Frequently Asked Questions

There can be a lot of questions when you're ordering frames for specific artwork or volume decor, and we understand. In this FAQ section, we have detailed the top questions we receive from our customers.

Click on a category linked in blue to scroll to frequently asked questions on that subject.

Additional Questions


What is styrene?

Styrene is a type of thermoplastic and comes in a flexible sheet that is .035 of an inch thick. It is used as an alternative to glass in our picture frame sizes larger than 11x14".

What are the benefits of styrene?

Styrene weighs roughly half as much as glass, and is more shatter resistant than glass. These two factors can greatly reduce shipping costs. If humidity is a concern for the integrity of the frame's contents, styrene is the material of choice. It is a better insulator than glass and is less likely to accumulate condensation.

How do I care for and clean my glass or styrene?

A thin plastic film protects both sides of styrene during shipping and retail display. The film, which should be taken off before use, is easily removed by hand (see illustration). Glass and styrene should both be cleaned before they are showcased. While glass can be cleaned with a glass cleaner, styrene should only be cleaned by water or a soft cloth, not solvent.

Why is glass only offered in sizes 11”x14” and smaller?

Frames 11x14 and smaller, including 12x12s, include glass. Frames 12x16 and larger come with styrene. Larger frames with glass are fragile and require special handling during packing and shipping. If glass is needed for sizes larger than 11x14 please call: 1-800-577-5920. For safety and liability reasons, we prefer not to ship anything 12x16 or larger with glass. Doing so will decrease the chance of your frames arriving to you in perfect condition.

Is your glass and styrene UV reflective?

The glazing on the glass and styrene used by Frame USA does not reflect ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet reflective glazing is used primarily for conservation framing. In contrast, the products sold by Frame USA are generally for decorative framing purposes.

For more information on our glass, styrene, and glazing, visit this page

All of our frames are measured by the inside dimensions. For example, if you have a 4x6 image, you will want to order a 4x6 frame.

Measure the image or document you wish to frame. This measurement is also the size of the frame you would need to order.

If the size you require is not offered as a standard size, there are two options. You can order a custom size frame, or order the next largest standard size frame with a mat cut to make up the difference. For more information about our mat selection, please visit

A frame’s dimensions refer to the size of its opening. It is a common mistake to think the dimensions are the width and height of its outside edges. However, you want to measure the inside edges. For example, if you have a 4x6 image, you should order a 4x6 frame regardless or how much bigger than that the frame may be from outside to outside edge. Some frame styles will overlap the edges of an image more than others. Please refer to the moulding profile drawings on the wood and metal pages for more details.

With the exception to the Shadow Box Frame Series, frames will provide a 1/8" tolerance on each side to accommodate materials being inserted.

For more information on measuring picture frames, click here.

How can I check my status online?

On the homepage of the website, at the top, there is a link to check your order status. Enter your Order ID/PO number as well as the shipping zip code, and the current status of your order will come up.

Do you offer rush orders?

At certain times of the year, we are able to accommodate rush orders. Please contact our customer service department at 1-800-577-5920 to determine if a rush service is available. Please visit our sister site for service quicker than 5-6 business days.

How much does shipping cost and how is shipping calculated?

All shipping is based on the box weight, dimensions, and distance. When placing an order on the website, your shipping cost will be given to you before you are charged for your order. With orders placed over the phone, shipping cost will be calculated at the time of shipping based on the parameters above. For a shipping estimate, please call our customer service department at 1-800-577-5920.

How long does shipping take?

Since we make all of our frames to order, our production time is 5-6 business days, plus the time it takes the postal service to ship your package - which varies based on your location. We also offer 24 hour production time on certain frames which are already in stock. These items are displayed in red under the volume order form and this also applies to any close out frames on our closeout site here.

Do you refund shipping on orders?

In the special circumstance that a return is accepted, shipping will not be refunded.

What carriers do you use to ship your frames?

Our main source of shipping is UPS ground. However under special circumstances and with larger orders, a trucking carrier company may be used. We will always receive three freight estimates with trucking companies, so that we make sure you are receiving the best price available. A few examples of trucking companies that we use are FedEx Freight, UPS Freight, Roadway, Milan, and Pitt Ohio.

What areas are charged freight at the time of shipping?

All orders shipping to Zone 5 will be charged shipping at the time the order ships out. These areas include but are not limited to:
  • International Orders 
  • APO addresses
  • FPO addresses 
  • PO boxes
  • Washington D.C.

Do you charge sales tax?

We do not charge sales tax if you are outside of the state of Ohio. However, if you are shipping an order to Ohio, sales tax will be included on your order. If you are in the state of Ohio and have a tax exempt certificate, please contact our customer service department for details regarding placing orders.

Choosing a frame that suits your needs can be a fun and challenging process. Frame USA offers thousands of options and has experienced customer service representatives available for assisting you in your decision making process.

On the homepage of our website, you can filter your search by moulding width, color, and keywords. This will help to narrow your search when you have certain parameters you know that you would like to find. You can also browse by category: wood, metal, poster, certificate or shadow box frames.

Frame choices include: Wood FramesMetal FramesPoster FramesShadowboxesU-frame Kits

For more information about choosing the right picture frame, visit this page.

What comes with my frames?

You can find out what is included with your frame on each product page. Each product in the volume order form denotes what is included with each frame. The options are as follows:

WH=Sawtooth Hanger

And an example of where you can find this information: 

picture frames

Wood Frames

We have over 60 mouldings of wood frames suitable for all your framing needs. You can search different types of wood according to key words and moulding width on the left-hand column on the wood frame page.


BonanzaWood™, made by Framerica®, is a solid material, with a very smooth, fine-textured surface. It cuts like pine, and readily accepts nails and hangers. BonanzaWood™ provides the expressive finish and look of solid wood, at a fraction of solid wood cost.
About 9 million tons of residual wood each year … wood shavings, chips and sawdust; formerly-wasted trim, ends and other byproducts; post-consumer and "urban" wood, such as pallets and construction materials … are collected, cleaned and milled to uniform-size particles. Excess moisture is removed, and a binder is added. In an automated, computer-controlled process, the combination is then formed under intense heat and pressure.

Wrapped Moulding

Our BonanzaWood™ mouldings are wrapped mouldings--meaning the back of the moulding will not appear as normal wood, like most wood frames. Rather, the back will be a flat continuation of how the frame looks on the front. The mouldings are wrapped on either printed laminate, mica, or vinyl.

Frames You Can Decorate

Many customers wonder which frames are OK to paint or stain. For decorating frames, we recommend our decorate-it series. This series comes in three sizes, with 1, 2, and 3-inch mouldings. You can also decorate our unfinished series. The unfinished series is our decorate-it series with a bevel, and also comes in 3 different mouldings. 

Are the metal frames aluminum?

There are frames made from metals such as brass, copper, and silver, but when picture framers speak of metal frames they are typically referring to extruded aluminum frames.

The first metal mouldings to catch the public's eye were made for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, in the late 1950s. Metal moulding became available in kit form in 1968. More recently, ready-made back loaded metal frames became available. Anodizing and painting are the processes used to color aluminum moulding. Anondizing produces a translucent dye-like coloring, while painting, produces a solid opaque finish.

What's the difference between Metal I and Metal II series?

The only difference between the Metal I and Metal II series are the color differences. The Metal I series contains a brighter assortment of colors, while the Metal II series contains flat/contrasted colors.
How do you hang a metal frame?

Metal frames are held together with v-clips, and double as a hanging system.

The contents of a back loaded metal frame are secured with retaining clips, also called v-clips. A back loaded frame does not require additional wire for wall hanging, because the v-clips also can be used to hang the frame. Frames larger than 20x30 also include security hangers for added support.

U-frame Kits

Another type of metal moulding we offer is the U-frame Kit. These are good for custom framing projects. To learn more about U-frame Kits, scroll down.

What is polystyrene?

Polystyrene is a hard plastic frame that is lightweight.

What is mylar?

Mylar is a thin plastic channel with colored film on the plastic.

Deluxe Posterframes

What is included?

The only difference between a wood frame and a deluxe poster frame is that all sizes come with styrene. Glass is not an option since this is a polystyrene frame.

How do you hang them?

The hardware is air-nailed into the back of the frame. There are two hardware pieces on each frame so that the frame can be hung vertically or horizontally.

Where are the materials from?

Deluxe Posterframes are our only item that the materials are not made in the USA. The polystyrene pieces to make our Deluxe Posterframes are from China.

How do you put artwork into a poster frame?

With our corrugated, foamcore, and hardboard poster frames, each of the four sides needs to be removed in order to insert your artwork. Once you have placed your artwork in between the backing and styrene, simply reassemble all four sides.

What can I use to adhere objects in Shadowbox Frames?

Shadow boxes are perfect for displaying 3-D items such as medals, jerseys, and other memorabilia. You can use a variety of products to adhere items in your shadowbox, such as velcro, rubber glue, or even sewing the item inside. Check your item’s label before choosing a mounting option. 

What is included with a U-frame Kit?

A kit frame is made from pre-cut sections of metal moulding. The corners of a kit frame are joined with specially designed brackets and assembled with a flat head screwdriver. These brackets provide exceptional strength and can be disassembled if necessary.

Loading a kit frame requires several short steps. First, three sections are joined and the fourth side is left open. Then, the contents are slid into the frame using the open side. Last, the fourth section is joined, and spring clips are inserted behind the contents of the frame to remove any extra space. Spring clips also prevent rattling and shifting of the contents.

The kits offered by Frame USA are called U-Frame Kits. Each kit comes with two sections of moulding, hardware required to join two corners, two wall protectors called bump-ons, one snap hanger for attaching wire, spring clips, and instructions. Two kits are required to make one frame.

The rigid profile of kit moulding adds durability and functionality. It can withstand more weight than a back loaded frame, and glass can be used in larger sizes. A kit frame also gives retail store customers a customizable alternative to ready-made frames.

U-frame kits DO NOT INCLUDE glass/styrene or backing.

The depth of our wood mouldings can range anywhere from 1/2" to 1". To see exact frame depths in any moulding, please view the individual frame series page and refer to its profile illustration. For canvas framing, see the Floater series under wood frames. These are used to frame canvas paintings/prints.

Can your frames hold stretch canvases?

Three of our frames can hold stretch canvases as long as they are ordered in shell only. These three series are Floater, In Depth and the Gilder's Choice Accents. Floater is available as shell only, since this is made specifically for canvas display.

For more information on frame depths, click here.

Do you offer moulding samples?

We offer 5" moulding samples for $1.00/sample plus shipping. Shipping information can be found on our shipping page and sale details pages. Click here to order frame samples.

Do you offer mat samples?

Yes! Mat samples are available for $0.50/sample. Shipping information can be found on our shipping page and sale details pages. To order mat samples, contact us here.

Our site can now provide you with custom size prices. In order to find out the prices, please click on the individual series you are interested in. 

For more information on custom frames, visit our page here.

What is the largest size frame you can make?

The largest completed frame we can manufacture is 27x41. This is because we do not carry the materials to fill frames larger than this size. however, each individual series has their own size limitations.

Matting Overview

The following sizes come with in-stock, PRE-CUT Pure White (Off White) B403 Standard Mats. (These mats are TRUE matboard with a beveled cut.)
• 5x7   • 8x10  • 8.5x11(c) •10x20 • 11x14 • 16x20

In 8.5x11 frames you have the option of a “Combo” mat.

 Frame Size Image Size W/Mat Actual Mat Opening Size
 5x7  3.5x5.5 3x4.5 
 8x10  5x7  4.5x6.5
 8.5x11 (c)  8x10  7x9
 10x20  (3) 4x6  3.5x5.5
 11x14  8x10  7.5x9.5
 16x20  11x14  10.5x13.5

What is a V-groove?

A V-Groove is a thin white line (black line for blackcore) which is carved into the top mat around the entire mat. A V-Groove adds a special "class" and formality to any picture or print you are trying to emphasize. V-Grooves are only available on the top mat of your mat selections.

Is your mat board acid free?

Our mat board PH level is 5.0 for our standard, premium, suede, and black core mat board. If you are interested in true acid free mat board (archival), check out our acid free category which has a PH level of 7.0.

How much is it for additional openings?

There is no additional cost for a mat that contains 2 or less openings. After the 2nd opening, each additional opening is $0.25/opening. However, for any mat with more than 2 openings, we require a mat diagram. This is to help guarantee that we cut your mat to your exact specifications. For more information plea
se visit To inquire about multiple openings or special orders, please email [email protected] 

Are the mats beveled? At what degree?

YES, our mats are beveled. They are beveled at a 45 degree angle.

To learn more about matting, click here.

Only frames 8x12 or smaller will come with an easel backing. These frames will not include hanging materials, but sawtooth hangers can be purchased for an additional charge.

What is a sawtooth hanger and how do you attach one?

A saw-tooth hanger is nailed into the back of a frame at the top center. It is the easiest of the hanging options to install, making it a popular choice for basic framing projects. Because the weight of the frame is supported at a single point, saw-tooth hangers are best suited for smaller or lightweight frames. Saw-tooth hangers are also useful for hanging shadowboxes. Using one hanger near each of the two upper corners evenly distributes the frame's weight, and keeps the back of the frame flush with the wall.

Wire Hanger Kits

A wire hanging assembly consists of a length of wire and two eyehooks. The wire is strung between the two eyehooks, which are screwed into opposite sides of the frame. One of the benefits of a wire hanger is its ability to support heavier frames. The weight of the frame is divided between the two vertical sides of the frame. Also, the hanger assembly is secured to the frame using screws instead of nails. A wire hanger is used in conjunction with a picture hanger nailed in the wall.


Frame sizes that include easel
Any frame 8x12 or smaller will include an easel backing
Frame sizes that include flat backing and hangers
Any frame 9x12 or larger will include a flat backing and hanging material
What kind of backing do you use
Our standard backing for anything 9x12 and above Fiber Char (a form of cardboard). Foamcore backing is available for an additional cost upon request.
Do you offer acid free backing?
No, we do not offer acid free backing.
How to Prevent Your Back from Warping

The best way to avoid having your frame's back warp is to hang your frame in an area that is not in contact with direct sunlight or moisture.

For more information on hanging picture frames, click here. 

Plaque mounting is simply the hottest new way to attractively present a photo, print or certificate. In this process, your print is laminated directly to a board and the edges are finished with a beautiful bevel. Your print will be protected against moisture, UV light, smudges and scratches; and it will look absolutely fantastic! Plaque mounting is great for high volume poster marketing projects as well as for hanging one or two images around the house.

Plaques have 3 different edge color choices and are hung with one nail on a wall by a routed keyhole slot.

For more information on plaque mounting, click here.