What is Tru-Vue? (1 of 3)

Tru-Vue™ Glazing Protects and Preserves Your Most Beloved Pieces

One of the many different materials that help create your perfect custom frame is glass and acrylic. As a major component in framing, using quality glazing is a key part of showcasing the beauty and detail in any art piece or treasured memory.

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we use the highest quality glass and acrylic from Tru-Vue™ to ensure that your artwork and memorabilia are protected and preserved for years to come.  

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (3 of 3)

Artistic Presentation Adds Value to Your Framed Piece

From the tone and texture of the frame, to the color selection and materials used in the matting, our designers look at every small detail to ensure a high quality and artistically pleasing framed piece.  Our designs will compliment your piece, not compete with it.  By using elements that bring out the true beauty of your artwork, we can create a design that truly presents the emotional and aesthetic value of your treasures.

You can place your precious memories on a shelf to collect dust or into a box for safe keeping.  By choosing to custom frame them, you allow yourself and others to share in the emotional value you place on these treasures.  Presentation is the key to adding aesthetic and emotional value to anything you wish to frame.

When presentation is everything, trust the expert designers and framers at Fastframe of Santa Monica.  

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (2 of 3)

“Presentation is Everything”

It is through proper presentation that our expert designers create aesthetic value for our customers.  By following a detailed process, our designers work with you to find the best way to present and preserve your treasured pieces.  

Consulting with our expert designers will give you insight into the artistry and skill required for a custom frame to convey the meaning behind the piece. Our designers use their artistic eye, along with their knowledge of framing materials and techniques.  Our creativity and experience in framing allows us to think “outside the box” to create the stunning frame your memories deserve.

Every picture tells a story and we love hearing about your unique memories.  If they are important to you, they are important to us.  No matter the piece, Fastframe of Santa Monicawill work with you to fulfill the vision you have for you work of art.

Adding Value Through Custom Framing (1 of 3)

Proper Presentation Helps Create More Aesthetic Value

When we see something or someone precious to us, we can feel a whirlwind of emotions.  These can include pride, joy, love, nostalgia or maybe even sadness.  When applied to a piece of artwork or cherished memorabilia, these emotions are what makes the piece valuable to us as individuals.

But, how can you convey your emotional attachment to a picture or artwork onto others?  It’s all in the presentation.  Meaningful presentation is the way you communicate a framed piece’s emotional value to others.

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we seek to maximize the presentation of any piece we frame.  Our designers are experts in their field.  Like an experienced painter who takes a color palette and creates a wondrous work of art, our artisans use color and texture to create a presentation masterpiece that conveys the emotional meaning of your piece. 

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (5 of 5)

5. Don’t be Afraid to Add Eclectic Items

Diversity is part of what makes a gallery wall great! Include photos and frames of all shapes and sizes. Work with different types of matting and throw in non-framed items like monograms or signs. Mixing things up can add a lot of dimension to your wall.

Most importantly, approach your gallery wall with love. Whether it’s art, photography, pictures of your family, you love these pieces – they mean a lot to you. By treating them with patience and precision, you can bring a new level of comfort to your home.  Fastframe of Santa Monica will give your images the presentation they deserve.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (4 of 5)

4. Create Templates

Visualizing your completed gallery wall may be a bit difficult, especially if you have a large quantity of frames.  By using templates, you can get a view of how the completed wall will look.  Begin by tracing your frames onto wrapping or butcher paper and cutting them out.  Then, using painter’s tape, attach the templates to the wall to plot out your vision.  Make adjustments and experiment with different arrangements until you are satisfied with the look and feel of your gallery wall.  It’s a quick, no-risk way to make sure your wall comes out clean, not cluttered. When deciding on your templates placements, keep measurements consistent and placements balanced.  And above all, don’t start hammering until you’re satisfied!

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (3 of 5)

Designing your frames and deciding on an arrangement for your gallery wall may take longer than you think.  Your precious photos and memorabilia deserve to be framed and displayed in a manner that is not only visually appealing, but in a way that expresses the importance you have placed on them.  When designing your gallery wall, patience is key. Planning and implementation may take a bit longer, but it is well worth the time you’ll invest in the project. 

At Fastframe of Santa Monica, we will take whatever time necessary to ensure your gallery wall is everything you wish it to be.  Custom framing will give you the finished look that complements your featured pieces alongside your room and furnishings.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (2 of 5)

2. Select Complementary Frames

Not everything in your gallery wall has to match exactly.  Most homes are eclectic in the selection of frames and artwork.  With that being said, you still do not want to stray too far from a central theme. Experiment with shapes, sizes, and textures to find the best look for your space.

By working with our professional designers at Fastframe of Santa Monica, you can select frames that keep your wall looking organized instead of cluttered. Our designers have a skilled eye and can make expert recommendations on factors like matting, moulding, and even unique features that are unavailable in the “ready-made” frame aisle.

5 Tips to Get Your Gallery Wall Started (1 of 5)

Gallery walls are a fashionable way to display your personal photos and memorabilia. You can display as many photos as you want in a way that’s both effective and visually appealing. These dynamic displays appeal to our natural human preference for symmetry and balance. They make a room feel full without making it feel overwhelming.  

But, finding the right balance can be tricky. At Fastframe of Santa Monica, our professional designers and framers can give you the ultimate insight on your project.


1. Choose a Central Theme/Color Scheme

Not all your photos or art pieces have to contain the exact same colors. However, we do suggest picking a central theme and sticking to it, particularly surrounding color temperatures.

Try to avoid mixing warm and cool tones, and maintain a solid theme across pieces. Use colors from your room decor so your gallery wall looks at home.

For example, the gallery wall in this room is centered on black and gold hues, the room’s existing furniture and accents. The pieces chosen are diverse, but the central color theme pulls them together.


The use of fabric mats can really add a distinct elegance to your framed art. Whether it is suede, linen, silk or various other fabrics, the colors and textures of fabric take your framing design to a new level. There is a wide range of fabric types and colors that come precovered onto alpha cellulose and rag mats. The majority of these mats, though, are not preservation grade. This is because the fabric does not meet standards for bleed resistance. Some fabric mat boards are preservation quality and can be used on higher forms of artwork. If you cannot find a precovered fabric mat to suit your needs, we can hand wrap any fabric over an existing mat. We have a large selection of fabric from which to choose. You may also bring in your own custom fabric for us to wrap.


For the highest protection for your artwork, you should only use mat boards that are preservation or museum grade. There are three basic types of mat boards used in picture framing. The first is a regular or paper mat board. These mat boards, while being cost effective, contain a product called lignin. Over time lignin breaks down creating an acidic gas that can leave a burn mark on your artwork. The color will also fade over time, and the cream-colored bevel will begin to darken. Some paper mats have a bleached white core, but the overall degradation of the mat will be the same. The second type of mat board is made using alpha cellulose. Cellulose is the chief material in all plant life. Alpha cellulose is the purest form of this material. These mats are buffered to maintain a neutral pH. They are considered to be preservation quality. They will not harm the artwork, nor will they fade or “bleed” over time. This type of mat is the primary, in-stock mat at FastFrame. The third type of mat is a rag mat. Made from cotton linters, rag mats are naturally lignin-free. They are made with a colored surface paper, which are preservation grade, or can be 100% rag mat, which is museum grade.


A mat is a border, usually made from mat board, placed around the artwork. The purpose of the mat is, first, to provide a spacer or separation between the artwork and the frame or glass. If the glass comes into contact with the art, there could be a risk of damage to the artwork. This damage may come in the form of mold, or the artwork adhering to the underside of the glass. Second, the mat, particularly the color of the mat, draws the eye into the picture. By altering the colors in the mats, we can make the colors in the art stand out. Mat boards come in a variety of colors and textures which will allow your FastFrame design consultant to select the mats that are just right for your picture. And third, the mat hides the mechanics of the framed piece. For instance, the mat will cover the mounting method used such as a hinge or dry mount.

The standard size of mat board is 32 x 40 inches, but some colors will come in an oversized 40 x 60 inches. The standard thickness of a mat board is 4 ply, which is about 2 mm. Mat boards are also made in a limited color range of six, eight and twelve ply thicknesses. These thicker mats create a dramatic presentation, drawing the eye directly to the art.


The type of artwork to be framed, the room where it will hang and your own personal preferences will determine the answer to this question. There are, though, some basic differences between wood and metal frames. Within the framing industry, wood is the preferred frame material. There is a much wider selection of colors and styles from which to choose. Wood frames also afford more protection for your artwork. Their sturdy construction and the ability of the framer to properly close the back of the frame prevent environmental and insect damage from occurring. Metal frames have a modern, sleek type of styling. Available in many colors and styles, they, for the most part, afford a minimalist type of framing. New trends in metal mouldings blend modern technology with a design flair not seen in metal mouldings for many years. Whether you choose wood or metal, what is ultimately important is that the frame meets your design requirements.


Common, mass-produced frames come in a variety of standard sizes. Generally, such sizes below 11 x 14 inches are called photo frames. Above that size, we call them ready-made frames. These frames are created to allow the purchaser the ability to frame standard-sized art with relative ease. There are downsides to using a ready-made frame. First, artwork comes in a variety of non-standard sizes and will not always precisely fit into the frame. Second, ready-made frames make it difficult to customize a design for the artwork using mats and other embellishments. Also, many inexpensive ready-made frames are created using substandard moulding also known as “seconds”. At FastFrame of Santa Monica, since we manufacture your frame, we have the ability to customize it to suit your design needs and the size of the art.


A frame is an essential way to display your artwork. It provides protection for your artwork, keeping it safe from the environment, insects and other physical damage. It also creates a focal point in your room, focusing attention on the artwork. Frames may be selected to formalize a setting or to create a mood or theme. Whenever you have a piece of artwork or memorabilia that you want to display with pride, have it professionally framed, and you will be able to enjoy it for many years to come.

Do you build my frames, or must I do it?

At FASTFRAME OF SANTA MONICA, our professional design consultants do all of the frame construction for you. In most cases, all of the component parts are created on site, in our production facility. From the cutting and joining of the frame, cutting of mats and glazing materials, mounting of the artwork and fitting the artwork in to the frame, our design consultants insure that your job is done right. We have all of the state of the art machinery required to properly frame your artwork. While the majority of the work we do is framing entire projects, we are happy to supply you with component parts only, such as mats or a piece of glass. We can also create and fit component parts into your existing frame. Whatever your framing needs, we can accommodate you at FASTFRAME OF SANTA MONICA.

What is wet mounting?

Wet mounting is a permanent mounting process that uses liquid glue as the adhesive. The glue is applied to a backing board; then the artwork is placed on top of the glue surface. The piece is placed into a vacuum press, with the heat turned off, to completely flatten the art. Since liquid glues are water based, there is a chance of the backing board warping as the piece dries. To counteract this effect, a second piece of kraft paper is mounted onto the back of the board. Since the process is permanent, you should not mount any original, limited edition or collectable art that you would ever need to remove.

What should not be dry mounted?

Any artwork of value, either monetary or sentimental, should not be permanently dry mounted. This would include original, limited editions or collectable art. In some cases, this type of art may be semi-permanently mounted using a product such as Artcare Restore®. Also any artwork that is susceptible to melting should never be dry mounted. This would include wax or pastel-based art, color copies or signed posters and prints. There are alternative, permanent mounting products that may be used in these cases.

What is dry mounting?

Dry mounting, through the use of a vacuum or mechanical heat press, attaches and flattens artwork onto a backing board. The process is primarily aesthetic, removing small wrinkles and creases as well as reducing the continual effects of “cockling.” The process can be either permanent or semi permanent. There are several methods and products that may be used for dry mounting. Our design consultant will select and explain the method best suited for your artwork. In any case, there are no “wet” materials, such as glue, used in the process. At FASTFRAME of Santa Monica, we use a vacuum press method. The artwork with backing board and adhesive material is placed into the press. The heat of the press melts the adhesive while the vacuum removes the residual air, creating a bond between the art and the backing board.

What is mounting?

Mounting is the method used to hold your piece of art in place within the frame. In general there are three categories of mounting. The first method is permanent mounting. This method is not reversible and should be used only on artwork of little value such as open edition prints and posters. It should be noted that permanently mounting a piece of art will jeopardize the value of the artwork, either current or future. The second method is semi-permanent. In this method, the artwork can be removed at a later date through the use of heat. While it is not a recommended method of mounting expensive artwork, it can be used on moderately priced open, original and limited edition prints. The primary purpose of permanent and semi-permanent mounting in is to flatten the artwork, removing small wrinkles and creases. The final type of mounting is hinging. In this method, the artwork is attached to either a backing board or mat using small pieces of tape or other hinging material. The hinges should be made from either an acid-free self adhesive, water-activated tape or Japanese paper using wheat or rice starch adhesive. By using a hinging method, the artwork will be less likely to “cockle,” or ripple, with changes in the humidity.

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