Suppose you want to give someone a wooden picture frame on a special occasion. You might google all the processes, but the amount of hassle you will face without proper knowledge is unimaginable.
If you are thinking of building up a frame, you might need a miter saw for cutting your frame at a 45-degree angle.
Pocket screws or V-nails can also help in reinforcing the joints. The gaps can also be filled out with some glue. But is this enough, or do you need to do more? Let’s stick to this guide on how to join picture frame corners and find out!
Which joint is used for joining the corners of a picture frame?
The answer is undoubtedly miter joints. In the framing business, the end part of all these joints is first cut using a cutter with an angle of 45 degrees.
This gives us two pieces of the joint with 45 degrees equal to 90. These are then put together to get joints in square shape as 90 degrees a square angle.
Miter saws mostly do the cutting and are commonly seen among home woodworkers. These are either backsaws with an old-fashioned manual or the modernized miter saw.
How to Join Picture Frame Corners – 6 Useful Steps
The methods for joining a picture frame can seem very easy if you follow a proper way. Before starting, you have to ensure that every corner of the picture frame is measured at a 45-degree angle. In this case, you can use, as mentioned, a miter saw or a hand saw.
Whichever type of wood you use for your project, a fine woodworking blade is required to get a very clean cut.
Also, you need to assure that you have all the items mentioned below:
V nails or biscuits
Hammer or brad nailer
Now without any further delay, let’s jump into the process.
Step 01 – Selecting wood color complementary to the grain pattern
This is one of the important steps if you want better-looking miters for your picture frame. You must ensure that the grain pattern and the color of the wood are complementary to one another.
In addition, the grain patterns must be consistent with the miters. This is not a time-consuming rather time-worthy task.
Step 02 – Aligning the miter joints
The task of clamping and alignment of the joints, V- nails can come in handy.
To deliver v-nails, v-nailers are required. The v-business nailer’s end features a 90-degree V-shaped “frame” in which the two frame rails are linked, and the v-nailer incorporates the v-nail along the seam and into each piece of wood.
The width of the molding usually determines the size of the V-nail is used on a project. You should always choose a V-nail with a thickness of 3/4 to 2/3 of the molding.
The shorter the V-nails, the easier joints break, but when V-nails are longer, these can pierce the front face of the frame.
Step 03 – Gluing the frame
After double-checking the frames’ joints after they are precisely mitered, you may secure them together using wood glue. In this case, apply enough wood glue to each frame junction and grab a corner clamp.
To attach, this tool can help fit around the frame. You can also use C-clamp for avoiding the borders from flushing.
Step 04 – Drying the wood glue
Next, draw the frame together by pulling it firmly in two directions and holding it in place while waiting for the glue to dry.
When using clamps and glue on joints, make sure to wash away any excess glue with a clean moist towel as soon as possible. This method eliminates the need for further sanding.
Step 05 – Choosing a method to strengthen the joints
One of the simplest ways to reinforce the joints is to use finish nails or brads. After the glue dries, you can use a brad nailer or hammer to finish nails into the frame or attach brads. Screws are also a great source to strengthen joints, and these are countersunk with plugs.
The hardwood splines are also a great method to reinforce the joints. It is a rectangular wood piece that can be fitted in grooves of the frame tails.
You also get extra space for gluing, but they can be visible outside. Still, these are some of the best options for building a strong corner for your picture frame.
Step 06 – Strengthening and supporting the joints
This is the last step in joining the picture frame corners. To begin, make a precise groove in each frame’s corners and, using a table saw, cut the frame at a 45-degree angle. Then cut hardwood splines to a size that matches the thickness of the saw blade.
Using wood glue, secure each spline in its groove. Finally, cut it with a handsaw once the adhesive has completely cured. This time you’ll have to sand it down.
However, there are other ways to reinforce the miter joints, and those are:
Using biscuit outside
Pre gluing the table saw spline and router spline
Biscuit inside and domino inside
Mitering the spline with a jig
How can you make good picture frame joints?
Joining the miter joining perfectly is not a tough task, and there are plenty of other methods except for V-nails or splines, which are:
These are a mass of wood particles that have an oval shape. A biscuit jointer is used to cut a slot in each wood piece. After that, the biscuit is glued and placed in different slots uniting the two wood pieces together.
The junction is secure once the adhesive has had enough time to dry. In this case, a brad or two (tiny nails) can also offer further strength towards the junction if the frame is big and the rails have enough room.
Pocket screws are great to help in attaching frame rails that are created by drilling recessed holes in 1 frame rail. This process requires more time and preparation, but they give a very robust joint, so they’re a wonderful choice for bigger frames.
How to fill gaps in picture frames?
The gaps in the joints of any picture frame take away all the aesthetic and beautiful vibes. This is why there are some methods to fill the gaps in the frame. Some of the methods are:
Use of oil pastels
Glue and screwdriver
Use of oil pastels
If you have oil pastels, such as those kids use in their school, you can easily cover the gaps. All you need to do is take an oil paste similar to the color of your picture frame and rub it into the joint.
This will make the color go into the edges perfectly. After that, take a towel or clean cloth to clean excess oil pastels.
Glue and screwdriver
This time, before using glue on the gaps, you have to ensure that it has a similar color to your frame. Next, use an appropriate amount of glue to cover the gap and take a screwdriver to roll the wood on top of itself.
This burnishing step will be able to fill big gaps too. Later, use sandpaper and sand down a bit so that the sanding dust can also fill the gaps.
How to clamp a picture frame corner?
Clamping picture frame corners becomes easy when you use a corner clamp that is 90 degrees in shape. These corner clamps are easily found in hardware stores, retail websites, and huge DIY stores. They are inexpensive and have a variety of sizes to suit your project requirements.
For attaching every piece of the frame rail, adjustable clamps with a 90-degree angle can come in handy. This process will make the frame rails kept in place as you connect them, leaving the corner exposed for whichever joinery method you choose.
Some elements such as – A miter saw a 90-degree corner clamp, wood glue, our biscuits, a biscuit jointer, and perhaps brads for the smaller frames would be needed to frame your artwork.
Our suggestions would be to use pocket screws that might be helpful for your small clamping projects, whereas V nails might be needed for bigger ones.
However, the fundamentals remain the same. You will require good wood glue, a neat and clean cutting at a 45-degree angle, and a joinery design. This will make your frame look exactly how you want it to look.
What is the best way to repair a damaged corner on a frame?
Press the pieces together with a thin line of wood glue on the inside edge of each joint.
Wipe any extra glue off the frame using a moist cloth, then bind the joints together until the glue dries.
Replace the glass, photo, and frame’s rear when the adhesive has been set entirely.
What is the ideal distance between picture frame moldings?
Picture frame moldings are perfect to increase the aesthetics of your wall and, obviously, the frames. The distance between wall frames should be between 23/4 and 31/2 inches, with up to 4 inches of the gap above and below. You need to stick to the spacing you select across the space.
What is the best way to secure a sagging picture frame?
One of the ways to repair picture frame corners can be using wood glue. You first need to scrape off old wood glue and then apply new glue with a paintbrush after setting the frame in a vise grip.
Another approach to tighten a frame is to place one finishing nail from the sides into each of the four corners. Then hammer one downward-facing nail into each end of the top. Repeat the previous step by turning the frame upside down.
Is there anything that can be done to keep Mitre joints from opening?
Miter joinings are important to be kept disclosed. You may use a biscuit joiner to structurally reinforce miter joints, which will aid in the prevention of joint shrinkage.
Now since you have read so far, you must have got the idea on how to join picture frame corners.
On paper, all of the processes are complicated, but trust us when we say that doing them yourself will not be a complicated or time taking process. All it takes is a little patience and a few minutes.
But before you start, make sure to follow the tips that have been mentioned in this article, especially starting from a 45-degree angle.
Finally, you can now join a picture frame and keep your memories safe in it for years!