Decorating your walls with beautiful art prints can completely transform any room. However, choosing the right size frame is crucial for creating a cohesive exhibit screen that enhances your space.

In this comprehensive Nousdecor guide, I’ll walk you through the most popular Wall Art Frame Sizes, typical dimensions for common art print sizes, and tips on selecting frames that fit your decor.

Key Takeaways

  • Measure artwork and prints carefully to determine the ideal frame’s inner dimensions
  • Size up frames at least 1-2 inches larger than the image area
  • For gallery walls, mix and match encasement sizes, styles, and orientations
  • Repeat some encasement dimensions throughout an exhibit screen for cohesion
  • Frame prints and photos in clean white or light neutral colors for a contemporary look
  • Shop handmade frames on Etsy or custom frames from local frame shops for specialty pieces
Wall art frame consideration
Wall Art Frame Sizes

Into Choosing Wall Art Frame Sizes

When I first started decorating my living room walls with art prints and canvas wall art decor, I had no idea how important selecting the perfect encasement size would be.

I simply purchased a few prints I loved in standard dimensions like 8×10 and 11×14 without much thought about the frames. However, once I started hanging them, I realized the varying encasement dimensions created a disjointed look.

Since then, I’ve learned there’s both an art and a science to choosing encasement dimensions for wall decor. Whether you’re creating a polished exhibit screen or just displaying a couple of prints, using frames of similar dimensions and proportions will help your art look cohesive.

In this guide, I’ll overview the most common picture encasement dimensions and dimensions to help you start your screen decor journey. I’ll also share encasement size charts, tips on finding the right encasement size for your photos or art prints, and recommendations on where to shop for quality frames.

Here’s a quick reference table of some of the most popular dimensions for screen decor and the standard frame dimensions that typically pair with them. A few notes on the popular picture frame size options:

  • 5×7 – This compact encasement size is perfect for showcasing individual portrait photos or prints in spaces like hallways or small bedrooms.
  • 8×10 – This is a very versatile encasement size that can work well in most rooms. Landscape photos and prints often come in 8×10.
  • 11×14 – Slightly larger than 8x10s, these frames can make more of an impact while still fitting nicely amidst other encasement sizes. 11×14 poster frames are a popular choice.
  • 16×20 – This larger widescreen size is ideal for making a statement with a dramatic landscape imprint or photo collage.
  • Square frames – From 8×8 up to 12×12, square frames have a modern, minimalist look. Group them together for interest.

Once you have an idea of the dimensions of the prints or photos you want to display, use this reference chart to find suitable encasement dimensions to fit them. The inner dimensions of the frame should be at least 1-2 inches larger than your art on each side.

When creating a polished exhibit screen with multiple frames of canvas art for stylish wall decor, you’ll want to carefully mix and match encasement dimensions and dimensions to create balance. Here are some exhibit screen framing tips for choosing the right size for wall decor:

  • Use odd numbers – Hang art in groupings of 3, 5 or 7 frames for the best exhibit screen effect.
  • Mix dimensions – Choose a variety of complementary encasement dimensions and scales to add interest.
  • Repeat dimensions – While mixing sizes, repeating some frame dimensions helps unite the look. The 11×14 poster frame is a great size to repeat.
  • Vary orientations – Mixing portrait and landscape framed art keeps the eyes moving.
  • Frame in white – White or light neutral colored frames appear clean and contemporary.
  • Consider scale – Make sure the encasement dimensions suit the proportions of the wall space. Oversized frames can overwhelm a small wall.

It may take some trial and error with the arrangement before you find the perfect encasement dimensions and layout for your gallery wall. But with some planning and a well-edited mix of sizes, you can achieve that polished art gallery look in your own space.

Choosing Frame Sizes for Gallery Walls
Choosing Frame Sizes for Gallery Walls

Pick the Right Frame Size for Art Prints

Canvas art prints, nature prints, maps, and other artwork are available from most online print shops in standard sizes. But to get the right frame, you need to understand the difference between the actual image dimensions and the overall imprint dimensions.

Here are some tips for finding an encasement size to fit basic art print sizes:

  • For 8×10 prints, look for an 11×14 encasement size. The imprint dimensions include a border, so you need a slightly larger frame.
  • An 11×14 print fits nicely in a standard 16×20 encasement size. Again, size up the frame to account for the imprint border.
  • For 12×16 and 12×12 art prints, you can typically frame them as they are in a 12×16 or 12×12 frame respectively.
  • For 16×20 prints, look for a 20×24 or a 22×28 frame. This allows you to generously frame those larger prints.
  • For canvas art prints, you can often buy them “framed,” meaning they will come with a gallery-style canvas wrap frame. Just check that the listed dimensions include the wrap if you want that floating canvas look.

Always measure the actual image dimensions on your print to confirm the right encasement size for your art like the ocean-inspired wall art. This ensures the art will suit nicely inside the mat and frame borders.

Choosing Frames for Standard Photo Sizes

Another common use for wall frames is to display favorite photos. But again, you need to account for the imprint border around the actual image. Here are some tips on popular photo print and frame pairings:

  • A standard 4×6 photo imprint fits nicely in an 8×10 frame.
  • For 5×7 photo prints, you’ll want a 8×10 or a 9×11 frame. The extra breathing room looks more balanced.
  • An 8×10 photo is best framed in a 11×14 or 12×16 encasement size.
  • For 11×14 photo prints, look for a 16×20 frame for optimal coverage.

No matter what size print you have, make sure to remove any white printer border for a clean, full-bleed look when framed. Measuring is key–compare your exact imprint dimensions to the inside frame dimensions and size up accordingly.

Frame Size Terms and Measurement Basics

Understanding common framing terms and how measurements work is key to selecting the perfect wall frames. Here are some basics:

  • Sight size – The inner dimensions of the frame’s visible opening that your art fits inside.
  • Outer dimensions – The overall outer vertical and horizontal span of the frame.
  • Rabbet – The internal lip or ledge that supports the art inside the frame. Standard depth is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch.
  • Mat – The paper or cardboard that sits between the art and frame.Standard mat widths range from 1/4 inch to 1 inch.
  • Image area or print size – The actual dimensions of the image or artwork without borders or margins.

When measuring frames for prints or photos, always go by the sight size or inner frame dimensions rather than the outer frame dimensions. This ensures your art will suit nicely inside the frame rebate with the desired mat proportions.

Where to Buy Quality Wall Art Frames

Once you know what size frames you need, it’s time to shop! Here are some of my go-to spots to buy frames:

  • Etsy – Tons of handmade and customizable frame options from independent sellers
  • Online imprint shops – Sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Mixbook allow you to upload photos or art to print and frame all in one place.
  • Craft and art supply stores like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby – Great selection of budget-friendly frames and mat options. Watch for sales!
  • Home goods stores like Target or IKEA – Affordable basic frames to stock up on.
  • Thrift stores – Shop secondhand and vintage stores for unique finds and savings. Upcycle and paint older frames for shabby chic style.
  • Local frame shops – For custom framing, ornate options, or specialty materials like shadowboxes. Provides quality and precise fitting.

With the right frame shop and size selections, you can display virtually any type of artwork or photo beautifully. Thoughtfully framed screen decor makes a stunning design statement in any room.

Where to Buy Quality Wall Art Frames
Where to Buy Quality Wall Art Frames

Frequently Asked Questions

The 11×14 is likely the most popular and versatile encasement size. It works well for framing everything from portraits to posters to exhibit screen groupings.

An 11×14 or 12×16 frame is ideal for 8×10 photo prints. The slightly larger size better balances out the imprint border.

Hang frames in odd-numbered groupings for the most pleasing exhibit screen effect. Mix up encasement sizes, styles, orientations, and art subjects. Keep some sense of visual rhythm by repeating frames.

Check that the canvas print dimensions listed include the depth of the side canvas wrapping. The encasement size should match the overall dimensions. If not, size up the frame to suit over the canvas sides.

Square frames have a modern, minimalist look. They are great for highlighting graphic art prints, individual photos, maps, illustrations, or anything with clean lines and negative space.


One of the keys to creating a polished, curated look with your screen decor is properly fitting each piece in an appropriate encasement size. By learning the terminology, typical dimensions, and measurement best practices, you can confidently select frames that enhance your artwork.

Thoughtfully mixing encasement sizes, styles, and orientations will take your exhibit screen from disjointed to dazzling. Whenever you need guidance, refer back to this framing reference guide.

With the right frames, your outstanding wall art for style can become your own personal art gallery and reflect your unique style.

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