The vast majority of frame shops offer frames made from pre-finished moulding. The manufacturer decides the profile and finish and a frame shop will have a corner sample to show to their customers. The customers frame is constructed with 4 pieces o the moulding. The mitered corners of the frame have a visible join and that join can become more visible on certain colors, patterns, or embellishment. We too offer pre-finished moulding choices since they tend to be more economical than the made from raw wood frames because of the amount of labor required to make a closed corner frame.
A closed or finished corner results when the finish is added after the raw wood frame in joined so the finish covers the join. We typically construct our finished corner frames from Basswood; this wood is soft enough for hand carving and has a fine, uniform grain for staining or painting. We sometimes buy certain profiles with the basswood pre-milled, other times we’ll mill our own from planks of basswood. Which ever way the profile is milled, we start the process with lengths of the milled wood which are then cut to size, sanded, and then joined. The frame then has the finish applied. Other than simple stain or paint finishes, the finish typically covers the whole frame so that the joined corners are not visible. Here’s an example of a finished corner frame that has been gilded.