How to Attach Strainers

Learn  the different ways for attaching strainers in fine art gallery frames. Strainers are an inner frame that are placed behind the artwork package and secured with screws. They add extra strength to the artwork package and  hold the artwork package in the frame. They also serve as a means of attaching the hanging devices. This is critical on very large and very thin frame profiles. View our product section to learn more about strainers.


step by step instructions

Step 1

Thoroughly examine your artwork package (glazing, mat, backing board) and make sure it is ready to be put in the frame.

Step 1 attaching strainers

Step 2

Place the frame over the artwork package.

Step 2 attaching strainers

Step 3

Turn your artwork package over.

Step 3 attaching strainers

Step 4

Place the strainer in the back of the frame. Ideally, the strainer should be slightly recessed from the back of the frame. If the art package is recessed more than 1/4" fill in with backing boards and/or strips of backing boards until the strainer is raised to just below the back of the frame.

Step 4 attaching strainers

Step 5

Assemble your tools and supplies. You will need an electric drill with phillips head bit or phillips screw driver & the screws.

Step 5 attaching strainers

Step 6

Holding the art package firmly, insert the screws so they are flush with the frame. Use a drill with Phillips head bit or a screw driver. It needs to go in only 3/16 “- 1/4” so be very careful not to push too hard or you will either go through the frame or you will strip the hole. We like starting the screw with a drill and finishing the last few twists with a screw driver. This will help eliminate the possibility of going too far with the screw Do one hole on one side and then do the hole opposite on the other side. Continue until all the screws are in place.Editor’s Note:If you have some clamps to connect the strainer and frame this can make the job easier. Another tip is to move your table and frame against a wall. This will add support and stability to the frame when you are drilling.

Step 6 attaching strainers


Metropolitan also offers drilling from the side options. You can order it with or without inserts. If you will be reusing these frames frequently, we recommend using inserts. Inserts are placed in strainers so that the wood is not stripped when the screws are taken in and out with reuse. If inserts are ordered, Metropolitan frames will come with the inserts already in the strainers.

Variations attaching strainers

Step 1

If you order it with inserts the strainer will be marked with an arrow that will match up with an arrow on the back of the frame. Match them up when you place the strainer in the back of the frame.

Variations Step 1 attaching strainers

Step 2

Place the screw in the predrilled holes and drill it in.

Variations Step 2 attaching strainers