4 Frame Materials to Consider

Whether it’s a picture of your family, a work of art, or even a 3D artifact you’re hanging on the wall, the perfect frame highlights any piece in all the right ways. A frame protects, enhances, and makes your piece look more professional. But when you start looking for frames, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming! You’ll encounter frames of all sizes, shapes, colors, dimensions, and makes… so how do you choose? Start by considering the frame’s material. Here are several common types to keep on your radar as you work with our frame experts to find the right fit.

Genuine wood

Wood is and has always been among the most popular materials for framing pictures. It’s the most traditional route, and it’s a tradition for a reason! Wood is versatile and comes in so many different textures and colors. Wood takes paints and stains well, too, so it can be tinted any way you want to match different décor styles and individual photos. Choosing wood also allows for carving embellishments and other custom details in the future, adding an extra layer to the presentation if you wish.

Imitation wood

Imitation wood frames are becoming increasingly popular, but they’re not for everyone. These frames are made of a dense plastic called polystyrene, and they look almost exactly like authentic wooden frames. They’re made for picture framing, so the material itself is easy to shape and drill (for example, to add a screw or hook for hanging). These frames are significantly cheaper than authentic wood frames, but they’re much more lightweight, and they appear less like wood upon close inspection.


One of the less traditional choices, bamboo picture frames catch viewers’ attention and can add a rustic feel to a picture and environment. Bamboo is flexible and sturdy, and depending upon coloring and style can look casual and tropical or even urban and “upcycled.” Bamboo is an excellent choice for a unique, youthful, or playful aesthetic.


Metal frames are versatile and come in many different shapes and sizes. They can offer a hip, modern look to a picture or a piece of artwork. Narrow metal frames are a subtle way of outlining a picture as well, as the frame will fade into the background and help the picture pop. The metal frame is also easily repairable. If any portion of the frame is damaged in some way, that piece can be quickly switched out and replaced without affecting the rest of the frame.