Choosing A Metallic Frame

Whether you’re sprucing up your home before guests arrive or searching for the perfect holiday gift, there are many reasons to put custom framed art high on your shopping list. And with the glitter and tinsel this time of year brings, metallic frames feel appropriately festive. But which one to choose?

From understated to glam, classic to cutting-edge, our custom frame collections include so many beautiful metallic options. Here are 10 tips to help you choose the right one.

1. Consider the colors...

Really, this is the first step to choosing any custom frame—but it can be overlooked when comparing metallics. Why? While metallics are often considered neutrals, they still fall on a color spectrum, from warm to cool. Consider the colors in your artwork: Are there more warm tones of orange and red, or more cool shades of violet and blue? The former will most likely match a gold (or warm silver) frame, while the latter should probably be framed in silver (or a cool shade of gold.)

simply framed Hamish Robertson metal frames
These prints by Hamish Robertson beautifully illustrate cool colors vs. warm colors: Pyrite Light (No. 2) in our Metal Gallery Frame in Bright Silver, and Pyrite Dark (No. 3) in a Metal Gallery Frame in Matte Gold.

2. ...and the weight of the work.

Our metal frames offer our narrowest frame profiles, and are perfect for framing lightweight items on paper, like personal photographs and posters. When custom framing thicker or textured pieces that look great floated (think: textiles or works with an interesting edge) opt for our Gallery Frame in Stainless Silver or a Certificate frame.

3. Remember, the mat matters.

Prints and photos look great framed full-bleed or with a mat in a metal frame. If you’re looking to float a piece, consider a frame with more depth, like our Stainless Silver Gallery Frame or a Certificate frame. (Not sure whether to mat or not? We’ve got some custom framing tips to help you out.)

karina mania simply framed
Abstract works by Karina Bania custom framed and matted in our Vintage Silver Antique Frames creates a beautiful juxtaposition of old and new.

4. Feel your finish.

Do you prefer matte or shiny? There’s no wrong answer here, but the finish does make a difference: A matte metal frame (like Old School in Warm Silver) is more understated and subtle, while something shiny (like our Metal Gallery Frame in Bright Silver) amps up the glam. Metallic frames made of wood have their own unique traits as well: Our Gallery Frame in Stainless Silver features a uniform metallic finish, while Certificate and Antique frames offer more texture.

5. Add your personal style.

Our framing philosophy is that it’s more important for a frame to match its art than the rest of your interior—and we’re all for mixing and matching, and even breaking design rules. If you like it, try it! But if you’re looking to play it safe, remember that metal frames will generally match a more modern interior, while Certificate and Antique frames lend a vintage vibe. (What’s the difference? Our Antique frames are lightly distressed, have a slightly wider face, and feature more detailed beveling for an heirloom quality.)

simply framed concert posters
Concert posters lined up in a variety of our Old School Metal frames.

6. Go for the gold…

Bold, stately and versatile, gold is a color that can stand up to any artwork, from a modern abstract print to a well-loved vintage photo. It complements brighter colors, and brightens up subdued hues.

7. ...or see the silver lining.

Cool and always on trend, shades of silver (which range from weathered to matte to super-shiny to graphite) withstand the test of time. They work especially well with monochromatic and black and white art.

8. ...OR try on some rose-colored glasses!

Our Old School Metal Frame in Matte Rose Gold is so sweet and stylish, it’ll make your art blush.

simply framed rose gold wilder California
The Old School Metal Frame in Matte Rose Gold beautifully complements artwork with pink tones, like this print by Wilder California.

9. Torn between two? Choose two-tone.

Our Certificate Frame in Black Gold offers the best of both worlds: the classic elegance of a black frame, and the gorgeous glimmer of metallic gold. Our New School Metal Frame in Silver Blackout is a great two-tone option if you’re leaning towards a silver palette.

simply framed black gold certificate frame
An arresting color like this deserves an equally dramatic frame. Art by The Yellow Desk custom framed full-bleed in our Black Gold Certificate Frame.

10. When it doubt, swap it out.

Our minimalist metal frames can be taken apart and put back together, making it possible (even easy!) to change out the art. The versatility makes metal frames an excellent choice for holiday decor and gifts—and, true to their name, they come in a wide range of metallic hues.

Ready to put your pedal to the metal? Browse all of our metallic frames and build your own at

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