Framing and hanging your watercolour
Mats and finishing

  • Watercolours are usually matted with a thick mat cut at angle of 45 degrees. In Switzerland you can buy these or have them cut (at Hornbach/Gerstaecker). You can buy machines to do it yourself but these are either very expensive or cheap and difficult to use. Matting card can be purchased at if you are going to do it yourself – make sure that it’s acid-free.
  • Use same colour mats for all your paintings (preferably off white/ivory). This maybe not what you would choose if you were hanging the painting in your own home where you are hanging a single painting. In an exhibition your paintings will be viewed as a group and as such should look consistent.
  • Stick the painting to the back of the card with small pieces of acid-free tape. (don’t use masking or scotch tape). Then cover the whole back of the mat with a thin sheet of acid-free drawing paper for extra protection.
  • Take high quality photos of your work BEFORE you frame.
  • Don’t forget your signature but I don’t advise adding a date. You may still love and want to exhibit a painting that is 10 years old but your buyer doesn’t need to know that.


  • Suppliers of well-priced frames in CH are: Hornbach, IKEA, Migros, Gerstaecker. Try to avoid a situation where the frame costs 50% of the final price of the finished, framed work. Think of the frames as a receptacle to carry the painting to the home of the client. The client can then choose to keep or change the frame.
  • Try to use the same type and colour of frames. If your frames are all different shapes, colours and sizes, the message your visitors will understand is: These are all the paintings I have ever done. If your mats and frames have a consistent look and colour the message your visitors will understand is: These are just a few of the many paintings that I have chosen to exhibit today. Most buyers would like to think that you have had lots of experience!