“Best good yet inexpensive frame shop in DC?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“Dear PoPville,

I recently picked up a big 1950s era map of DC and are looking to get it framed. We just want a simple black frame, so we’re hoping not to spend an arm and a leg on it. Do any of your readers have recommendations for quality yet inexpensive frame shops in DC?”

29 Comment

  • Try Framebridge: https://www.framebridge.com/. It’s an online service but is based right here in DC.

  • I highly recommend Framebridge. They’re an online service and they do fantastic work. Once you enter your order, they’ll send you a shipping tube for you to send your item to be framed, and they’ll ship it back framed to your specifications. We’ve had several antique maps framed and are very pleased with the result and price.

  • The best, creative way to do it and a huge money saver is to get the proper measurements of the artwork/map and check out the thriftstore(s), homegoods and Marshalls stores. It becomes so much more when the owner frames it her or himself. Frameshops do a great service but you’re going to pay big time.

  • Plaza Artist Materials and Picture Framing at 20th & I has great prices. You can often find a groupon or living social deal to get a very competitive discount. They do nice work, too.

    • I second Plaza. I go to the one in Silver Spring though and always use a Groupon.

    • i go to plaza in silver spring and have had several things framed there, they’ve done a great job. the last time i got a bunch of stuff framed i went to michael’s and within a few months the pictures inside were getting warped. and it was the same price as plaza!

  • For those of you who recommend Framebridge, have you ever gone with the option where you let the framer decide on frame/mounting? I have a feeling if I get the pieces I need framed I may just pick a black frame for all of them. That might work best, but I wouldn’t mind having a second opinion.

    • I haven’t tried that option, but I knew exactly what I was looking for when I used their services. It might be worth it to give their customer service a call and discuss it with them, or send an email with a photo of the space that you’re going to have the piece in. That way you can give them a good idea of your style.

    • Hi Arturo, I work at Framebridge. Our Designer’s Choice is very popular among our customers, especially those that want a different POV or second opinion. In fact, we see that customers who select Designer’s Choice once continue to select it for repeat purchases. To shed some light, when you select Designer’s Choice, you will receive 4 frame recommendations and visual mockups from one of our expert designers. They are factoring in the art, most importantly, along with any feedback you provide about your frame preferences, room aesthetics, etc. You will have final say over any selection. And as JMR pointed out (thanks!), our support team ([email protected]) can help answer any questions you have.

      • Thanks so much for your reply! That’s really helpful.

      • If we live in DC, can we drop the artwork off, or does it still have to be mailed? Thanks!

        • Second this question. I have something I need framed, but really do not want it shipped or rolled up at all.

        • Hi Shaw neighbor and Truxtoner, Framebridge is an ecommerce company so our experience is designed to make mailing in your artwork seamless and easy. We don’t have a physical retail space or a sales staff. That said, we can accept artwork dropoffs for pre-ordered frames at our Georgetown office. You can coordinate with our support team ([email protected]) for details.

  • Cheap, fast, or good quality. Pick two.

  • Harry Biscarr is great!

  • I had pretty good results doing it myself using americanframe.com. I didn’t do any matting, though, just a frame, acrylic, and mounting board. It was $100 to do a 18×24 and a 24×36, and it was easy enough to put together. For just a cheap poster I was happy with it.
    For the good stuff, I’ve always used and been happy with Gary Taylor in Adams Morgan. He’s expensive, but very good.

  • I went to Framesmith, right off 11th and P and was really happy with the framing and thought the price was more than reasonable. The piece of art I had framed had an inscription on the back and Paula was so thoughtful, she made a copy of the inscription and attached it to the back of the frame. Would highly recommend.

    • I will give a second to Paula at Framesmith. I had a treasured piece of artwork framed there and she was wonderful to work with and very reasonable on price. She also owns Gallery Plan B, so knows her stuff when it comes to appropriate framing. Plus you get to support a local business run by a woman.

  • If you want a wood frame it’s pretty easy to make one with a router and a mitre saw. You can usually salvage some pretty cool wood from the demo of houses being flipped around the neighborhood for free!

  • Framers’ Workroom in Tenleytown gives you a substantial discount if you frame the piece yourself: they cut the frame, glass, and matte for you, then set you up at a worktable and walk you through the process. Even with my lack of hand-eye coordination, they gave me enough help to ensure that the pieces turned out well. Their advice which frames would most complement the art was great, too.

    • I should add, too, that framing it yourself lets you get it done the same day if the frame is in stock, which is a nice bonus.

      • For a local frameshop, I also like Framers’ Workroom in Tenley. They are friendly, low-key, and great at helping you pick out frames (and/or mats). They also have a limited selection of ready-made frames in both standard and odd sizes. I generally do the DIY option — and yes, no experience necessary!

    • This. Very friendly, helpful, and the DIY is a great cost-effective option. They supervised me enough to make sure I didn’t screw up, which was great – not sure if that would be true if you decided to go at peak times, but they would for sure show you the ropes.

  • Gary Taylor’s frame shop on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan is great. Highly recommended! http://www.yelp.com/biz/gary-taylor-fine-art-and-framing-washington

  • Without any perspective as to what would qualify, for you, as “inexpensive” it’s hard to say. An arm and a leg for you may be less or more than an arm and a leg for me.
    I highly recommend Gary Taylor’s shop in Adams Morgan. He’s framed a few things for me, in the $100-$200 range for some 11×17 stuff. He is very hands on.
    In the future, I think a statement like: “I want to pay $xx for a framing job, any recs?” would be more productive.

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