Graham”.  Louise Thompson (Facebook review) 
“Needed a cross stitch picture framed within 3 days for a birthday present, the wonderful people in this shop did it for me, they did an excellent job, absolutely beautiful. Thoroughly recommend this shop.” Marilyn Grigg (Facebook review) “Thank you so much- great service, great help and have really done the most superb job of framing my dad’s memories. Cannot recommend highly enough- will return with all my framing needs. Genuinely a massive thank you”. Sophie Cocks (Facebook review)
What would you like to frame?     
We frame your artwork and other sentimental items. Maybe you have a signed football shirt, a military medal or your baby shoes. Whatever you would like framing, the first stage is to bring it into us at South West Art on Old Fore Street, Sidmouth.
Some of the types of art we frame:
  • Irreplaceable or antique family photos
  • Precious antique and modern prints
  • Original artworks (in oil, pastel, watercolour, linocut, etchings, acrylic, pencil, charcoal, etc)
  • Silk, rugs, tapestries, cross stitch & other textile pieces
  • Royal and military paraphernalia
  • Mirrors, Signs and Chalk/cork-boards
  • Family trees & Children’s artwork
  • Sports memorabilia (such as golf balls, signed rugby shirts, cricket bats and golf clubs)
  • General memorabilia (tickets, certificates, autographs, toys, collectables, postcards)
When you arrive… we have a dedicated area of the shop where you can safely place your artwork to discuss what kind of framing you would like. All our frames are custom made for each individual piece, so you can choose all elements involved. We are happy to make suggestions and guide you through the process or follow what you already have in mind. The benefit of choosing your frame moulding and mount in person, rather than over the internet, is knowing exactly what you will receive when you collect your framed work & that your framed item is treated professionally at all times - nothing is left to chance.
Choose from a huge variety of frame mouldings...
We provide a variety of finishes on mouldings, such as lime washing and gold leaf, and if we don't something to suit your requirements we can source samples of alternatives from one of our many suppliers.
We can also choose from a range of glass types and mounts. We can create a square, rectangular, circular and oval mounts, and frames.
All our wooden frame mouldings come from sustainable sources. 
Our approach to framing your artwork...
Everything we frame is based on conserving your artwork, not just for your enjoyment now, but for future generations. We admit it, we’re framing geeks. After 18 years, we still look forward to seeing our customers faces light up when they see their completed framing, and knowing that the item framed will remain safe and enjoyed for many, many years to come.
We want to conserve your framed items, not just make it look lovely...
Over time, you will see regular mountboard and backing board leaching acid during the process of degrading, causing rusty coloured stains on your artwork. These marks are called “foxing” and artwork then requires professional restoration.
We only use acid-free mount and backing boards. These come in a wide range of colours textures and finishes and are all created using pH neutral materials, to protect your artwork and will not deteriorate in any way that will damage the item being framed.
You will find that the methods & materials we use to frame your artwork are all reversible, so that if in years to come you, or the next owner, would like to change your frame and/or mount that’s no problem, it can all be changed without causing any damage to the precious artwork. 
Why we use mountboard and backing board with your paper or card artwork?
Any artwork produced on paper, card or any substrate that will absorb atmospheric moisture, we always recommend framing behind glass. The mount is not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily acts to keep the surface of the artwork from sticking to the glass and/or buckling (or cockling) and getting damaged. The glass protects the artwork from dust and accidental staining or scratching. The backing board we use is moisture resistant, to avoid the artwork becoming damaged by our delightfully damp British climate, and the moisture changes caused by central heating being turned on and off.
Professional framers will attach your artwork to the mount with reversible acid-free tape hinges, in such a way that allows for movement of the image under the mount, both as it settles into the frame, and with atmospheric changes. This method also helps to protect the artwork from tearing if the frame is accidentally knocked from the wall.
Are you framing pastel or charcoal artwork?
You will notice we leave a "gutter" between the mount and the artwork when we frame pastel or charcoal. Due to the unstable nature of these mediums (regardless of whether fixative has been used or not), this gutter allows any dislodged pigments to fall behind the mountboard, to avoid it floating around in the frame and damaging the artwork & mount etc.
Are you framing fabric, tapestry, cross-stitch or felted work?
Mounting artwork such as silks, embroidery, tapestry or rugs requires specialist skills (and some extra time!). We offer a sew stretch service.
What glass choices do you have?
We have a selection including:
  • Standard glass (this will filter about 68% of UV rays)
  • Non-reflective (we stock this, but don’t recommend it, as it blurs the clarity due to it's etched surface)
  • Anti-Reflective glass (using the same technology used on anti-dazzle spectacle lenses) allowing you to see your artwork clearly, even when lit with zero colour distortion it also blocks about 70% UV.
  • Conservation glass, it blocks 98.8 % the UV rays and prevents fading. All light sources, natural or artificial, have some components in the ultraviolet range
  • Museum Glass or AR92 - Combines both anti-reflective and Conservation glass properties to gain the benefits of both
  • A range of acrylic glazing.
Are you framing a stretched canvas, or canvas panel?
If you need a painting created with oil or acrylic on canvas or board framed you won't need glass. This also includes artwork or photos printed on canvas. Although we would recommend that the oils and acrylics are varnished to bring out the lustre of the colours and to protect the artwork.
How safe will my artwork be when left with you? 
All artwork and items left with us for framing are fully insured to be worked on and stored on the premises. No work is removed from the premises for framing, and is kept within our organised system of plan chests and shelving, using acid free sleeves or tissue in a safe room above the workshop.
How long will it take to be framed?
Our standard turnaround time is 3-4 weeks, however, we will do our best to accommodate framing to your deadline whenever it is possible to do so. If you are ordering with a very tight deadline we will advise which frame mouldings are in stock already or can be sourced quickly enough if we have the time to squeeze the work in for you we will let you know at the time.

We’ve been offering a consistency of result, by retaining the same framing team for the past 18+ years. Our framing team is led by Graham and supported by all the other members of the team when needed - and any of us can help you with your initial consultation.
We cut our mounts using a state of the art computer controlled mount cutter, to ensure a clean and accurate cut - this also means we can cut mounts to any shape or design when required. 
All frame moulding cuts are made with a specialist guillotine which cuts completely cleanly ensuring that the corners meet perfectly together without any gaps.
How large can we frame?
We create made to measure frames, so whatever you would like to frame let us know. Larger frames can take longer to complete, as we may have to order oversized mounts and glazing materials, (and clear the workshop to make room for it!) - but your items still do not leave our premises if this is the case. It is worth bearing in mind that the moulding lengths come in 3m lengths!
How do you get any problems with your framing fixed?
When we create your frame, we take great care with our quality control and every piece is checked, checked and checked again before we let it leave the workshop. It is also then shown to you on collection to ensure that you are happy with it before you take it home. However, if there are any issues with the work we have done, it can of course come back to us to be fixed. Using conservation techniques on your artwork means the framing is all reversible, without causing any damage to your item. We always complete repairs as quickly as possible, to ensure your artwork is back on your wall, where it belongs.
If you’ve had an accident and knocked artwork off the wall, breaking the glass or damaging the moulding, we’re happy to help repair your frame where possible. Please bring it in and we can give you advice and an estimate of cost before we undertake any work.
If you have a deadline, please let us know at the time of going through your order with us and we’ll let you know if we can meet it before we take on your framing work.
Collecting your artwork & payment
All framed work is bubble-wrapped for protection and you can park your car briefly outside the shop to load your framed artwork or if your artwork is smaller, there are a number of car parks close by to the shop. We can take secure payment over the phone in advance if required, or at the time of collection. We can take card or cash payments in store at the time of collection.
Do you need picture hanging accessories?
We sell a range of items in our shop from D-rings, picture hooks, hard wall picture hooks, picture pins, picture wire and cord, poster hangers and brass screw eyes.
Loyalty card members
If you are a member of our loyalty scheme you will receive a 10% discount on framing orders - please advise us at the time of placing your order as it will save time at the point of collection. The 10% loyalty discount is fully funded by South West Art.

Our Info

South West Art
Address: South West Art, Old Fore Street, Sidmouth, EX10 8LP

Phone number: 01395 514717