Perfectly frame heavy artworks in 11 steps
Framing & hanging heavy XXL pictures correctly
There is a breathtaking fascination that comes from oversized, heavy paintings. They allow for unique details and make an impressive statement in a room, creating a unique atmosphere. Framing very large pictures in XXL picture frames requires special attention and care due to their heavy weight and usually large value. To frame safely in the long term, care must be taken to ensure that the frame is sturdy enough to support the weight of the large picture. Also important are conservationally perfect conditions to preserve the long-term integrity of the artwork. In our example, the picture with picture frame weighs about 60 kg. Hanging heavy pictures without drilling is not possible in this weight class.
Our framing experts will show you in 11 comprehensible steps how to professionally frame the 1450x2400 mm work by Daniel & Geo Fuchs printed on Hahnemühle Baryta laminated on 4 mm Dibon.
- 4 people
- Steel ruler
Here's how it works:
Before you frame the large and heavy artwork, prepare the hanging. Find the ideal place and mount the heavy-duty hooks on the wall. In our guide you will find step-by-step instructions. Your advantage: you can practice hanging with the empty XXL frame without the risk of damaging the picture. Later, everyone knows how and where to grab.
Lay out the large frame flat. In the following steps it is better to work with four people. Our XXL frame is Classic magnetic frame Alu 8 black with a 6 mm thick Optium Museum Acrylic pane in 145x240 cm format.
3. Removing the overframe
The overframe is pulled off as parallel as possible to the front. Then carefully lean the overframe against a wall. Don't forget to place a cloth underneath so that the frame is not scratched.
Use a clean cloth to remove dust and other foreign matter from the base element.
To give everyone a feel for the size and weight, place the picture, still packed, in the base element. Repeat the step with the glass with protective fole (without picture).
4. Lifting the glass
Carefully lift the glass with a steel ruler. This will make it easier for you to grasp it.
5. Removing the glass
In any case, note that the glass will bend. In our example, the Optium Museum Acrylic is 6 mm thick and weighs about 25 kg. Therefore, lift it high enough to prevent it from being damaged. Because of the sagging, it happens quickly to scratch with the glass surface over an edge. Again, set the glass aside on a cloth. The protective film is not removed until later! In our case, the protective film has already been removed from the glass.
You can avoid fingerprints by wearing gloves. However, the handle loses some grip.
9. Putting on the superstructure
Place the overframe as straight as possible. Press on from one short side to the other short side.
Note: The overframe cannot be pressed on at all points, as the basic element, glass and XXL picture sag under the weight. Later on, you can press the overframe onto the wall.
10. Hang picture
The entire framed XXL artwork has a weight of about 60 kg. It is best to have two people on the outside carrying the weight and two people in the middle holding the weight. The two outside people place the picture in the hanging holes. Make sure the hooks are secure in the hanging holes and the frame is not hanging on the felt or any other edge. Slowly release the weight on the hooks and carefully remove your hands from the frame. If in doubt, you can lift the artwork again if the hanging holes are missed.
The XXL work of art is now hanging on the wall. For the final appearance, remove fingerprints from the overframe with a cloth. Enjoy your masterpiece.
8. Insert glass
This is the most sensitive step, as the glass must never be pulled over the surface of the image! This will damage the image irreparably. First pull off the protective film on the side facing the image. On the front side, the protective film remains stuck for the time being. Then, using four people, lift the glass over the frame. Be careful not to touch the surface of the image or to bump into anything with the underside of the glass. Place the glass on the short side. Now carefully lower the glass from the short side to the other short side. Important: Don't drag the glass across the surface of the image. Don't leave fingerprints or wipe them off before inserting. When the glass is inserted, peel off the protective film from the front. Fix the glass while doing so, otherwise it can be lifted along with it.
Now it gets serious. Carefully unpack the XXL image. Don't touch the visible side of the paper. Especially Ultrasmooth papers are highly sensitive and can be easily damaged. Our print laminated on Alu Dibond weighs about 20 kg. Lift the image onto the base element with three people. Place it on the long side and center it. Slowly lower the picture. The third person receives it from the back and places it in the base element. Check whether the surface of the image is dust-free. If necessary, clean the insensitive surface with a horsehair brush or a fresh static dust magnet. Remove the dust easily and without pressure. With Ultrasmooth papers, you need to be even more careful.
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Take plenty of time for framing and hanging. Hang only the basic element at first so you have to move less weight and get a feel for the process.