Why buy a poster frame?
There are several good reasons why it’s worth investing in a good, sturdy frame for your favorite posters. First and foremost, a poster frame will protect its contents the same way that picture frames protect photos of treasured memories. A frame will protect your poster from becoming dusty, dirty, spilled on, watermarked, torn, folded, or otherwise damaged. Many posters are made of fairly flimsy and thin paper so they’ll last much, much longer if they’re protected by a frame. Without a frame you’ll have to use some sort of adhesive to secure your poster to the wall, which greatly increases the chances of the poster ripping or tearing if/when you take it down to move it elsewhere. Some may even be magnetic, though these are rarer and only stick to certain surfaces. Thus it’s much easier to move your to a new place on the wall, room, or home with a frame.
What should you look for in poster frames?
- Measurement: First and foremost, you need to know the dimensions of what you’re looking to frame. Most framing products you come across will provide plenty of variety when it comes to size, so there should be no reason to wind up with wall art that appears too loose or crumpled inside of the glass. You also don’t want the edges of your poster or art cover up or cut off by the frame. Try to find a frame that’s only an inch bigger than the dimensions of your art while also accounting for the size of the frame’s matboard (the cardboard-like material that sits between a frame and your poster or artwork), if it has one.
- Setup: When it comes to hanging your wall art, the process should be as simple as sticking a nail in a stud and mounting where desired. But before that, you should also be cautious of the loading process of your poster. Most traditional options will have you slip the poster into the frame and then seal it off with a cardboard backing. More unique options incorporate a hanger-style design that exposes your art for a more clear, albeit unprotected view.
- Design: There are great frames that exist outside of a standard black wooden border; however, when done right, those classics can elevate your art even further. Plain neutral shades like black, white, gray, and brown will be the most common options but you aren’t limited to these by any means. Metallic and brighter-colored poster frames are definitely out there, and there are plenty that are embossed or carved or otherwise more intricately decorated too. You may even be able to find more unique frame shapes beyond the usual square or rectangular models though these will be harder to find.
What is the best material for poster frames?
Metal is highly durable and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes to fit a wide variety of decor styles; a slender aluminum or stainless-steel poster frame will suit a modern, minimalist look well while a thicker, patterned frame made from bronze or silver will look great in a vintage or classically styled homes. If you do opt for a metal frame, look for one that is naturally corrosion-resistant or has been treated to prevent corrosion. Wood poster frames can be made out either out of real, natural wood or processed wood scrap particleboards like MDF. Natural wood is heavier, more durable, and has a longer service life but is also more expensive and high maintenance than particleboard. Particleboards will also have more consistent graining since they’re manmade while you’re at nature’s whim with real wood, so think about which look will suit your home’s style.
In terms of the frame’s front glazing, if it has one, most will be acrylic/plexiglass or real glass. Acrylic is lighter and less delicate than glass but it also offers less clarity and sharpness for the image inside. Glass is usually thicker and offers sturdier protection in that regard, too.
Americanflat 20x30 Poster Frame in Black
Hanging up posters or wall art in this frame will help you achieve a perfect retro or gallery look in your living space.
Pros: While capturing the heavy-shell aesthetic, this frame is made from wood and polished plexiglass, so it sure looks the part without being a hassle to hang up. If you’re more interested in large photography rather than movie posters, this product and its selection of different sizes and colors would easily pull off a gallery look as well. Hanging this frame is no more difficult than loading your poster and mounting it with the built-in hooks. Not only that but the frame can be hung either horizontally or vertically, depending on your poster.
Cons: This frame is made from engineered wood rather than real solid wood so it is less durable than one made out of real wood.
Bottom Line: A must-have for film buffs and retro wall art, this poster frame captures the joy of sliding your new favorite poster on the wall. Its heavy, deep black border is wonderfully reminiscent of cinema walls where each coming attraction is encased in a frame that’s as big as the movie poster itself.
Artmag Magnetic Poster Hanger Frame
This magnetic hanger provides a unique and sturdy way to showcase your posters.
Pros: This model presents a wholly unique way to frame by positioning magnetic encasements at the top and bottom of your poster. Your artwork is no longer encased, therefore not entirely protected, but you do get to appreciate it as it comes without frame glare. The magnetic clamps are easy to place on any poster because they slide into position, so there are no potential damages here. There’s plenty of room for versatility, as it’s available in over 30 sizes and seven different frame colors. Not only is it suitable for any type of poster or canvas artwork but it’s extremely affordable, costing a fraction of the usual price of a poster frame.
Cons: Note that posters made from a thicker material may affect the strength of the magnetic clamps; thus, this hanger better suitable for thinner items. Since the frame doesn’t encase the entire poster, it doesn’t offer as much protection.
Bottom Line: What makes a poster frame stand out above the rest is its approach. There are plenty of plastic-plexiglass frames out there, so it’s important that your search includes a frame that not only pairs well with the artwork but is worth looking at on its own.
MCS Original Poster Frame
This set of frames offers an assortment of sizes and quantities both large and small to suit a wide range of different posters.
Pros: An ideal option for those on a budget, this pair of slender black poster frames give you great bang for your buck since you receive two for the price of one. They’re also simple to mount in either a horizontal or vertical position thanks to the pre-installed mounting hardware, further adding to their already good value. They’re available in a decent amount of large and small sizes, including some harder to find sizes like 22.375 by 34 inches. If you need more than two frames, they’re also available in packs of six, as well as individually.
Cons: These frames are crafted from a light plastic polystyrene material and feature plastic covers rather than the usual wood or metal, so they aren’t as strong or durable. Some assembly is required as well.
Bottom Line: Most of us have more than one poster or pieces of wall art in our homes or dorm rooms, but the cost of buying multiple frames can add up quickly. Buying frames in sets like this one is a much more cost-effective option.
Opposite Wall Natural Oak Wood Poster Frame
If you prefer the elegant yet warm and rustic look of a wooden frame for your posters, you can't go wrong with this sturdy oaken model.
Pros: This slender poster frame is made from real oak hardwood, rather than less durable engineered wood, so you know it’s nice and strong and high quality. The natural wooden color is aesthetically pleasing and will suit many different decor styles, but if it’s not to your liking it’s also available in black or white or a shade of darker oak wood as well. With 12 different sizing options, ranging from small to medium to large, you should be able to find one that fits your poster perfectly. You can also buy them in a pack of two if you have more than one poster that needs a frame, and it can be hung horizontally or vertically thanks to the pre-installed mounting hardware on the back.
Cons: Since this frame is made out of real wood rather than particleboard, it’s definitely on the pricey side, especially for a single frame. It’s also on the shallow side, so it may not be deep enough for thicker posters and artwork.
Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong with a real, natural wood frame, and this oak-made model is a nice solid option, literally and figuratively.
Frametory Aluminum Frame for Prints
Sleek subtlety is the name of the game with this slender aluminum poster frame.
Pros: This picture frame features a thin yet solid aluminum lining and a real glass front cover. Both portions are made from quality material: it’s aluminum, providing a sturdy case that weighs just over six pounds, while the glass cover is designed to better handle scratches. The silver color only adds to the sleekness of this look, making it a perfect frame for modern households or monochrome art. A gold or black frame is also available if the silver isn’t to your liking. It hangs vertically or horizontally and features two sawtooth clips that easily open and cling to any nail or screw.
Cons: Though aluminum frames tend to be on the more affordable side of metal frames, this one is a bit more expensive than most thanks to its tempered glass cover.
Bottom Line: Made out of sturdy yet lightweight aluminum, this frame will allow your poster to stand out in the right ways without overwhelming or overpowering it.
If you have a beloved poster or two (or more) in your home or dorm room, a good, sturdy poster frame is a near must-have. They not only make your poster easier to shift from room to room or living space to living space but ensure that your poster stays crisp, unbent, and undamaged so you can enjoy it for years to come.