I use a thick stretcher (about 1 ½ inches). I paint the edge the same colour as the painting or black if I don’t think that will work. The result is the painting can be hung immediately until the owner has time to think about the frame.
Some people think the painting should match the room but I don’t. The painting is something you like or can’t live without. It has nothing to do with the colours in the room you want to hang it in, and in fact it probably doesn’t look very good with the colours in the room. That is what the frame is for. The frame separates the painting from the room and ties it into the room’s colours so that it doesn’t look awkward. If you want a painting that matches the room then use an abstract work with the right colours. I get into a good deal of trouble with this opinion. My sister is an interior designer and we … disagree.
A frame can cost hundreds of dollars but it doesn’t have to. Years ago I gave my wife-to-be a painting that she liked. Now of course they are all hers in any case. It hung in our cabin for years and looked quite nice now it hangs in our house. She felt it needed a frame. She bought the cheapest black plastic frame I have ever seen. I was with her at the time and was horrified. The fact that I didn’t say anything speaks volumes about my survival instincts. The frame is on and it looks WONDERFUL. It works in the room and matches other frames in the room. If the painting needs a frame with an inner border of another colour or needs to match other frames that are in the room, the price may be higher. But it isn’t necessary and the frame won’t necessarily fit any better or make the painting look any better.
I believe the frame is what matches the room. So I don’t frame my work. I have no idea where it will hang and what the room will look like. I let the owner work that out.