unique floater frame

Unique Floater Frames for Paintings

We recently framed a “Twombly-esque” painting on canvas in a unique floater frame. This frame pictured here is typically a cap frame, meaning it crops over the edge of the art, mat or glass. In this case, we added a floater base and build-up and made it into a floater frame for this unique work of art. The canvas is floating 1/4″ all around with an 1/8″ recess.  The frame itself is a step frame in white gold with medium antiquing and blue clay underneath to tie into the blue of the painting. The repetitive steps in the frame pick up on the repetitive and continuous brush strokes in the piece.  The frame and the art should look like a pair, like they belong together; and together they are a true partnership.

Thinking creatively and out-of-the-box in the framing industry is truly an asset, and in this case the client was pleased with the results.

beveled floater frame

Beveled Floater Frame

We find this hand-finished, off-white floater frame with slight inside bevel to be a great match for this painting. Similar to the bevel on a mat, the inside bevel of the frame leads the eye into the piece. Paintings do not require a mat, so the incorporation of the bevel into the frame is a beautiful pairing.

The piece is floated just a 1/4″ from the frame on all sides and recessed 1/8″ from the front of the frame.


Simplicity can be the key

Modern and contemporary framing techniques aim to simply frame a piece of art, allowing the entire focus of the viewer to be absorbed by the art itself.  Our client for the framed pieces below is the artist of the works.  Her vision for her prints stand strong within the minimalistic frames chosen.

Framing a piece with a white mat and matching white frame is a clean approach which allows the art to “pop” as the colors are amplified by the plain borders around the piece.  This is a very powerful method for framing prints as every unique detail boldly stands out to the viewer.  The ¼ inch float mount for this print physically brings the piece closer to the viewer within the shadowbox of the frame. The piece dramatically creates a shadow beneath to add complexity to the white on white framing style.  The piece is given space to breathe and become the soul energy.


This print on genuine leather has been stretched and sits within a 5/16 inch wide black floating frame.  The bright shades of the piece are offset by the thin, dark border of the floating frame.  The ¼ inch space between the art and the interior edge of the frame creates a chasm that acts as an effective double border.  Not only does this enlarge the framed piece, it prevents the lacquered black frame from overpowering the print.  This is a border that creates more breathing room and adds complexity to the framing job.  This soft leather piece is protected by a ¼ inch recess into the frame as there is no glass in front of the art.

canvas floater frame

canvas floater frame

canvas floater frame

Floater Frames for Canvas

Floater frames are utilized for many works on canvas. The term is derived from the idea that the canvas sits inside the frame, traditionally floating between a ¼ – ½ inch away from the edge. Equally, the canvas is recessed an 1/8 inch from the frame face.

Pictured here is a hand-finished mahogany wood frame with a plum stain. A moon gold face over a red rub elevates the painting without overwhelming.

math-you namie

math-you namie

Local Portrait Artist: Math-You Namie

Here at Madison Avenue, we are proud to present another local portrait artist: Math-You Namie. Pictured above is a hand-painted portrait on linen with make-up and cigarette ash staining, 23×29,” 2015.

The client decided to frame the portrait in a luxurious moon gold floater frame with the gilding on the inside, face and outside of the frame.  This gives the piece a halo effect in gold.

For more information on his work or to commission a portrait, check out his website: www.math-younamie.com

colorful floater frame

Unique Custom Floater Frame

A scarlet red stained, birds-eye maple floater frame provides this vibrant painting dramatic depth of within the frame while simultaneously lifting the piece quarter-inch to meet the viewers eye.  This unique framing method offers a variation from a standard mat by complimenting the intricate nature of this painting with the painted black interior of the frame.  The two inch floating margin within the frame gives the piece a wide border, therefore enhancing the bold colors of the painting.  There is no conflict between the image and the stunning shade of the stained wood frame.  With this border, the scarlet shade of the stain playfully amplifies the warm tones of the painting.

Joan Mitchell Floater Frame

Pictured here is an abstract floral painting by the artist, Kent. The artist used a palette knife to apply the paint in sweeping motions which has abstracted this traditional garden scene, contemporizing the piece.

Keeping with the contemporary traditionalism of the piece, we chose to use a Joan Mitchell Floater frame in maple with an antique white finish. On this varied and multi-colored painting, we chose antique white as opposed to bright white to soften the edges and overall appearance of the painting. Next we chose to float it ¾” and recess ¼” allowing for plenty of air space around and above the painting.

The frame elevates this garden scene, and it is truly museum worthy.

triangle frame

If The Frame Fits…

When it comes to our handmade mouldings, the possibilities are wide open! Our framemakers are skilled woodworkers and can create unique frames in unconventional shapes and sizes. Recently, a client brought in a painting on a triangular canvas. He asked for a triangular frame to match. We chose a floater frame with a thin face to compliment the painting’s delicate size. The light mahogany finish settles in amongst the forest-browns, causing the green to pop. The overall effect is neat, tidy, yet wholly unexpected.



When you walk past our storefront at 2642 Broadway, you’ll notice more than just a wide selection of frame samples. On our walls you’ll find a captivating group of artworks that represent examples of our framing techniques.

Daniel John Gadd is a painter who lives and works in Montclair, New Jersey. Directly to the left of our front door you’ll find his thickly textural and loosely figurative paintings, framed in our custom-made, hand-leafed floater frames. The warm silver finish on the frames allows the subtle pastel tones in the paint to stand out and shine. Check out his website (www.danieljohngadd.com) for more examples of his work and for information on his upcoming shows.