Picture Framer


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Service or PersuadingPractical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

A Picture Framer cuts out and assembles mouldings to make picture frames and frames paintings, photographs, needlework and other artwork. Decline

ANZSCO description:  394212: Cuts out and assembles mouldings to make picture frames, and frames paintings, photographs, needlework and other artwork.  

Alternative names: Framer

Art Restorer, Conservationist


Picture Framer working
Professional Picture Framers are trained in their craft from Masters
(Source: WiseGeeks)

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes  

As a Picture Framer you should:

  •  Enjoy practical and manual activities

  • Possess good interpersonal skills

  • Have an interest in the history and value of artwork

  • Display and aptitude for design

  • Appreciate changing trends in colours and materials

  • Be able to work neatly and accurately

  • Have good hand-eye coordination

  • Be able to undertake fine work  

Picture Framer at work
(Source: Your Career)

Duties and Tasks

  • Studying drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications
  • Setting up woodworking machines and wood stock for correct cutting, planning, turning, shaping and sanding
  • Operating machines to cut, plane, turn, shape and sand work pieces
  • Removing old finishes by stripping with steel wool and glasspaper, and by applying solvents and paint strippers, and removing softened finishes by scraping
  • Applying varnish, shellac, lacquer, stains and paint to surfaces and polishing and waxing finished surfaces
  • Fitting and fastening frame pieces
  • Mounting backing materials and subjects for framing


Working conditions
Picture Framers generally work in a small workshop with a small team of other framers. Self employed framers may work alone and specialists may work in art galleries or within an educational environment.

The environment is usually light, clean and free of excessive dust and noise. The work area may be part of a retail outlet selling framed artwork and there may be a need to liaise directly with customers regarding their needs and to handle sales. 

Tools and technologies

Picture framers use a variety of tools including power tools, saws and pneumatic staplers and nailers. Specialist framers use the crafts of wood machining, wood finishing, French-polishing, cabinet-making, wood carving and gilding. They also use a variety of card and papers for matting and mounting drawings, photographs and other works of art. 

Education and Training

You can work as a picture framer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. You can complete a traineeship. The picture framer traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete. 


Did You Know?

Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured) and dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. Shellac was once used in electrical applications as it possesses good insulation qualities and it seals out moisture. Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards.

From the time it replaced oil and wax finishes in the 19th century, shellac was one of the dominant wood finishes in the western world until it was largely replaced by nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920s and 1930s.

Shellac varieties
Shellac varieties

(Source: Wikipedia)

Picture Framer









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