An everlasting frame of reference

Should I consider changing the frames on my artwork/wall art to keep them looking up to date?

It depends on how the frames were chosen initially. If the original design was a trend of the moment, and the look no longer fits the tastes or decor of the owner, definitely change the frame — and most likely the mat, too.

If the proper conservation materials are used, the frame will likely never need to be replaced. We like to tell our customers that as much as we enjoy seeing the art and working on it, once the customer takes it home, we hope to never see it again. If we did our job right, the frame and framing materials will stand the test of time, and our customers can use their time and money to add to their collection instead of constantly updating the look of a few pieces. Unfortunately, some shops do push the trendiest lines in hopes of repeat business on the same piece of art.

That being said, if a trendy frame catches your eye and looks great on your piece, go for it! Not all trends have died out. (Just watch "I Love the 80s" to verify that!) If you still like the look years later, keep it. If not, bring it back to pick another style.

The most important consideration for updating the frame is the materials used originally. If the piece is fading, has detached from the mat or has any discoloration, take it to a reputable framer for advice. While you are updating the mat and backing to conservation-grade materials, you have a perfect opportunity to change the frame and overall look of the piece.

Thomas Stone is owner of JLP Fine Art & Custom Framing Galleries, which has locations at 2360 W. Joppa Road in Green Spring Station, 410-337-8490; and at 2406 N. Charles St. in Charles Village, 410-243-7368. To reach the shop online, go to

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