Buying Custom Picture Frames: How to Choose Between Natural Wood, MDF and Aluminium Materials

Posted on

One advantage of getting custom picture frames is that you can design them as you wish. You get properly sized frames to fit your pictures, art, puzzles or whatever else you want to display on your walls. Additionally, you can also choose your preferred material. Solid wood, medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and aluminium are the three popular picture framing materials on the market. Which is the most suitable one for your custom frames? Here is a detailed comparison to help you make an informed choice.

Solid or Natural Wood

Natural wood exudes a rustic and traditional yet classy feel. It is an ideal choice if you're planning to frame traditional-style pictures or artwork. Wood is also easy to paint or stain, and this allows you to paint it in any imaginable colour. Thus, if you're looking for picture frames to match the aesthetic and colour scheme of your space, solid wood is the best choice. What's more, it is also incredibly sturdy and durable.

On the downside, wood can easily warp or chip when it falls or get exposed to high heat or humidity. Thus, you should handle the frames with care. Solid wood also tends to be heavy; therefore, use sturdy anchors to prevent the frame from falling off the wall. 

Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF)

MDF is more like a knockoff of natural wood, but it comes with a variety of benefits. It is a suitable material for those who want the look and feel of wood without paying the high price of natural wood. It is more lightweight than solid timber and can also be painted in any colour you desire. Unlike solid wood frames, MDF ones are less likely to warp when exposed to heat or moisture.

MDF cannot entirely achieve the appearance of real wood. However, high-quality fibreboard is as visually appealing. While this material is durable and sturdy, it cannot compare to natural wood. On the plus side, it requires less maintenance, and with proper care, it will last as long as its wooden counterpart.


Aluminium metal is one of the best materials for modern-style picture frames. It is suitable for those who wish to display contemporary artwork or have a modern theme going on in their space. Aluminium is an incredibly lightweight yet durable metal. This makes it suitable for large picture frames which would otherwise be bulky if made from wood. The material does not warp or break when exposed to humidity or heat. If it does suffer damage, it is easy to repair.

The only downside to aluminium is its limited colour options. You cannot paint over it as you would wood and MDF. However, if you want custom colours, you can powder-coat it.

The three framing materials have various pros and cons. Choose the one that's best suited for your picture framing requirements.

For more information, contact a custom picture framing service.