1. Wood Picture Frames
2. Metal Picture Frames
3. Plastic Picture Frames
4. Glass Picture Frames
Wood picture frames are by far the most common. Chances are, all the picture frames in your house are made out of wood. Within the wood category, there are three sub-categories of picture frames. They are: composite, solid wood, and wood veneer.
Solid wood is fairly self-explanitory. It's 100% wood. Picture frames you see in stores are rarely made out of solid wood. Usually, they are made from composite wood (see below). The reason for this is that Solid Wood is expensive, and if you can get the same shape from using a cheaper process, why not do it?
The cheapest of the three is composite wood. Composite wood is made from compressed wood pieces which are glued together. Most decorated frames you see are made from compressed wood. Also, it is the most common of the three types of wooden picture frames. Whenever you think you're getting a real "wood" frame, chances are you're buying one made from composite wood.
Wood Veneer attempts to give a wooden frame a "real wood look" without using solid wood. This is done by glueing a small, much higher quality piece of wood onto the top of a composite frame. These are a bit more costly then the composite frames, but look much more like a solid wood frame.
Wood frames are usually a fairly solid choice when it comes to framing your pictures, but they do have some problems. Many people complain that when they get a wood frame, it often has knots or other imperfections in it. This isn't a flaw in the particular frame, it's how wood naturally is. If you want a perfect frame with no wood like characteristics, you would be better off with a plastic imitation or a nice wood veneer frame.
Many wooden frames come unfinished. Unfinished wooden frames can be easily damaged. Water, glue, or any other substance can get on an unfinished wooden frame and ruin it. When dealing with unfinished wood frames, be extra careful. If you can, try and put a stain on it or finish it yourself.
Plastic frames are a viable option if you are looking for a long-lasting decent looking picture frame. Plastic frames come in different types. There is colored, imitation-wood, and glossy plastic. These are all good options depending on what you want. If you're looking for a modern look, go with colored. They look good, and can really accent the color of a room. Imitation wood is great if you want a nice wood look with no imperfections, but if you get close up, it's easy to tell that it is plastic and not wood. Finally, glossy is made to shine in light. It can look great, but fingerprints are far too easy to see. If you're looking for a shiny frame, I would recommend a glass picture frame.
Metal is virtually the same as plastic, only sturdier. Metal frames can be used to give a slightly more "grungy" look to a picture. They also can look basically the same as plastic, but they're much more solid. If you have trouble with picture frames breaking, I'd suggest metal frames.
If you've read this blog at all, you'll know that glass frames are my absolute favorite. They shine like glossy plastic or metal, but they look MUCH nicer. If you want to read some more benefits, check out my post on glass picture frames.
This was just a quick run down on the types of picture frames. I hope it helped some of you! Thanks for reading. :)