Please provide us with the following information when submitting an inquiry, and someone from the Trefler’s team will help you determine the next steps.

Please describe your item(s) in as much detail as possible. Information such as dimensions, what materials the item is made of (i.e. wood, plaster, porcelain), and your item’s current condition are all very helpful for our experts to make an accurate estimate.

We suggest providing at least three .jpg images per item. These should include; one image of the entire object, and detailed views of the area(s) of damage and/or pieces. 

If you are submitting an inquiry for painting restoration, please provide an additional photograph of the back of the canvas.

Our team will review all inquiries and assess the best course of action to suit your needs.

We look forward to hearing from you.


3000From Trefler’s Custom Frame Shop: Closed Corner Frames

Trefler’s custom framing studio is proud to offer  a wide variety of framing solutions to suit almost any style, budget and environment. Moulding vendors such as Roma Moulding, Picture Woods and Larson Juhl provide finely crafted pre-finished moulding that can be used in framing projects to achieve any desired aesthetic from traditional to contemporary, rustic to minimal. 

One of the wonderful advantages of working with Trefler’s, is that our framers have the studio’s furniture fabrication facilities behind them to execute entirely custom frames and mouldings from scratch. In industry terms, these are called closed corner or finished corner frames.

What are closed finished corner and closed corner frames? 

Finished corner or closed corner frames are frames which are joined or assembled prior to being finished or painted. These types of frames do not utilize the prefabricated mouldings available from our selection of moulding vendors. Instead, these frames are entirely custom-made and offer a high quality result with several distinct benefits.

A seamless result

One of the more noticeable differences between closed corner frames and prefabricated  mouldings is the visibility of where the frame corner is joined. Because a prefab moulding is assembled after its surface finish is applied, the joint or seam connecting a corner will be visible. A closed corner frame in comparison is painted or finished after its assembled so the joint is better concealed under layers of finish, creating a seamless transition at each corner of the frame. The frame featured below is perfect example of the seamless result achievable in a closed corner frame. 

Unique details and thoughtful patterning

Because closed corner frames are entirely custom, they also allow for more unique patterning that is not possible to achieve when using a prefabricated moulding. A great example of this is the two frames displayed below. On the left, is a pre-fabricated moulding with uniform ornamentation, and on the right a bespoke finished corner frame that has hand-applied, cast decoration which has patterning that seamlessly aligns along its joined corners. Carving, detailing through cast comps, gesso and gilding are  a few examples of completed with a surface application of gilding with gold, silver or platinum leaf or through painting, staining. 

Custom Finishes: the nuances of color

Another compelling feature of closed corner frames are that their color and finish are also entirely custom crafted. Trefler’s color specialists bring decades of experience in custom finishes and faux decorative painting to develop the perfect accent to any artwork. Their expertly trained eyes pick up on nuances in color that will  highlight desired tones and colors of a piece. 

Other considerations

Closed corner frames offer a  bespoke answer to any framing project. They provide the opportunity to create a one of a kind, tailored frame for your artworks. That being said, there are other considerations when deciding between a pre-fabricated moulding and an entirely custom frame: time and budget. Being entirely custom, closed corner frames do take more time and typically cost more than a standard, prefabricated frame, so for some projects and budgets they don’t always make sense, nor are they necessary to achieve a desired result. Our framing studio works with the best producers of pre-fabricated moldings to ensure that our client’s needs and expectations are always exceeded. 

Interested in learning more about Trefler’s frame studio? Get started today! 



2804Showcasing artworks on canvas with float frames

First off, what is a float frame?

Float frames owe their name to the illusion they create of “floating” a canvas artwork. This simple trick of the eye is no feat of complex engineering, but rather simply, is made possible because the underlying structure of a canvas artwork lends itself to the framing technique. Unlike works on paper, canvases have an internal frame, and are created by stretching a material such as cotton, linen or another fabric of choice across a wooden frame of stretchers. These stretchers are what give canvas paintings both depth and rigidity.

Because the canvas is secured to stretchers using staples, nails or tacks, the interest in concealing the sides of canvas through traditional frames was common practice throughout history. Until only the latter half of the 20th Century, artworks on canvas were considered incomplete, or unfinished without being placed in a traditional frame to conceal such elements of construction. 

Chambord Float Gold 3” by Larson Juhl.

The images above show how the silhouette of a float frame lacks a rabbet, meaning there is no portion of the moulding that will block the front side of an artwork on canvas. This particular design is inspired by its namesake chateau in France’s Loire Valley and features hand waxed raw oak highlighted with gilded details ideal for achieving an elegant museum look.

How do float frames differ from traditional frames?

Image courtesy of AD

The image above features a double float framed artwork by Andy Warhol, an interesting method of creating a larger backdrop for smaller artworks.

Float frames differ from traditional frames in the way that an artwork on canvas is mounted to the frame. Instead of having a rabbet, an internal cavity of the frame designed to hold the artwork, a float frame does not make contact with a canvas’s sides or front. Instead, it is the back of the canvas that is mounted to the frame directly, often employing clips to secure it.

This mounting is concealed and thus gives the appearance that the canvas is weightless: floating in air. Because of this, the frame acts merely as a border, and leaves the entire front facade of a canvas unobstructed and creates a narrow gap between the canvas’s edge and the frame.

The float frame has several benefits which make it a worthy contender to a traditional frame. Because it requires less structural support than a traditional frame, it is lighter and can be easier to transport, install and hang. As it doesn’t have a rabbet, it also does not require plexi or glass, which make the textural details and matte surface of some paintings more easily visible to the eye.

This being said, it is extremely important to consider that without the protective barrier of plexi and glass, the artwork is more susceptible to potential damage from its environment including UV-exposure, smoke exposure and accidents. However, other measures can be taken to protect artworks on canvas such as paintings, including conservation varnish to prevent pigment discoloration.

Float frames do provide another type of protection to canvas artworks by preventing warping of the canvas’s underlying structure or stretchers. Regardless of how thin a float frame may appear, it will serve the purpose of keeping a canvas in its original shape, an important factor in preventing the canvas itself from puckering or requiring re-stretching in time.

Other considerations for float frames are that they can be a more economical approach to framing because they don’t require glass or plexi, are lighter and are thus less costly to ship or transport.

Gordon Onslow Ford, Untitled, circa 1945. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

When did float frames come into the picture?

It was not until the late 1940’s that painters began employing float frames in showcasing their artworks. A notable example includes the work of abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, who utilized float frames to display their paintings in their entirety, without obscuring the corners or edges of canvases.

Since, float frames have been employed popularly in gallery settings, where the main focus was placed on the artwork, and also perhaps preferred for the economical traits and ease of transport.

Jackson Pollock, Summertime: Number 9A, 1948. Courtesy of the Pollock -Krasner Foundation, Inc. 

The float frame featured above in the presentation of this painting by Jackson Pollock exemplifies how the lightness of the float frame technique makes possible framing even unusually large artworks on canvas. 

Not only contemporary in style

A common misconception about float frames is that they are only used to create minimalist, or contemporary aesthetics. In actuality, a float frame merely describes the method of joining the frame to an artwork and bears no consequence on needing to be a minimal or almost invisible in appearance.

Float frames can be created with molding to convey any interior style or historical reference. And can be at home in modern, as well as transitional, or traditional environments. Detailed, stepped or ornate silhouettes can be used in crafting a float frame, and gilded or faux painted edges can add a level of ornament to please any maximalist sensibility. Moreover, float frames can be constructed from not only hardwoods, but also metal, plexi and fabric wrapped moulding which provide even greater flexibility in partnering the most attractive pairing to an artwork.

Spencer Float Silver and Brown 2 ⅛” by Larson Juhl.

This moulding demonstrates that not all float frames are thin, or minimal. This Spencer moulding combines elegant hand-leafing and a rustic woodgrain finish with a contemporary profile shape.

Designing a framing solution with Trefler’s

Trefler’s frame studio designs and fabricates custom display presentations for a wide variety of projects and budgets. Our talented team has over forty years of combined experience in fine art framing, and lends an expert perspective to crafting the best solution for each client.

Both float frames and traditional frames are custom made to order and can employ mouldings from vendors such as Larson Juhl, Roma Moulding, C&J and Picture Woods LLC,.

Additionally, Trefler’s designs and fabricates entirely bespoke frames from scratch using sustainably sourced hardwoods to craft closed-corner, splined frames for both float or mitered presentations.



2601Taking a closer look at convex glass


If you’ve never heard the term convex glass until this very moment, not to worry, you aren’t alone. While convex glass was in fact once popularly used within decorative arts, it has since waned in favor.

Within the last century, as glass manufacturing became a simpler process, convex glass has fallen to the wayside.

Fortunately, our experts do still encounter this beautiful material at the studio, both in antiques and in contemporary framing projects.

Okay, so what is convex glass, actually? 

Above: a sheet of convex glass from our custom framing studio.

Convex glass is essentially glass that rises up in the center, creating a dome like effect on whatever its encases. Picture a scaled up version of an eyeglass. 

Other (albeit incorrect) names you might have come across for this material include curved, bubble or domed glass: misnomers for obvious reasons. While these all have a curved surface like convex glass they are in fact produced with a different method and often used for different purposes. 

Curved glass is rounded at two ends, but does not create a full seal around all edges. This was commonly used for china cabinet doors. 

While convex glass appears to look quite a lot like a bubble, Bubble glass actually means that the glass was manufactured by a process called drawn glass, which creates “seeds” or elongated bubbles in the glass. Domed glass is another would-be convex glass. 

Dome glass is typically used for clocks and has a more pronounced or raised center than typical domed glass. 

When to use it? Then and now…

Above: an antique barometer with a convex glass face.

Another antique that commonly used convex glass was in the faces of instruments and clocks. This gilt wood barometer was restored, requiring the replacement of its convex glass panel.

Although convex glass is antique in its appearance, it is still produced today by select fabricators. Not only is this helpful when replacement glass is needed for an antique, but also in offering an interesting and unique effect when framing even contemporary projects.

The curvature of the surface creates an interested effect with light and sense of depth. Convex glass is especially useful in framing three-dimensional or raised artworks, where more space is required to protect the work. 

Above: An antique locket with convex glass protecting a lock of hair and portrait.

Interested in learning more about the uses and benefits of convex glass?

Reach out to our custom framing studio today to see if it’s right for your project.  


2568Preserving Memories


Framing Family Photography for Conservation

Taking stock of your family photos

Over the course of 2020, we’ve all embarked on our fair share of home organization projects. Whether you’ve banished anything that doesn’t bring you joy, or simply went excavating into the dark depths of your basement, it’s been a period where we’ve had more time than usual at home to take stock of what’s being stored away. 

If you’ve recently uncovered a long-forgotten collection of family photos, our paper conservators and framing specialists have some helpful advice on how to preserve your photography and prevent the most common types of damage. 

Before & After

Spotting Damage

Fading, yellowing and creased or torn edges are all too often the result of improperly storing any work on paper. Photography prints in particular contain acid, making them especially prone to damage when stored together in large boxes, or in unsuitable environments. 

Acid Free is Key

Because of the acid found in photographic prints, it is extremely important to always use acid free materials when framing our storing in photo albums or books. The acidity in neighboring paper or mat boards will interact with the chemical composition of your print, resulting a yellow hue, often seen in antique photography. 


Ultraviolet light exposure is also major culprit in damaging photography. The sun’s  UV-rays have the ability dramatically fade prints, even over just a short period of time. Keep in mind, UV damage is not always the result of natural sources. Fluorescent lighting also emits UV light, so it’s important to protect your prints from exposure even in rooms without windows, like attics, basements or offices.

To achieve the right level of UV protection, consider where your photography will be on view, and how much light exposure it will have over the course of the year. During winter, a window-facing wall may not be a risky location, however come spring, the shifting angle of the sun might mean that your artwork is more exposed than it had been in February. For most projects requiring UV-protection, our conservators suggest Conservation Clear Glass and UV Acrylic Plexiglass from Tru-Vue, which offer 98% protection from UV light. 

To achieve the highest level of protection available, Optium Museum Plexi is recommended. While this option is the most expensive, it also offers protection from shattering through transit, an important consideration if you intend to ship your photography in the future. 

Breathing Room

We’ve all run into the painful moment where we encounter two photos stuck together, and in the desperate attempt to separate these, we destroy both in the process. This heartbreaking, yet very preventable event is because photography prints contain not only acids, but moisture as well. When pressed firmly against another material, including glass or plexiglass, sticking is almost always the result. 

Our specialists recommend using spacers or matboard when framing to create space between your print and the glass or plexiglass. 

What is a Spacer?

Spacers are a nearly undetectable way to achieve breathing room between a print and the glass or plexiglass. Unlike traditional matboards, spacers are concealed within the rabbit of the frame to create more depth without changing the amount of whitespace around a picture. Spacers are made out of a variety of materials to suit any frame, such as plastic, wood or metal. Because they are matched with the background, they create a seamless piece. Still can’t picture it? A more common example of this you might have come across is the shadowbox. 

The Right Location

Other environmental factors to consider which might damage your print include humidity in the environment and exposure to extreme heat sources. For this reason, bathrooms and kitchens, which have a big variability in humidity and temperature, are not the safest spot in the home to hang photography. They are also riskier because these rooms are more prone to accidents involving steam, water and smoke. It is a good rule of thumb place any artwork at a safe distance from any heating source generally, including radiators, fireplaces, wood stoves and vents.

Quality over Quantity

Take stock of the photos you’re holding onto. Which are the most important? Are there four or five that you would be heartbroken to lose? Rather than storing hundreds of photos improperly in plastic containers or cardboard boxes (as we all too often do) consider selecting the most cherished to frame safely. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy your prints everyday, rather than keeping them tucked away, out of sight. 

It is sadly not an uncommon occurrence to encounter families that have lost sentimental family photos in floods and fire. By framing your most prized photos and placing them somewhere safe from accidents, you are giving them a better chance at being passed down to be enjoyed by future generations.

To learn more about our full photography restoration services or custom framing, reach out to a member of our team today.