How to Match the Finishes of a Picture Frame to a Picture Light Fixture

How to Match the Finishes of a Picture Frame to a Picture Light Fixture

How to Match the Finishes of a Picture Frame to a Picture Light Fixture

Wood, Picture Frame, Photo Frame, Box, Blank

Picture light fixtures are an essential to opt for if one wishes to properly light up their favorite pictures or pieces of art. However, it’s not just simple to pick out the perfect art light. First and foremost, one will want to find a fixture that best resembles the artwork’s frame. This article will assist you with picking out the right picture light to accommodate your picture’s frame for your desired intent.

1. Decide if you want your picture light to stand out or be discrete.

Many prefer that their ideal picture light is different from the color of their picture’s frame. Considering most pick a black or brown picture frame, some like to choose a fixture color that pops: red, orange, gold, you name it. Others like to be conservative with their pick and opt for blacks, browns, antique silver, and the like to still make their fixture still stand out without popping out.

For those who already have a colored frame, picking a neutral picture light color is often preferred. However, whether the frame is colored or neutral, thick or thin, most do not like to match their artwork’s frame to its picture light. However, it’s more of a matter of preference more.

With that said, first, one will want to decide if they want to essentially “hide” their picture light, make it stand out, or make it an emphasis.

2. Find the color in the work you want to emphasize.

Once you have an idea of how much you want your picture light to stand out, consider specific colors you may want to bring out in your work of art. Tiny specks of white in a piece of art can be brought out by opting for a white picture light and so on.

If picking a picture light based on this technique, it is best to pull out a color that is the least focused in your work of art. If a painting is mostly blue but also contains hints of green, green would be the better pick when choosing a colored picture light. Opting for a blue picture light would be too match-y – unless this is what you intend.

If your picture’s frame already contains a focal color you’re seeking to bringing out, picking a metallic or neutral-color picture light would be an excellent option, something that will complement that picture frame’s color. Trying to bring out another color in the painting with the color of your picture light might play just a bit too much on the eyes and not look as natural if your picture’s frame is emphasizing a different color already.

3. Base your picture light fixture on the colors and style of the rest of the room.

Of course, a picture light color must also be chosen based on the colors of the rest of the room. For example, for a mostly white painting with specks of purple in an already very white room, perhaps opt for a purple picture light to make the purple pop with the goal to make the room more colorful. One may also consider picking a brown, gold, silver, black, platinum, or bronze picture light to add a variation of color in a more natural way.

If going for a picture light color that is similar to the color of the flooring, walls, tables, or other furnishings in a room, this tends to be difficult. Best advice is to go for a color that is complementary – something that would look good with the rest of the room but not be too match-y – because chances are, you won’t find that exact color (unless it’s common such as black), which will drive one bonkers knowing that their picture light is not the exact color.

It is also recommended to go for a complementary – not identical – color of a nearby object (unless you can find a way to break up the monochrome color scheme). For instance, a black couch near a black picture light is not the best design. However, a blue, silver, or gold picture light would look fantastic, that is, if it goes with the rest of the room and the picture as well.

If one is wanting to match their picture light to their picture’s frame, opting for something like in the image below would be a great option to make it less identical and more complementary. Both the frame and the picture light are brown. However, the frame’s inset is gold, and to match that, the picture light has rustic gold touches throughout.

Image result for picture light

As for the style of the room your painting is housed in, consider the following questions:

  • Is your room traditional or modern? Based on the latter, would a picture light with timely, modern, or antique flair look best?
  • Do you want your picture light to have a clean, matte finish or sheen? Will it clash with anything else in the room? (e.g., A room that already has several shiny objects, picking a picture light with sheen may not be your best bet.)
  • Do you often update your room’s furnishings, decorations, colors, and the like (even just for the season) or typically keep it the same long-term?

With the following questions in mind, many would agree that a modern picture light would look best in a modern room and that a picture light with sheen would look better than a matte picture light in a dull, bland room. The style itself is best to match the room while colors and the finish are better if chosen based on complementary factors.

As for those who frequently redesign their room or switch up colors often, opting for a picture light that is timely, versatile, simple, and neutral or metallic would be best. The latter aspect is also important to keep in mind if like to switch pictures from your room often – especially for the season. If you do this, it would make more sense to find a picture light that would well-suit several of your paintings rather than be specially picked for just one. Something simple like the picture light below would be an example of such.

LED Oil Rubbed Bronze Classic LED Gallery Light

4. Consider texture of the frame and the rest of the room.

Say your picture frame has designs, carvings, curvature, multiple colors, or is of a material that is not uniform. If this is the case, picking a picture light that is more conservative, clean, and matte would be your best option.

A simple and kind of bland picture frame would allow you to potentially go a little more out when choosing the style and finish of your picture light. However, also potent is taking note of the textures in the room. A room that has minimal texture may do fantastic with a picture light that has intricate design qualities, texture, or even rust or distress on the paint. A room that is busy and filled with textures from the pillows and sofa to the decorations of the room would look better with a softer, less noticeable picture light.

5. Still not sure what picture light color is best? Get picture light sample colors from to help you make your pick.

We get it; with so many picture lights, styles, and colors at hand, these aspects alone are enough to overwhelm someone. There are many things to keep in mind when matching the color to a picture’s frame in the right way, let alone, to the rest of the room and to the painting.

If you’ve been looking at picture light colors and just aren’t sure where to begin, Cocoweb is a great company that sells beautiful fixtures – both contemporary and modern – of all different styles and colors. Many of their lights even have customizable features such as finishes, sizes, and sources of power (e.g., plug-in, battery operated, etc.).

To make things easier on your end, Cocoweb allows consumers 3 FREE color samples for picture lights and barn lights. Any additional samples cost 50 cents each. Finish options for their picture lights that you can sample include:

  • Antique Brass
  • Satin Nickel
  • Black
  • Black/Brass
  • Oil Rubbed Bronze
  • Mahogany Bronze
  • Rose Gold
  • White


Picking the best picture light color means considering the colors, style, and textures in an artwork’s frame, the artwork itself, and in the room that is housing it. The style of the fixture should be similar to the rest of the work and the room whereas colors and textures should be complementary.

Sometimes picking that perfect color for your picture light isn’t always finding what works for one artwork but what will work best for a variety of pieces, eras, intents, and styles. As discussed, is an essential place to start if you need extra assistance in choosing a color for your picture light and are interested in looking at a variety of picture light styles.

11th May 2018 Jordan R

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